February begins with the Canadian culinary scene descending on Kelowna for two days for The Canadian Culinary Championships, recognized as one of the most intense national chef competitions in the country. "This is the biggest and most serious national competition for Canadian chefs," National Culinary Advisor, and all-around big-time food guy, James Chatto said. "Victory is a career-changer", he added. Here's a look at what happened last year.
This year there will be three chefs who participated in previous Canadian Culinary Championships returning: Dave Bohati, Murrieta’s, Christopher Hill, Taste Restaurant and Jesse Friesen, The Merchant Kitchen.
“And to add to this exciting mix, we have three women competing at the Canadian Culinary Championships, which will showcase the talent that female chefs bring to our industry,” said Chatto.
The event is a fundraiser for Canadian Olympic athletes and the grand finale will feature elite athletes from amateur, para and pro-sport telling their stories as well as an auction.
This Year's Competitors
- British Columbia — Takashi Ito, AURA waterfront restaurant + patio, Victoria
- Edmonton — Davina Moraiko, RGE RD
- Calgary — Dave Bohati, Murrieta’s
- Saskatchewan — Christopher Hill, Taste Restaurant Group
- Winnipeg — Jesse S. Friesen, The Merchant Kitchen
- Toronto — Elia Herrera, Los Colibris
- Gatineau — Yannick LaSalle, Restaurant Les Fougères, Chelsea, QC
- Montreal — Jason Morris, Pastel
- PEI – Irwin MacKinnon, Papa Joe’s, Charlottetown
- Nova Scotia — Thomas Carey, Fresh Twenty One, Dartmouth
- Newfoundland — Katie Hayes, Bonavista Social Club, Bonavista Peninsula
Mystery Wine Pairing Competition
Friday February 1st, Delta Grand Okanagan at 6:30pm
Chefs are given a mystery bottle of wine and are challenged to create a dish with local ingredients that best complement the mysterious vintage, in a set amount of time and with a set budget. Guests will have the pleasure of sampling these creations on the opening night of the competition, in a stand up cocktail reception format. During the event, guests will taste the mystery wine and play judge as they vote on the People’s Choice Award for the best food and wine pairing. In addition, three local Kelowna breweries will be showcased along with a fantastic silent auction. Food and wine included.
The Black Box Competition
Saturday February 2nd, Okanagan College Culinary Arts Department at 8am-1pm
Chefs will be given a black box containing a small array of diverse foods, and must produce and plate a spectacular dish for the national judges – all in one short hour. Guests won’t get much closer to watching an Iron Chef-type competition than this – you will be in the kitchen where all the action is. The Okanagan Culinary Department will create a fantastic spread of food during the competition for you to enjoy, and there is a mini-market featuring local products.
NOTE: this event is ONLY open to guests who purchase the Gold Partner, Hat Trick VIP Athlete Package or 3-Event package. Food prepared by the competing chefs are only plated for judges.
The Grand Finale Competition
Saturday February 2nd, Delta Grand Okanagan at 6:30pm
Chefs create their best dish for guests to sample, paired with a great Canadian beverage from their regional competition. By evening’s end, Canada’s Champion Chef of 2019 will be crowned and a victory celebration will be staged including a performance by one of Canada’s iconic rock bands, Chilliwack; elite athletes from amateur, para and pro-sport will be telling their stories and signature trips will be available to incredible destinations! Food and beverages included.