DINER | Photos From Behind The Scenes At The 2014 Canadian Culinary Championships
by Andrew Morrison | The long weekend has come and gone and with it (temporarily) went my ability to properly and personally moderate my own food and drink intake. As the Co-Senior Judge (with Sid Cross) and the Culinary Referee at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna, I was soaked by wave after wave of gastronomic invention, enough to keep me – regrettably – in kale and fernet branca for a few more days. But really, the eating and drinking was the easy part. It’s the math that kills you. I’ve been judging this competition for the past 6-7 years and it’s still a very humbling experience to have to grade dish after dish from some of the top chefs from coast to coast. Writing on a CCC scorecard – for me at least – is the most difficult writing there is. I enjoy it tremendously, but the pencil doesn’t jot down numbers without trembling with doubt. “Was that really as over-seasoned as I thought it was?” “Did the wine push the sauce too far into the realm of bitterness?” “Is this fish supposed to be this cold?” You want to get it right, every time.
And I think we always do.
As I mentioned last week, representing BC this year was chef Brian Skinner of The Acorn, the critically-acclaimed vegetarian eatery on Main Street. Though he didn’t finish on the podium, he held his own against Calgary’s Duncan Ly (Yellow Door Bistro), Montreal’s Danny St Pierre (Auguste), Winnipeg’s Kelly Cattani (Elements), St. John’s Roger Andrews (Relish), Toronto’s Lorenzo Loseto (George), Saskatoon’s Trevor Robertson (Radisson Hotel), Regina’s Jonathan Thauberger (Crave), Ottawa’s Marysol Foucault (Edgar), Halifax’s Martin Ruiz Salvador (Fleur de Sel), and Edmonton’s Paul Shufelt (Century Hospitality Group), impressing all of the judges with his technique, poise, and mastery of the veggie milieu. Those who names were ultimately called were Danny St. Pierre (bronze), Duncan Ly (silver), and Lorenzo Loseto (gold). My sincerest congratulations to them all!
I’ll let my good friend James Chatto – my boss at the event, the competition’s National Culinary Advisor, and an infinitely better writer than I – tell you how it all went down here and here. You can also take a look at some of the shots below to get a feel for how things looked from a judge’s perspective.