We were in the crowd at BC Place last night, for the Canada’s Great Kitchen Party regional qualifier, where some of the best culinary talents in the city compete for a chance to represent Vancouver at the national Canadian Culinary Championship in Ottawa in February, 2024.
Honours were decided by eight judges: National Culinary Advisor, Chris Johns (food and travel writer); B.C. Head Judge, Joie Alvaro Kent (cookbook author); 2022 KP Vancouver Gold medallist and 2023 Canadian Culinary Championships Silver medallist, Chef Bobby Milheron (Wentworth Hospitality Group); Chef Andrea Carlson (Burdock & Co); Chef Douglas Chang (Ai & Om Knives); Chef Hamid Salimian (VCC International Culinary Arts instructor); Chef Roger Ma (Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar); and Chef Scott Jaeger (The Pear Tree Restaurant).
Nine Vancouver chefs brought their teams to BC Place Stadium to plate dishes showcasing local ingredients. Each chef also worked alongside a winery to pair their dish with a local wine. Culinary teams included: Akira Kishimoto (Kishimoto Japanese Restaurant); Alana Maas (Northwest Culinary Academy); Daniel McGee (Maxine’s Cafe & Bar); Jasper Cruickshank (Wild Blue); Kyle Lee (CinCin Ristorante + Bar); Mark Singson (Mabuhay YVR); Nandakishore Rangan (Sodexo Live!); Vish Mayekar (Pepino’s Spaghetti House); and Warren Chow (Wildlight Kitchen + Bar).
The results were as follows:
Chef Jasper Cruickshank and the Wild Blue crew won the regional qualifier with their dish of Side stripe shrimp terrine, a tartlet of Dungeness crab, Wakame leek crisp, and essence of geoduck, which was paired with Roche Wines’s 2021 Tradition Pinot Gris.
Come February, Cruickshank will fly to Ottawa to compete against nine chefs from culinary hotspots across Canada, hoping to succeed the previous title holder, Briana Kim (Alice Restaurant), as gold medal winner and 2024 Canadian Culinary Champion.
Chef Akira Kishimoto, of Kishimoto Restaurant on Commercial Drive, scored Silver for their Gobo and Matsutake Takikomi BC rice, Kobujime duck breast with leek puree, Kinome miso cauliflower and gobo & crispy lichen “tree” with smoked kelp powder, sunchoke ‘ginkgo leaf’, tomato & sea buckthorn miso, beet & daikon “spiral,” and binchotan grilled Matsutake, paired with Osake Craft Sake’s Fraser Valley Junmai Renaissance.
This year’s Bronze went to Chef Warren Chow, of Vancouver’s Wildlight Kitchen + Bar, who served Peace Country lamb sirloin and lamb belly sausage with smoked Fraser Valley duck, parsnip puree and fermented gooseberry jus, paired with Rust Wine Co’s 2020 Syrah, from the Similkameen Valley in B.C.
Three Canadian wines also won awards. Gold went to Nova Scotia’s L’Acadie Vineyards’ 2020 Vintage Cuvée, and two B.C. wineries claimed Silver and Bronze: Ursa Major’s 2022 Exile, Love & Misunderstanding Gamay (Silver) and Tantalus’ 2021 Chardonnay (Bronze).
Congratulations to all the chefs who participated in this year’s event! Check out our photos of the 2023 edition of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party Vancouver in the gallery below…