It was an historic end to the Canadian Culinary Championships.
After two days of intense culinary competition, the winner was crowned Saturday night in Kelowna.
Ottawa based chef, Marc Lepine was named the winner for the second time, a first in the Canadian Culinary Championship history. Lepine last won gold at the Culinary Championships in 2012.
“I am truly speechless, and still in shock,” said Lepine following his win.
Saturday night marked the final night of competition for the 11 chefs competing from all across Canada. Their final challenge gave chefs free range of kitchen, challenging them to prepare a dish of their choosing. Their plate was then paired with a Canadian beer or wine and tasted by the attending guests.
Lepine’s winning menu Saturday night included a smoked steelhead trout with miso-molasses glaze, cured pork belly, barley and corn porridge, corn cob broth, paired with a Les Clos Jordanne Vineyard 2012 Chardonnay Twenty Mile Bench from the Niagara Peninsula.
“The competition was fierce and I was only able to do this with my team. My sous chef should be standing here next to me, as this truly takes a team,” said Chef Lepin following his win.
The chef representing British Columbia, Alex Chen, took home the bronze medal. His final dish included a truffle scented chicken, celeriac fondant, Foie gras stuffed celery and “Umami” consomme. Chen had previously won the People’s Choice Award following the Mystery Wine Competition, Friday.
For two days, Kelowna played host to the Culinary Championships. The two-day event started Friday with the Mystery Wine Competition, where chefs had to prepare a dish they felt was perfectly matched to mystery bottle of wine they had been given 24 hour before.
Saturday morning, the chefs faced the Black Box Challenge at Okanagan College. They were given one hour to prepare a dish using seven mystery ingredients which included two rivers elk, squid, peanuts, lentils, salsify, seaweed, and capers.
“I commend Kelowna and all of the Okanagan for supporting all three of our events,” said Stephen Leckie, co-founder of Gold Medal Plates, the group that put on the Canadian Culinary Championships.
“The event shines the spotlight on Kelowna and we are thrilled to see the Canadian Culinary Championships thrive here.”
The two-day event will be held in Kelowna until 2020.