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The ‘winery-chef edition’ of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party presented by MNP was a culinary extravaganza like no other.
Seven distinguished chefs competed in the Okanagan qualifier at O’Rourke Family Estate on Thursday for the Canadian Culinary Championship, and Chef Neil Taylor of Home Block at CedarCreek Estate Winery was crowned the winner.
“We were blown away by the dishes,” says Chris Johns, the national head judge. “The energy and love put into the dishes and the brilliance of the wine pairings were incredible this evening.”
Taylor presented a masterpiece pairing of Coppa di testa and CedarCreek 2020 Naramata Ranch Pinot Noir, securing a spot to compete in Ottawa against the winning chefs from nine other cities in Canada on Feb. 2 and 3.
Chef Stacey Johnston from The Restaurant at Poplar Grove placed second with Fraser Valley Duck, toasted lentils, chanterelles, spent grapes and trappers tea, paired with Poplar Grove 2019 Syrah.
The third place dish, presented by Chef Joshua Mueller from The Restaurant at Liquidity Wines, was Pacific Side Stripe Prawn, with textures of carrot, orange and lemongrass, paired with Liquidity 2022 Estate Viognier.
Other chefs who competed in the regional qualifier were Alessa Valdez from The Restaurant at Phantom Creek Estates, Evan Robertson from The Bistro at Hillside Winery, James Holmes of Angel Share at Crown & Thieves, and Jennifer Dodd from Old Vines Restaurant at Quails’ Gate Winery.
Johns adds: “Well done to all our competing chefs."