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Chefs go Head-to-Head in Kelowna for Culinary Championships

The Canadian Culinary Championship have kicked off and Friday evening it is all about the wine.

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On Thursday evening the top 11 chefs from all across Canada were given a mystery bottle of wine, stripped of all the labels, and were told they have to create a meal that pairs nicely with it.

The meal will be eaten on Friday evening at the Delta Grand Hotel for 400 guests. Each chef received $500 to buy ingredients and $50 for taxi fare.

The chefs and their teams can taste the wine to figure out what would pair best with it. Lisa Pasin, VP, travel, hospitality for gold medal plates said several chefs went grocery shopping Thursday evening after 9:00 p.m. and some got up extremely early on Friday morning to start preparing.

The main thing that guests and judges are looking for is how well the food paired with this mystery Canadian wine, chosen by the national wine advisor.

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On Saturday chefs will be competing in the black box event. Each competitor and their sous chef will receive a box with seven ingredients and will have to create a meal with every single item that is in the box. If they go off the description of what the meal will be or if they spend more than the hour time slot, marks will be docked.

The final competition the top chefs will take part in is their gold medal meal. Each chef will recreate their meal that won them gold in their region. This time it’s a bit different because they will be cooking for 600 guests.

The champion will be picked on Sunday after the judges add up their scores from the three competitions. The winner will win the trophy, the title, and a two-year lease on a BMW.

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Kelowna has hosted these championships for the past six years and will host the annual event until 2020. The event raises money for Canada’s Olympic athletes and to date more than $11 million has been raised.