REGINA Jonathan Thauberger is going to Kelowna! The executive chef of Crave Kitchen + Wine Bar, who won Gold Medal Plates two years ago, handily won a second time at Friday evening’s culinary competition at the Conexus Arts Centre.
His dish? A stunning seashore themed plate that was complex, highly technical and multi textured. It simply wowed the judges.
The centrepiece of the ‘day at the beach’ appetizer was a jellyfish inspired aspic made from a combination of four separate stocks fish, beef, chicken and rabbit that were clarified with chicken sausage and egg white and finished with bonito and kombu. shrimp, langoustines, and king crab.wholesale nfl jerseys Adding a pop of colour was a single delicate yellow and purple Johnny Jump Up from the chef’s home garden as well as yellow and green flecks from a mirepoix of locally grown carrots and celery.
The wobbly orb sat atop slices of lightly poached ultra tender briny diver scallops, their edges tinted a lovely coral pink and topped with a smattering of sea mist green tobiko caviar. When the judges broke into the sphere, it oozed a silky buttery sauce from a barely cooked quail’s egg yolk.
Garnishing the plate was a gentle arch of beach sand made from a crumble of toasted brioche, pork cracklings, seaweed, chives, scallops, mussels and in house cured guanciale (pork jowl bacon). Rounding out the shoreline was a driftwood piece of crispy tempura scallion and pools of hollandaise sauce and pured arugula.
To complement the dish, Thauberger selected an aromatic 2013 full bodied white blend of Viognier, Marsanne and Rousanne called Ava from Le Vieux Pin in the south Okanagan. From the first sip to the last bite the plate evoked a story of Canada’s west coast.
“It was elegantly plated a marvellous dish,” said national culinary advisor, James Chatto.
Appetizer sized dishes presented by nine competing chefs were marked by six judges on a range of criteria totalling 100 marks visual appeal, texture, taste, technical merit, wine compatibility and wow factor.
Silver went to Dave Straub, executive chef at Flip Eatery and Drink. He created a play on freshly dug potatoes.http://www.cheapnfljerseysonlinez.top An almost entirely vegetarian dish save a smattering of duck demi glace and a ring goose fois gras, it was potatoes that stood front and centre. His garden trek began with a trio of tiny sous vide turned potatoes infused with thyme and garlic, pork fat and butter nestling in a rich duck demi stock inside a ring of fois gras and moved to ultrathin translucent salt and vinegar chips pocked with tiny micro bubbles.
Straub finished the plate with a strip of garden soil made from dehydrated roasted parsnip, celeriac and sunchokes and a bright green stripe of intensely flavoured asparagus, dill and chive oil.
Still playing on the garden theme, Straub chose a grassy 2014 Quail’s Gate Chenin Blanc to pull all the elements together and balance out the richness.
Bronze went to the Conexus Arts Centre’s executive chef, Leo Pantel, a two time silver medallist. He landed on the podium with single piece of buttery and moist Berkshire pork that had been marinated in a mixture of wine, Worcestershire, soy sauce, Pom Pom drinking vinegar and warm spices including caraway, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, bay leaves and mirepoix, then cooked sous vide. Trimmed of most of the fat it was glazed with pomegranate molasses, dipped in herbed panko crumbs and seared before plating.
Pantel finished the dish with a delicious raisin and pomegranate sauce, sliced fresh figs, pink preserved ramps, and a delicate shaving of crisp rye bread and red amaranth micro greens.
His wine, a 2012 Norman Hardie Niagara Peninsula Pinot Noir, was an excellent match. It also won Best of Show against all the wine, spirits and beer paired with the dishes.
“All of the judges felt it was a clear standout for its finesse, layers of flavour and long finish,” said Rob Dobson, one of the judges.
The event, a fundraiser for Canadian Olympic athletes, saw many white wine pairings thanks to more fish being featured this year. Pork belly has often been the meat of choice for Saskatchewan chefs. This year judges tasted a range of fish from umami style mackerel, seared sturgeon and trout cheeks, to sous vide lobster and Lake Diefenbaker trout.
The remaining competing chefs were Fumito Itoh (Enso), Sean Hale (Victoria’s Tavern), Ricardo Rodriguez (Table 10), Lloyd Frank (Rock Creek), Michael Zech (Evraz), and Geoffrey Caswell Murphy (DoubleTree).
Now Thauberger will be working to either finesse his winning dish or be daring enough to create something entirely new as he represents Regina at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna on February 5 and 6, 2016.