Absinthe’s Patrick Garland…

… has landed in Kelowna.DSCF3291

By now he’s likely picked up his CCC chef coat, sharpened his knives and is plotting and planning his next moves. He’s there to represent Ottawa-Gatineau at the Canadian Culinary Championship, having won the Gold Medal Plates competition last November.

Temperatures are hovering at three above – I just checked – and nothing but rain in the forecast. Which will make running around Friday morning, as these chefs do, with a bag full of money ($600, I think) to buy the food they need to make a dish to feed 450 (I think) that will marry beautifully with a mystery wine they’ve been handed (this I do know), and will impress (or depress) a panel of judges, a pretty soggy adventure. But I’ll bet he’s brought his wellies and he’s up for it. (And I’ll have more accurate figures for you soon…)

What’s his competition?

From Vancouver: Kristian Eligh from Hawksworth Restaurant

From Edmonton: Ryan O’Flynn from The Westin Edmonton

From Calgary: Dave Bohati from Market Restaurant

From Saskatoon: Chris Hill from The Delta Bessborough

From Regina: Milton Rebello from Wascana Golf and Country Club

From Winnipeg: Luc Jean from Jane’s

From Toronto: John Horne from Canoe

From Montreal: Antonio Park from Restaurant Park

From Halifax: Renée Lavallée from The Canteen

From St. John’s: Mark McCrowe from Aqua Kitchen/Bar

The Mystery Wine Pairing is one of three parts to the competition. It happens Friday night. There’s a great big fun Black Box competition crack of dawn on Saturday morning, and the Grand Finale (like the regional Gold Medal Plates competitions) takes place on Saturday night.

When all the weekend numbers are added up, a new Canadian Culinary Champion will wrest the title from chef Lorenzo Loseto of Toronto’s George Restaurant. Who will it be? Stay tuned…

One thing is for certain: all of Ottawa will be cheering on Patrick Garland! And there will be a magnificent chefs’ takeover in his absence –  which I understand sold out within seconds of its being announced. That’s just the way it works in this city.

Photo credit, Greg Kolz
Photo credit, Greg Kolz







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