Calgary Winners

Calgary 2018 Podium

Recent Winners

Gold

Dave Bohati
Murrieta’s

Pairing: 2016 Tantalus from Kelowna, BC

Silver

Matthew Batey
Teatro Group

Pairing: 2014 “Queen Taken” Chardonnay from CheckMate winery in the Okanagan

Bronze

Roy Oh
Anju

Pairing: 2017 Chardonnay from Upper Bench on the Naramata Bench in BC

Best of Show Results

Gold

The Chase 2016 Chardonnay

Silver

Tantalus Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir

Bronze

Tinhorn Creek 2016 Chardonnay

Calgary 2018 Photo Highlights

Click on the thumbnails to view full-size photos.

Calgary Competing Chefs (click photo to learn their stories)

We would like to thank all of the competing chefs this year and we encourage Canada's Great Kitchen Party supporters to visit their restaurants.

Dave Bohati

Dave Bohati

Murrietas View Website

Representing Calgary

Alison MacNeil

Alison MacNeil

Social Eatery View Website

Representing Calgary

Q & A with Alison MacNeil
Please tell us three things you love about your restaurant.
  1. Cooking fresh from scratch food for kids
  2. Being able to interact with the guest because it has an open market concept
  3. The science aspect of it. For example always having liquid nitrogen on hand to make ice cream!
Where would you travel to on a culinary vacation and why?
I'd love to go to the Philippines. Food, culture, island life!
Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
I have a huge passion for gardening and foraging.
Benjamin Mills

Benjamin Mills

Bonterra Trattoria/ Posto Pizzeria View Website

Representing Calgary

JP Pedhirney

JP Pedhirney

Bridgette Bar View Website

Representing Calgary

Kayle Burns

Kayle Burns

Bread and Circus Roman Trattoria View Website

Representing Calgary

Q & A with Kayle Burns
What do you love about cooking for a living?
Never stop learning. I love the fact that I’ve been cooking for 15 years and I’m still learning just as much today as the first day I went to culinary school. It will never stop.
What’s your favourite thing to cook at home?
Grill cheese sandwiches.
If you were a competitive athlete what sport would you compete in and why?
Snowboarding, I love snowboarding. I think finding something I was so passionate about growing up made me realize the importance of having a job I truly cared about. And they both worked so well together. Shred in the morning and cook at night.
Marc Bourgeois

Marc Bourgeois

The Derrick Gin Mill & Kitchen View Website

Representing Calgary

Q & A with Marc Bourgeois
Tell us about who or what inspired you to become a chef?
I was a very passionate hockey player and fan from a young age. I loved the emphasis on teamwork and work ethic for success. I also thrived under high pressure situations. When I first walked onto a busy kitchen line I felt at home amidst the chaos.
What do you love about cooking for a living?
I truly love the broad spectrum of the career. We get to be artists, mentors, businessmen, promoters, laborers and even repair men when necessary! My favorite part of the job is being able to impact someone on a personal or emotional level. We are blessed as Chef's to be able to bring joy to others through food.
If you were a competitive athlete what sport would you compete in and why?
Whatever I come home with from the market! I love shopping for fresh and new ingredients I'm unfamiliar with. All I need are a couple of guinea pigs and it's time to experiment!
Matthew Batey

Matthew Batey

TEATRO GROUP View Website

Representing Calgary

Q & A with Matthew Batey
Tell us about who or what inspired you to become a chef?
I started cooking at home with my Dad at a very young age. He did the majority of the cooking for our family and quite often we would bake together after my siblings went to bed. I am the eldest of my siblings and this was a way to spend time with him one on one.
What is your favourite thing about Canada's Great Kitchen Party?
Competing. I like the rush from the pressure to perform. Also the opportunity to hang with fellow chefs and express ourselves through food. When I was at the Canadian Culinary Championships, the camaraderie was also excellent. Everyone of course wants to win, but the level of respect that was shown reminds me how tight knit the culinary community is in Canada.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
I don't like chocolate
Roy Oh

Roy Oh

Anju Restaurant View Website

Representing Calgary

Rupert Garcia

Rupert Garcia

OXBOW View Website

Representing Calgary

Q & A with Rupert Garcia
What do you love about cooking for a living?
I love the daily grind, observing the crew execute service, seeing guests enjoying their meals and the sense of accomplishment on a daily basis then doing it all over again the next day.
Where would you travel to on a culinary vacation and why?
New Orleans! A lot of food!
What is your favourite thing about Canada's Great Kitchen Party?
The opportunity to represent our establishment and executing a dish that has been worked on and developed over time, has the same feeling as a competitive athlete representing their country. In a way, this is our competitive trial.

Culinary Report

Calgary Culinary Report

By James Chatto

Wow, Calgary! That was an incredible evening! Our crew of athletes, musicians, chefs, judges, technicians and volunteers can create an amazing event but it only really soars when the guests bring their own high-octane energy and enthusiasm. Then things start to rock! That’s what happened last night in Calgary. The Kitchen Party whacked it out of the park. George Stroumboulopoulos was our emcee, keeping everything humming along like clockwork, the crowd hanging on his every word as he introduced over 40 local and nationally based elite athletes from the professional, para- and Olympian worlds, including Simon Whitfield, Melisa Hollingsworth, Cindy Klassen, Curt Harnett, Colin Patterson, Mark Arendz… There were so many medals up on that stage! And our second pillar – music – took the event to a new level. A brilliant line-up was led by Jim Cuddy, Barney Bentall and Danny Michel, with the awe-inspiring Bill Henderson from Chilliwak bringing the entire crowd to its feet, and Anne Lindsay on violin keeping them there, very ably abetted by Devin Cuddy and Sam Polley, with Geoff Hicks and Rob Becker on drums and bass. The new emphasis on music has electrified our evenings and people love it!

But none of this (and I hear I will admit to a certain bias) could eclipse the culinary side of things. This was the strongest showing of the campaign in terms of gastronomical imagination and quality of execution. Opinion about who should win gold and who silver was divided among the judges but after much discussion we reached a consensus. Who were these judges, you ask? It was a high-powered group led, as ever, by our Senior Judge for Calgary, author, teacher, restaurant critic, broadcaster, John Gilchrist. Judging with us was chef, culinary instructor and television star Michael Allemeier; writer, traveller, editor and publisher of City Palate, Kathy Richardier; former Canadian Culinary Champion Chef Ryan O’Flynn of The Guild; another former Canadian Culinary Champion, Chef Jinhee Lee of Foreign Concept; and last year’s gold-medal winner, Chef Blake Flann.

There was also a close fight for bronze with Chef J P Pedhirney of Bridgette Bar just pipped at the post by Roy Oh of Anju. Chef Oh gave us a “deconstructed Korean beef Wellington” of wagyu short rib that he grilled, marinated in sweet soy, then cooked sous vide for 48 hours until it had that almost gelatinous texture that Cantonese beef dishes often acquire and tasted a little like char siu. On top of the delectable meat was a quenelle of king oyster mushroom enriched with foie gras. A hoop of buttery puff pastry stood upright in a mound of pommes aligot flavoured with gruyère, buffalo mozzarella and shaved white alba truffles. A dot of carrot purée added more sweetness while a brittle shard of smoked truffle-scented bacon brought crunch to the dish. Chef added beef jus and emphasized the Korean interpretation with a small, crunchy wand of daikon kimchi that carried real chili heat. It was a great dish and Chef Oh boldly decided to pair it with a white wine, not a red, choosing the oak-kissed 2017 Chardonnay from Upper Bench on the Naramata Bench in BC.

Chef Matthew Batey of the Teatro Group (a past gold medallist) won the silver medal with a dish he called “Two Oceans, One Prairie & a Valley” and served in a broad bowl. All the components of his dish were set on top of each other to form a multi-layered pillar, then Chef poured on a piping hot consommé made of pork bones and lobster shells. At the base of the pillar was a tender and delectably flavourful braised pork cheek, subtly scented with vanilla and set inside a ring of juicy poached honeycrisp apple from the Okanagan. A touch of creamed corn gel separated this from the second protein, a roulade of Nova Scotian lobster, cooked so rare it almost trembled, glazed with Chardonnay and wrapped around tiny amounts of tarragon and squash. A dab of sturgeon caviar and three more dots of Taber corn gel had been piped onto the lobster and they supported a translucent potato crisp shaped like a hollow circle. A second crisp was set in the hole of the first, this one like a fragment of an orange veil and made from the lobster’s roe. The dish was lightly seasoned with Vancouver Island salt, representing the second ocean in its title. The textures were so refined, the details so harmonious that we judges were completely seduced, as we were by Chef’s wine match, the subtly complex 2014 “Queen Taken” Chardonnay from CheckMate winery in the Okanagan.

We awarded our gold medal to Chef Dave Bohati of Murrietta’s, who has also won gold with us before. He chose to work with Brant Lake wagyu beef cheek, first brining it like pastrami for 72 hours then smoking it, crusting it, slow-cooking it sous vide and finally braising it. The result was astonishingly tender meat that fell apart at the touch of a fork, subtly flavoured with sweet smoke and spices. Chef paired it with four different preparations of Jerusalem artichoke – a rich purée, small roasted nuggets of the root, crunchy crisps and dime-sized slices of raw sunchoke that he briefly acidulated and vacuum-packed to keep them fresh and firm. Kabocha squash was the other major ingredient, used as a second purée, as a tender brunoise and also to make lovely little gnocchi, finished in a sauté pan with some roasted bone marrow and shaved fresh Burgundy truffles. Saskatoon berries served as a condiment, macerated in Chef’s chosen Pinot Noir but still whole and juicy. A little green herb oil was the finishing touch, bringing colour to the plate. That Pinot Noir, the 2016 Tantalus from Kelowna, BC, was an inspired choice made, Chef Bohati explained, because of the wine’s peppery notes and unusually high alcohol.

So Dave Bohati will return to Kelowna in February to compete in the Championships while the Kitchen Party team, still exultant after the triumph of Calgary, prepares for our final event next week in Winnipeg.

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Wine/Beer/Spirits Report

Luminaries and Newcomers Shine Calgary

by David Lawrason

As James Chatto reports above, the wattage was turned up in Calgary – and this included the list of luminary (and expensive) wines, with the likes of Checkmate 2016 Queens Taken Chardonnay and Foxtrot 2015 The Waltz Pinot Noir. It also included spiffy, layered whites from The Chase, a rising star in the Okanagan, and a brilliant Viognier from Play Estates.

This night it was a newcomer that stole the show – The Chase 2016 Chardonnay – a very elegant, layered wine that garnered two first place votes, a third and a fourth – the only wine to place among all four judges. The Chase, is an ambitious new project in the north Okanagan’s Lake Country that opened in 2017, with New Zealand trained winemaker Adrian Baker at the helm.  A big sister winery called O’Rourke Family Vineyards will open in the next two years amid impressive new plantings overlooking Lake Okanagan.

Second place was decided by a much narrower margin.  In fact three wines actually tied on points weighted by ranking.  So I defaulted to the number of votes within the top five each wine received.  And as it turned out Tantalus Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir took second place with one first place vote and two other top five votes. Tinhorn Creek 2016 Chardonnay took third place, with a second place vote and two other top fives.  And Play Estates 2016 Viognier took fourth with two top five votes.

More on the other wines presented in a moment, but first an explanation of the judging.

Within each city event we conduct a separate Best of Show competition for wines, ciders, beers and spirits to highlight the generous donation of the producers. We gather local wine media, sommeliers, retailers and aficionados to taste all the wines and rank their top five. The winning wine goes on to the Canadian Culinary Championship in Kelowna to compete for Canada’s Great Kitchen Party Wine of the Year.

Each chef is responsible for selecting their wine and soliciting a donation, as the wine and food pairing is very much part of the culinary judges’ considerations. The wines served afterwards on tables during the Celebration are donated to the Kitchen Party by winery sponsors.

The other wines enjoyed during the VIP reception and on the Celebration tables were courtesy of some very generous sponsors who have and recognized that Canada’s Great Kitchen Party is the most important showcase for Canadian wine in the country.

Mission Hill Family Estate winery from B.C.’s Okanagan Valley is our national sponsor this year, donating to seven cities, including Calgary.  This is one of the largest, most dynamic wine companies in Canada, and from their Five Vineyard wines, through their Reserves, the portfolio of Cedar Creek and new super-premium wineries like Checkmate and Martin’s Lane, they are making some the best wines in B.C. under the direction of new winemaker Darryl Brooker.  This night three different Mission Hill Reserve Reds – 2016 Merlot, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2015 Shiraz – garnered good support from the judges. If it had been one wine with the equivalent number of votes,  Mission Hill would have captured Best of Show

For the first time this year The Chase stepped up as city sponsor. Its 2016 Chardonnay took top prize, but the Chase also donated its 2016 Gruner Veltliner, an Austrian white grape making some inroads in B.C.   And speaking of new wineries, a Calgary-based company called City and Country was pouring wines made from B.C, regions but bottled in Alberta.

Three Calgary wine authorities assisted in judging. Jackie Cooke is a long-time wine judge, proprietor and sommelier at Avec Bistro and Provision.   Shelley Boettcher is a busy wine and food writer whose work often appears in the Calgary Herald and on CBC Radio.  And Tom Firth is wine judge and contributor to Avenue and Culinaire Magazine

Elsewhere among the chef’s competition wines, Foxtrot presented an intense, edgy and ultimately controversial Naramata Pinot Noir called the Waltz. Malivoire from Niagara donated its lively, fresh 2017 Small Lot Gamay. Upper Bench from the Okanagan’s Naramata Bench poured a vibrant, almost tropical 2017 Chardonnay. And then there was the rich, ripe if rather heavily oaked Checkmate 2014 Queens Taken Chardonnay.

Among non-wine offerings, Calgary’s cidery called Uncommon offered a sweet, spicy and delicious Mulled Cider and the dry, tart and intense Great Northern Wild Cider.  At the Brewery Showcase, three Calgary Brewers presented their range of wares – Annex Ale Project, Zero Issue Brewing, and O.T. Brewing

Many thanks to all the wineries, breweries, pourers and other volunteers who made Calgary such a successful evening.

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Sponsors

Thank you to the "Kitchen Party" sponsors and supporters who provide vital support to the project!

Contact

Lisa Pasin
300, 10924 – 107 Avenue
Edmonton, AB – T5H 0X5
780-448-5945 – phone
780-428-1030 – fax
E: calgary@greatkitchenparty.com