Edmonton Winners

2018 Edmonton Winners

Recent Winners

Gold

Davina Moraiko
RGE RD

Pairing: Red Rooster Riesling, 2016, Naramata Bench, BC

Silver

Serge Belair
Shaw Conference Centre

Pairing: Strathcona spirits barrel aged gin and apple cider, Edmonton, AB

Bronze

Scott Downey
The Butternut Tree

Pairing: Savard 2015 pinot gris reserve, Summerland, BC

Best of Show Results

Gold

Vanessa Vineyard 2014 Syrah

Silver

Sperling Vineyards 2014 Old Vines Riesling

Bronze

Red Rooster Winery Riesling 2016

Edmonton 2018 Photo Highlights

Click on the thumbnails to view full-size photos.

Edmonton 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.

Davina Moraiko

Davina Moraiko

RGE RD View Website

Representing Edmonton

Q & A with Davina Moraiko
Where would you travel to on a culinary vacation and why?
I have always been intrigued to travel to New York City because of the quality and diversity of the culinary scene.
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Doing what I love, cooking and creating.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
I used to be in a bowling league.
Jesse Morrison-Gauthier

Jesse Morrison-Gauthier

The Common View Website

Representing Edmonton

Q & A with Jesse Morrison-Gauthier
Tell us about who or what inspired you to become a chef?
I started as a dishwasher at the age of 16 and worked my way up for the last 20 years. Once I started working in kitchens I loved the environment and creativity of every day.
If you were a competitive athlete what sport would you compete in and why?
1500 m track and field because it is a longer race that requires speed, strategy and endurance.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
I have been breakdancing for as long as I have been cooking.
Jordan McEwen

Jordan McEwen

Century Hospitality Group / Lux Steakouse + Bar 94 View Website

Representing Edmonton

JP Dublado

JP Dublado

Seorak Teppan & Bar Restaurant View Website

Representing Edmonton

Q & A with JP Dublado
Please tell us three things you love about your restaurant.
I love my crew, the freedom I have on the menu, and the ingredients we work with.
Where would you travel to on a culinary vacation and why?
Japan, because I think the Japanese are so disciplined and really passionate about their craft that it reflects on their cuisine.
What is your favourite thing about Canada's Great Kitchen Party?
I like the fact that we are supporting our Canadian athletes.
Lindsay Porter

Lindsay Porter

London Local View Website

Representing Edmonton

Q & A with Lindsay Porter
What do you love about cooking for a living?
The creativity and hands on work I do day to day. I love talking and conversing with guests and having a one on one relationship with each of them when they come into London Local.
If you were a competitive athlete what sport would you compete in and why?
Hot Dog eating contest (if it's not a sport it should be). I would also love to Bobsled.
What is your favourite thing about Canada's Great Kitchen Party?
The competition pushes me to be more creative than I ever thought I could be. It’s exciting and makes me dig deep into what I can really do and I love that.
Scott Downey

Scott Downey

The Butternut Tree View Website

Representing Edmonton

Serge Belair

Serge Belair

Shaw Conference Centre View Website

Representing Edmonton

Q & A with Serge Belair
What’s your favourite thing to cook at home?
At home, I love to cook fresh pasta. It’s the perfect meal on a rainy day!
Where would you travel to on a culinary vacation and why?
One day, I would love to travel to Paris with my wife Jennifer. It is our dream to visit the city Paris and taste the amazing French food they have available.
What is your favourite thing about Canada's Great Kitchen Party?
CGKP is an exhilarating experience! This competition provides chefs with the opportunity to learn and create alongside culinary professionals from across the globe. Everyone comes together to bring their best skills and compete! Serving 750 plates is a chance to push your limits as a professional chef.
Vikram Redgaonkar

Vikram Redgaonkar

Highlands Golf Club View Website

Representing Edmonton

Q & A with Vikram Redgaonkar
What’s your favourite thing to cook at home?
I grew up in a vegetarian family so I love to cook with fresh vegetables that I pick up from the Saturday morning farmers market and of course some homemade spice mix.
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
That is way too far.. I am focusing on October 17th, 2018! (Edmonton’s event date)
If you were a competitive athlete what sport would you compete in and why?
Cross country running because it requires endurance, team effort and lots of hard work.
Levi Biddlecombe

Levi Biddlecombe

Why Not Cafe & Bar View Website

Representing Edmonton

Q & A with Levi Biddlecombe
Tell us about who or what inspired you to become a chef?
Growing up I always knew I loved being creative with food and was always drawn to food. I didn’t realize “chef” was something I wanted to be until I was about 15, but I never really wanted to be anything else. Cooking has always just felt like what I was meant to do; it’s just in my bones.
What do you love about cooking for a living?
I wake up every morning and spend 9-14 hrs doing my favourite thing in the world, while managing to provide people with pleasure and a memorable experience. It doesn’t feel like work. I making a living creatively expressing myself doing something I love and very few people get to say that.
What’s your favourite thing to cook at home?
At home I enjoy cooking with my kids the most, so I usually make what they like to make. More often than not it is desserts. I bake cookies and cakes and cinnamon buns with my kids. Other than large family gatherings where I write and execute the entire menu, I rarely cook for myself and I often eat poor excuses for food like pizza pops and bologna sandwiches.
Medi Tabtoub

Medi Tabtoub

Buco Windermere View Website

Representing Edmonton

Q & A with Medi Tabtoub
Tell us about who or what inspired you to become a chef?
My adopted mother had a lot to do it. At a young age after school she would ask me to cook with her, so I learned a lot about cooking growing up.
What do you love about cooking for a living?
When guests eat my food and love it and feel the emotion and effort that I put into it, it's like a reward for me.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
I am a wine collector.

Culinary Report

EDMONTON REPORT

By James Chatto, National Head Judge and Culinary Advisor

We had been warned that Alberta was already mired in winter after a week of early snow… Not a bit of it. The white stuff had melted away and Edmonton was bathing in sunshine and a balmy 24 degrees as we drove the long, long highway from the airport to the Shaw Centre. The crowd of almost 600 who came out to party were in a merry mood and the evening proved to be a rip-roaring success: there will be plenty of Edmontonians on our trips next year!
In other cities our emcee often comes from the world of sports; this time it was none other than Alan Doyle – Canadian music legend, actor, producer, rollicking raconteur and best-selling author (if you haven’t read his candid and hilarious memoirs you are missing a treat). As a Newfoundlander, he knows a thing or two about kitchen parties and he had the crowd in the palm of his hand. Of course the fun didn’t stop there. To the enthusiastic delight of all, some of Canada’s greatest athletes were in attendance – more than a dozen immortals including Simon Whitfield, Cindy Klassen, Ashleigh McIvor and pro boxer Jelena Mrdjenovic. Providing the music was a stellar supergroup led by Jim Cuddy, Barney Bentall and the aforementioned Mr. Doyle, with Anne Lindsay stealing the show on fiddle (she can’t help but do it every time she solos), Devin Cuddy on keyboard, Sam Polley on guitar and the essential rhythm section from Barney’s own band – Kirby Barber on bass and Geoff Hicks on drums.
            For  once, the culinary judges did not retire to their lair as soon as they finished tasting: we stuck around to listen to the first, 20-minute set from the band and thoroughly enjoyed it, feeling charmingly refreshed as we finally got down to work. Our panel in Edmonton is a powerful one, led by Senior Judge Mary Bailey, who is a food, wine and travel writer, certified sommelier and publisher of The Tomato Food & Drink. Joining us was Chef Chris Wood; chef, author and owner of Kitchen culinary studio, Brad Smoliak; pastry chef extraordinaire, culinary Olympian and educator, Clayton Folkers; food writer, travel writer, and restaurant reviewer with CBC Edmonton, Twyla Campbell; award-winning reporter and food writer, Liane Faulder;
and last year’s gold-medal-winning chef, Shane Chartrand of Sage. Discussion of the dishes was lively – there was a lovely variety to them and a great many stand-out moments – but our final decision was satisfying to everyone.
Scott Downey of The Butternut Tree won our bronze medal with a gorgeous piece of sablefish from Haida Gwai. Poached in butter infused with lobster mushrooms, dried chanterelles, sea truffle seaweed and woodruff, it was full of subtle flavour and so tender it fell apart into glossy petals at the touch of a fork. Fresh chanterelles, lightly grilled until they were simultaneously supple and crunchy brought out the woodsy hint in the fish. Potato featured twice – as a creamy purée and as lightly pickled cubes, bronzed from the sauté pan. Green fronds of samphire were the colourful garnish, bringing their own fleeting taste of the sea; a foam scented with green alder and sea truffle was a more forthright and salty marine reference. The final touch made use of the ingredients Chef had used in his poaching liquid, drying them out and turning them to a tasty crumble with an intriguing bitter note. The wine that came with this soft-textured sea symphony was the 2015 Savard Pinot Gris Reserve from Summerland, B.C.. Its oaky minerality found sensitive echoes in the sea truffle foam.
We awarded the silver medal to Serge Belair, chef of the Shaw Conference Centre, whose dish was simultaneously a homage to prime Albertan ingredients and his own childhood in Gatineau, Quebec. A slab of delectably lean, maple-glazed pork loin was the principal protein, inspired by the bacon and maple syrup he remembered from the old caban à sucre. A tourtière fritter, like a golden ball of crisp pastry filled with a classically spiced, disarmingly moist tourtière filling was the most delicious thing I tasted all night. A teaspoon-sized, crimson form turned out to be boudin custard, intensely flavourful and rich. Chef had made chicharrons from the skin of the pork loin; a miniature pinwheel of apple and celeriac roulade added freshness and crunch. As a base for all this, satin-smooth celeriac purée brought everything together most harmoniously. I had expected cider as the match but Chef Belair took it a step further, making a nicely judged cocktail of cider and Strathcona Spirits Barrel-Aged gin.
Davina Moraiko of RGE RD won the gold medal. The heart of her dish was a sturdy puck of lightly spiced blood sausage studded with lardo and pearl barley – a most delicious boudin. It sat in a wee pool of cider-sweetened hollandaise as rich and golden as egg yolk. Freshness came in from several directions – from a brunoise of fresh honeycrisp apple; from crunchy, lightly fermented green cabbage, chopped as finely as any slaw; and from a kale and roasted onion fluid gel. A fine green dusting on the plate was made from dehydrated, powdered kale and grated, cured pork heart. Pork crackling chicharrons provided ethereal crunch and a garnish of fresh chervil brought a subtle fennel flavour to the finish. It was a beautifully judged dish, balanced and flawlessly executed, and a perfect match for Chef’s chosen wine, the apple-scented 2016 Riesling from Red Rooster on  B.C.’s Naramata Bench.
Huge congratulations to Chef Moraiko, who will be coming to Kelowna next February! It’s exciting to see our list of champions take shape.
No doubt there was a dazzling after-party in Edmonton (it’s something our organisation does rather well) but most of the KP team missed it. We were all booked onto the redeye flight next morning, leaving the hotel at 4:00 a.m. – which would allow us to get into Halifax just in time to throw another Kitchen Party there. Yep, this is a BIG, beautiful country!

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Wine/Beer/Spirits Report

SUNNY RIESLING DAYS IN EDMONTON, PLUS A SERIOUS SYRAH

by David Lawrason, National Wine Advisor

Unbelievably, it was riesling weather in Edmonton when the Great Kitchen Party pitched up at the Shaw Centre on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River on October 17.  Temperatures had soared to 23C during the afternoon and the city was basking.

As if the Edmonton chefs were meteorologically clairvoyant three choose riesling to accompany their dishes, including Gold Medal Chef Davina Moraiko who impeccably matched Red Rooster 2016 Riesling from the Okanagan Valley’s Naramata Bench to her blood sausage with fermented cabbage, apple and kale – a Germanic inspired classic. Do not underestimate classic food and wine matches!

Although the rieslings finished in second and third place in the Best of Show competition, Edmontonians also know in their bones that cold weather is always just around the corner. And so it was a rich, balanced and seductive red that carried the day, and goes on to compete at the Canadian Culinary Championship. Vanessa Vineyard 2014 Syrah from the Similkameen Valley was the unanimous first place choice of all five beverage judges.

Vanessa Vineyard is a rising star in BC winemaking.  The impossible tractor-destroying rocky vineyard on a west -facing slope above the Similkameen River has been groomed for syrah by its owners for almost ten years, falling under the eye of winemaker Howard Soon who took over here as winemaker last year after sourcing Vanessa fruit for Sandhill syrahs for several vintages. The 2014 edition served this night was full, rich and layered with ripe almost jammy black cherry layered in an oak sheen

More on the winners and other wines 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, and in Edmonton it was Mission Hill all the way.

Mission Hill Family Estate winery from British Columbia is our national sponsor this year, donating to seven cities!  It is one of the largest, most dynamic wine companies in Canada, and from their Five Vineyard wines, through their Reserves and new super-premium wineries like Checkmate and Martin’s Lane they making some of the best wines in B.C.  In Edmonton guests enjoyed their excellent 2016 Reserve Chardonnay and 2016 Pinot Gris Reserve among whites. The reds included 2016 Reserve Merlot (one of my personal faces for its classic merlot-ness) and 2015 Shiraz.

I was joined by a familiar cast of judges in Edmonton, many being part of the vibrant, private wine retailing scene the Alberta capital has enjoyed since 1993.  Gurvinder Bhatia, a National Wine Awards judge, was founder of a wine store called Vinomania but has now turned his attention to international judging and writing.  Juanita Roos is the founder of the popular Color del Vino wine shop in South Edmonton. Steve Richmond is a sommelier at Vines Wine Merchants and contributor to CBC radio.  And Mary Bailey is a certified sommelier and educator, doubling this night as head Culinary Judge.

The runner up for Best of Show was a very elegant Sperling 2014 Riesling from old vines on the benches of East Kelowna. Maturing sultana raisin fruit and a touch of mushroom were interlaced with the honey, floral and candied pear fruit, joined by some minerality on the very long finish.  The chef-paired winner was an intense, very aromatic peaches and honey Red Rooster 2016 Riesling from the Naramata Bench.

The selection of beers in the Craft Brewery Showcase was very strong, with all judges placing beer in their top five rankings.  The highest scoring was the deep creamy, chocolaty and almost pruny Power Up Porter by Analog Brewing.  Yellowhead Brewery Lager, paired with chef JP Dubaldo of Seorak and Bar Restaurant, garnered multiple votes too, as did a pre-mixed cocktail by Eau Claire Distillery called The EquineOx Mule. (No neighhh-sayers on this one).  And one of the most intriguing beverages was poured by silver medalist chef Serge Belair-  a Strathcona Spirits Barrel Aged Gin and Apple Cider cocktail.

Elsewhere on the competition floor there was a third riesling – Gehringer Brothers 2017 Dry Riesling from the Okanagan’s Golden Mile. The always popular Cipes Brut sparkling was also on show, plus a matured Savard 2015 Pinot Gris from a new Summerland winery that debuted at the Kitchen Party. Therapy Vineyards 2017 Pinot Noir from the Okanagan’s Naramata Bench also made an appearance.

Many thanks to the wineries, breweries and distillers and all those who poured on their behalf. It was the most upbeat and rich event of recent times in Alberta’s capital.  Sunny days, indeed, in Edmonton!

But we were up at 4am to travel to Halifax thereafter, landing in snow squalls. This is Canada by the way.

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Sponsors

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

Contact

Lisa Pasin
ComLinks Events & Marketing
300, 10924 – 107 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5H 0X5
P: 780-448-5945
E: 780-428-1030
E: edmonton@greatkitchenparty.com