Eight of Ottawa’s top chefs are pulling out the stops Tuesday night, pitting their luxurious dishes against one another as they vie for a spot at the 2020 Canadian Culinary Championships.
The chefs are serving judges and the public at Signatures, the restaurant of Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute. The restaurant in Sandy Hill is hosting the Ottawa edition of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party, whose winner will advance to the national competition to be held the last week of January in Ottawa. Similar regional events are held in cities across the country, from Vancouver to St. John’s.
In alphabetical order, here’s what the chefs are serving Tuesday. Stay tuned later tonight for our review of the dishes and the winner of the competition.
* Shane Brown of Beckta Dining and Wine on Elgin Street is serving a ballotine of New Brunswick striped bass with black trumpet mushroom powder, Fogo Island snow crab remoulade, sea fennel & sea grass salad, pickled Saskatchewan chanterelle mushrooms, celeriac and spruce purée and caribou moss crumble.
* Ian Carswell of Black Tartan Kitchen in Carleton Place is stressing his restaurant’s Scottish roots by serving Milkhouse Farm lamb with “Neeps and Tatties” (turnips and potatoes), buckwheat-crusted lamb loin, roasted neep accents, braised lamb pierogi, and “Scott-ish” pâté.
* Justin Champagne of Bar Lupulus on Wellington Street West is serving koji-aged rabbit loin, wheatberry risotto with rabbit kidney lardons, mole jus, lacto-potato chip, carrot coated in quince juice and puffed amaranth, red cabbage terrine with cedar capers.
* Billy Khoo of Fauna Food + Bar in Centretown is serving smoked sablefish rolled in green strawberry ash and served with sablefish consommé pearls, salsify and house-made miso purée, green strawberry chutney, preserved lemon foam, cured sablefish skin, and fried salsify nest.
* Ben Landreville of Sidedoor, the upscale Asian-themed restaurant in the ByWard Market, is serving his version of banh khoai, a Vietnamese pancake, with spot prawns, pork sausage and fungus, nuoc mam cham, preserved vegetables and fresh herbs.
* Venezuelan-born chef Daniela Manrique of Soca Kitchen on Holland Avenue is serving chile-rubbed and smoked lomito (beef) with hazelnut romesco sauce, shaved raw artichoke, fermented black garlic and white soy vinaigrette and uni, port, pear pâté brûlée.
* Razmon Poisson of Orto Trattoria in the Glebe is serving smoked sea urchin with tamarind maple glaze, “tom yum” sorbet, chicken skin shard, duck fat snow and umami sauce.
* Jason Sawision of Stofa on Wellington Street West is serving Dungeness crab, pork and truffle soup dumplings with corn “XO” chowder, smoked ham hock, braised cabbage and crab crisp.
At last year’s Ottawa event, Manrique came in second while Sawision finished third. Last year’s winner in Ottawa, chef Yannick LaSalle of Les Fougères in Chelsea, went on to win the Canadian Culinary Championships last February in Kelowna, B.C.
Held this fall in a dozen cities across the country, the Canada’s Great Kitchen Party events are successors to the long-running Gold Medal Plates competitions, which were fundraisers for Canada’s Olympic athletes as well as celebrations of chefs and haute cuisine. The Kitchen Party events continue to support young Canadian athletes through the charity B2ten, as well as Community Food Centres Canada and MusiCounts, which also support youth.
More to come.