Calgary chef tops on night one

The Mystery Wine Competition is the first of three gruelling challenges at the 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships

B.C. chef Jesse McCleery at Friday night's Mystery Wine Pairing.

The first of three challenging competitions at the 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships with Chef Jinhee Lee, from Foreign Concept in Calgary winning the People’s Choice award. The award does not affect the official judging scores for the ultimate title – the 2017 Canadian Culinary Champion – but it is a nice feather in the cap for Chef Lee.

“It feels good to win the People’s Choice Award this evening,” says Chef Lee. “I am in shock, this is such a surprise, I did not expect this at all.”

The Mystery Wine Competition is the first of three gruelling challenges for the competing chefs, each of whom has won the Gold Medal Plates competition qualifying event in their respective cities.

Less than 24 hours before the Mystery Wine Competition, they were given the Mystery Wine – 2014 Pinot Noir Reserve from Unsworth Vineyards from the Cowichan Valley, along with a food budget of $500 with which to feed 400 guests.

Friday morning they had to decide on the perfect dish to pair with the wine and then shop for all of the ingredients and then prepared their dishes for tonight at Okanagan College in Kelowna. Some of the chefs are familiar with local suppliers and shops having worked in the area before while others were not familiar at all. Either way chefs needed to depend on their creativity and ingenuity and only time will tell if this was a distinct advantage or not.

David Lawrason, national wine advisor for Gold Medal Plates was instrumental in choosing the Mystery Wine for this year’s competition.

“The 2014 Pinot Noir Reserve from Unsworth Vineyards was a mystery indeed. When picking the wine it is important to pick something that allows the Chefs to be creative in their dishes, that will keep people guessing and one that 400 people will enjoy for the night.”

The competition continues with the dramatic Black Box competition Saturday morning taking place at Okanagan College and the sold out Grand Finale on Saturday night at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, when the top three chefs will soon be standing on the podium.

Follow the Capital News on Facebook for videos and more from the championships.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Another new brewpub proposed for Kelowna’s north end beer district

Kelowna city council will hear the proposal for another pub on Monday

Aircraft with mechanical issue safely returns to gate at YLW

As a safety precaution, emergency response teams were dispatched to standby

Update: Highway 97 now clear after early morning crash near UBCO

Traffic was detourted after a crash reported around 8:30 a.m. Friday

West Kelowna Warriors aim to continue first 3-game winning streak since 2018

The Warriors host the Surrey Eagles Friday night looking for win No. 4

West Kelowna bridge to close for three months

Work on Gellatly Road Bridge over Powers Creek described as ‘an essential infrastructure project’

WATCH: Don’t just blame AIM, all North Okanagan road crews struggling

City streets are just as bad, if not worse, than highways

Woman convicted in Salmon Arm love triangle murder granted escorted temporary absences

Monica Sikorski was 17 when she plotted shooting death of 22-year-old Tyler Myers

Oliver Health Centre celebrates expansion of ER

B.C.’s Minister of Health was in Oliver for the official opening of the improved emergency department

New book released on the untold Indigenous history of Revelstoke

Swift River is Laura Stovel’s fourth book

Vernon contractor owes company $105K for unpaid work in Yukon

Judge awards Nuway Crushing Ltd. for 2018 work on Haines Highway in Yukon

B.C. offers $5 million equipment loan program to help ailing forest contractors

Local politicians in Port McNeill and Campbell River says local economies are struggling

Harlem Globetrotters’ Hops Pearce is pumped to bring show to Penticton

Less than two weeks to get your tickets to see Globetrotters’ high-flying stunts

Vancouver Island distillery wins award for best Canadian rye whisky

Shelter Point cleans up at Canadian Whisky Awards

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Most Read