Crews prepare delicious plates at the Great Kitchen Party in Kelowna. (Photo: Ally Bootsma/ Capital News)

Okanagan chefs battle at Great Kitchen Party

Chef Kai Koroll of 50th Parallel Estate Winery won the event Friday night

The Great Kitchen Party wrapped up another delicious event Friday night with local chefs putting their skills to the test for the ultimate prize.

Chefs from across the Okanagan battled in the culinary competition and chef Kai Koroll of Lake Country’s 50th Parallel Estate Winery took home the top podium finish.

With a final dish featuring gindara sablefish, sea urchin and sidestrip shrimp, chef Koroll will now advance to the 2020 Canadian Culinary Championships as Kelowna’s first regional chef.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Koroll, chef from Block One at 50th Parallel Estate.

“I’ve been pinching myself all night being in the room with all these amazing chefs, and then what happened, happened. I can’t even explain the feeling, it’s just incredible.”

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Kelowna Olympian Kelsey Serwa hosted the event at the Delta Hotel in downtown Kelowna to a packed show featuring local musicians and some of the Okanagan’s most prestigious culinary talents.

In second place was chef Andrea Callan from Red Fox Club at Indigenous World Winery in West Kelowna and third was chef Chris Braun from RauDZ Regional Table in Kelowna.

Other competing chefs included CrAsian Food Corp.’s Brock Bowes, Salt & Brick’s James Holmes, Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek’s Jeff Van Geest and Big White’s Rob Walker.

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James Chatto, Canadian Culinary Championships national culinary advisor and head judge said it was a very tight finish.

“The judging team spent over an hour debating between the gold and silver medalists,” said Chatto.

“The two dishes were very different and hard to compare. Ultimately, we had to go back to the numbers on our judging criteria and we came to our winner. Less than a 1% difference, the standards were just so high in Kelowna. The line up of star chefs truly blew me away.”

Chef Koroll will now represent Kelowna, the Okanagan as well as the province at the championships in Ottawa on Jan. 31.

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