The national culinary competition is hosted throughout 11 communities across Canada and invites five to 10 chefs to compete at each regional location, with the top chef from each event moving on to the Canadian Culinary Championships hosted in Kelowna in early 2019. After a 12-year-run delivering over $15 million of funding to Olympians next generation athletes the event, previously called Gold Medal Plates, received a refresh this year to expand on the celebration of sport, music and food. Cecconi and his team competed in the only B.C. qualifier, held in Victoria on Oct. 25.
Great Canadian tunes at Canada’s Great Kitchen Party in #yyj #partywithpurpose in support of sport, music, and food. Thanks @ShelleyGilberg for sponsoring the @PwC_Canada table. pic.twitter.com/EiZBTyu1oE
— Bill Hepburn (@BillHepburn) October 26, 2018
“A team of food and wine critics from each city work with national critics to determine the top three winning creations and then a gold, silver and bronze medal-winning chef is crowned,” states the event website.
Although Cecconi did not place in the top three, he still believes it was worthwhile for both him and his team to compete. He and his team were sponsored by Grant Thornton in an effort to support local businesses in the community, according to a release from the company.
“It was a great experience, it was fantastic all around,” said Cecconi. “It was good bonding and good for team morale.”
Chefs are allowed to prepare their dishes in advance as they don’t have access to a full kitchen on the day of the event. The competition also requires competitors to choose a beverage to pair with their dish.
Chef Paul Cecconi’s truffled buckboard bacon, scallop+sidestripe prawn sausage, chanterelle+confit garlic roll, smoked butter hollandaise, saffron+orange olive oil, beet+carrot, crispy chicken skin
🍷@Township7 2016 reserve chardonnay
#️⃣ #GreatKitchenParty #PartyWithPurpose pic.twitter.com/siFovW8JJq
— Canada's Great Kitchen Party (@GKitchenParty) October 26, 2018
“Brodo means ‘broth’ in Italian, so we did a truffle bacon brodo (broth) and a smoked carrot butter Hollandaise. Then using fresh, wild scallops and side-striped prawns, we made a sausage wrapped in the buckhorn bacon that we smoked and cured. We had baby micro veggies, carrot, and golden beets. Then we added a crispy component which was chicken skin, the buckhorn bacon, and we made our own prawn crackers and crispy kale — kind of like a crispy seasoning,” said Cecconi.
Alongside Township 7 Vineyards & Winery, Cecconi and his team were sponsored by local suppliers Codfather’s Seafood Market and Centennial Foods.
Cecconi added that while he couldn’t bring his whole team, those that stayed behind had the unique opportunity to run BRODO Kitchen.
“I would definitely compete in this again,” said Cecconi. “But we don’t get any feedback (if you’re not in the top three). So I would love to hear back from the judges, just what they thought of our dish and wine pairing.”
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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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