The Chef's Table Society of BC First Annual Culinary Challenge
First Annual Culinary Challenge took place at the Terminal City Club on February 19, 2007. The challenge took place among the stars of BC's culinary world with stiff competition from Four culinary schools: The Art Institute of Vancouver Dubrulle Culinary Arts; the Northwest Academy of Vancouver; Vancouver Community College (VCC); and the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA). For the winner would come a $5000 scholarship prize from the Chef's Table Society.
The guests were treated to a succulent braised short rib topped with foie gras from the Terminal City Club. To complement the dishes were wines from Mission Hill, Tinhorn Creek, Summerhill, and Oyster Bay; R & B Brewing provided the beer. Miller Spring Water supplied the refreshing water.
The judges included; Bruno Marti (La Belle Auberge), Pino Posteraro (Cioppino's), Robert Clark (C, Nu, Raincity) and John Bishop (Bishop's). While they mingled with guests, the judges sampled delicacies from the competitors to determine the worthy recipient of the evening's prize. Cutting a swarthy figure in the crowd was Chairman of the Chef's Table Society, Vikram Vij (Vijs, Rangoli) who also enjoyed all that was offered.
Adding a conscience to the afternoon's activities was the presence of Green Table and the Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program. Green Table's program promotes the "sustainable restaurant" in an effort to conserve energy and water and reduce waste by using environmentally friendly tools and products. The Ocean Wise program seeks to promote ocean friendly seafood to protect life and health of our oceans.
Emcee Jamie Maw of Vancouver Magazine presented participation certificates (in no particular order) to the three runners up.
The Northwest Academy was acknowledged for its succulent interpretation of quail (quail leg confit, quail rillette), curried crab vol au vent and vegetable mille feuille.
PICA served a sinfully delicious Saltspring Island goat's cheese cake topped with Quail's Gate Reisling Ice Wine aspic, on top of huckleberry preserves and white chocolate sable.
The Art Institute's offerings included several delicacies including smoked sablefish croquettes, a stunning tomato-cucumber salad shot, white asparagus panna cotta with Dungeness crab and a layered "tortilla espagnole", all served on an exquisite two tiered glass and driftwood platter.
However the winner of the $5000 scholarship prize was, VCC. They won with this heavenly menu: a scallop and prawn spear lightly battered with Chinese mushroom tempura served with tobiko chili; raw oysters served with smoked star anise, watermelon and pickled and ginger mirin and finally, the piece de resistance, a tuna tartare nicoise topped with a quail's egg, tomato concasse, and a lime, bean and olive vinaigrette.
What was truly evident from all competitors, is their passion, dedication, pride, artistry and knowledge. These young students from BC's culinary schools are the successors to this province's outstanding gastronomic tradition and are a sign of more good things to come.
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