BRITISH COLUMBIA

Tasty award: Chef at Edmonton's Westin Hotel wins gold at culinary championships

02/09/2015 01:48 EST | Updated 04/11/2015 05:59 EDT
KELOWNA, B.C. - An Edmonton chef has come up tops in taste at the Canadian Culinary Championships.

Ryan O'Flynn from the city's Westin Hotel was awarded the gold medal at the cooking event in Kelowna, B.C., on the weekend.

O'Flynn won with a terrine of pine-smoked Alberta river sturgeon and Quebec foie gras, wild Northwest Territories morels, Okanagan apples and toasted brioche, which was paired with Sandhill Small Lots 2013 Viognier.

The silver went to chef Antonio Park of Park Restaurant in Montreal while chef Kristian Eligh of Hawksworth Restaurant in Vancouver took the bronze.

The two-day event started with a mystery wine competition Friday evening where chefs prepared a small-plate nosh for 500 guests to suit a mystery bottle of wine they'd received less than 24 hours before.

The wine was unveiled as Stoneboat Vineyards 2012 Pinotage from the Okanagan Valley. Chef Mark McCrowe of Aqua Kitchen/Bar in St. John's, N.L., won the People's Choice award.

On Saturday morning, chefs competed in a black box competition, while that evening they prepared a signature dish for guests.

The competition that pitted 11 of the country's best chefs against one another also raised money for Canada's Olympic athletes, with more than $9.5 million generated so far.

O'Flynn says the recognition is long overdue in Edmonton and he's proud to be the one to bring it to Alberta's capital for the first time.

Other cities represented at this year's competition included Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto and Dartmouth, N.S.

The Canadian Culinary Championships is the finale of Gold Medal Plates, which celebrates excellence in Canadian cuisine, wine, entertainment and athletic achievement. Held in 11 cities across Canada last fall, Gold Medal Plates has chefs in each city vying for a gold, silver and bronze medal.

Each gold medal chef then goes on to compete at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna.