HALIFAX - The victor in a national young chefs competition set for this Friday will go on to try for greater glory in an international event next year in Turkey.
The Jeunes Chefs contest, being held in Dartmouth, N.S., will see up-and-coming chefs strive to compete in Istanbul next September.
Friday's competition, sponsored by the gastronomic society la Chaine des Rotisseurs, brings together regional winners from across the country. Each chef, who is under age 28, will be given identical culinary "black boxes" containing certain mandatory ingredients from which they must create and execute a three-course menu (first course, main course and dessert) within four hours.
They have the first half-hour to write up a menu while the remaining time is devoted to preparation.
The chefs have been practising for six months to get ready for the event, David Tetrault, president of la Chaine Canada, said in a release. "It is a true black box for a specific age group of young chefs," he said. "It is difficult and it is stressful."
The competing chefs, who must be working at a Chaine des Rotisseurs establishment, are: Ralph Barit of En Ville Event Design & Catering in Toronto; Shane Rutledge of Calgary Golf & Country Club; Daniel Ardies of St. Charles Golf & Country Club in Winnipeg; Brenan Madill of Seasons by Atlantica in Halifax's Atlantica Hotel; Antoine Corriveau of Restaurant Le St-Amour in Quebec City; Amanda Rose Kerswell of L2Grill at Edmonton's Fantasyland Hotel; Tosh Agassiz, who works at Diva At the Met in the Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver; Daniel Tipper of Old Vines Restaurant at Quail’s Gate Estate Winery in the Okanagan Valley, B.C.; and Brent Lukoni of Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria.
Jordan Mieczkowski of the Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria stepped in at the last minute for the 2012 event held this past September in Berlin when the original competitor bowed out. He was up against chefs from 21 other countries and did not finish in the top three. German Christina Merz was the winner. The last Canadian to claim gold at the international competition was Daniel Craig in Australia in 2006.
La Chaine des Rotisseurs is an international gastronomic society devoted to promoting fine dining. The first Jeunes Chefs Competition was held in Switzerland in 1977. Competitions are held annually at regional, national and international levels to promote the cultural diversity in food preparation and presentation while applying traditional methods.