Chef Awards

2016

Chefs

  • Chef: Eric Hanson
  • Restaurant: Prairie Noodle Shop
  • Pairing: Summerhill 2014 Ehrenfelser

Best of Show

Culmina 2015 Unicus Gruner Veltliner

Chefs

  • Chef: Doreen Prei
  • Restaurant: Get Cooking
  • Pairing: 2014 5oth Parallel Pinot Noir

Best of Show

50th Parallel 2014 Pinot Noir

Chefs

  • Chef: Shane Chartrand
  • Restaurant: Sage
  • Pairing:  Culmina 2015 Unicus Grüner Veltliner

Best of Show TIE

Hester Creek 2013 Syrah Viognier
Tinhorn Creek 2013 Cabernet Franc

James-Chatto-by-George-Whiteside-high-resCulinary Report
by James Chatto by National Culinary Advisor

Edmonton – and the first great big GMP party of the year! The Shaw Centre was sold out weeks ago and the city had come to party, giving boisterous ovations to a host of Olympians introduced by our brilliant emcee, Scott Russell, and then to our awesome musicians Alan Doyle, Corey Tetford, Barney Bentall, Dustin Bentall and Kendel Carson, not to mention another one to the chefs who performed their own dazzling gastronomic decathlon to the delight of all. The standard was higher than ever and it was a privilege to taste their creations, especially in the company of an elite posse of judges led by Senior Judge Mary Bailey, who is a food, wine and travel writer, certified sommelier and publisher of The Tomato Food & Drink. Judging with us was chef Chris Wood; chef, author and owner of Kitchen culinary studio, Brad Smoliak; and two guest judges – the chef who won the Canadian Culinary Championship for Edmonton in February 2015, Ryan O’Flynn, and the executive chef from the Hotel Ranga in southern Iceland, where some of us will be going next June, Chef Karl Johann Unnarsson, who had flown in to Edmonton to see a GMP event for himself. Rounding off the panel, of course, was last year’s Edmonton gold medal winner, Chef Jan Trittenbach of Solstice Seasonal Cuisine.

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david-new-2014Edmonton Wine Report
by David Lawrason, National Wine Advisor

On a perfect, crisp fall in evening in Edmonton, Gold Medal Plates set off on its 2016 cross-Canada wine journey that will see over 4,000 people taste Canadian wines, beers and spirits from almost 100 producers – the majority of it donated in support of our Olympic athletes.

This year we are joined in the effort to solicit these donations by the Ottawa-based Canadian Vintners Association as well as their partners in three provinces:  The B.C. Wine Institute, the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario, and Wines of Nova Scotia. The wine industry in Canada is behind Gold Medal Plates and our athletes all the way.

In all – as in successive previous years  – a sold-out Edmonton crowd of almost 800 people got to sample up to 20 different wines, spirits and beers (see list below) on the competition floor, then on the Celebration tables as the chefs and athletes were honoured.  During this portion of the evening guests enjoyed the very nicely balanced, approachable Calliope Figure 8 White and Red donated by Burrowing Owl Winery.

Two hours prior some of Edmonton’s best palates gathered in a kitchen area of the Shaw Conference Centre to preview the selection and select the Best Wine of Show, an award created to bring attention to the generous contribution of Canada’s wineries, breweries and distilleries.

This year four Edmonton wine authorities returned to judge. Gurvinder Bhatia is a judge of the National Wine Awards and wine commentator for the Edmonton Journal and CBC.  William Bincoletto is a noted wine educator and owner of Vines Wine Merchants.  Juanita Roos of Color del Vino is a WSET Diploma holder, and certified sommelier Mary Bailey is also the lead GMP culinary judge in Edmonton.

Our winner was picked by a clear vote margin.  The judges were asked to rank their top five wines – and all five ranked Culmina 2015 Unicus Gruner Veltliner from the Okanagan Valley as either first, second or third.  It won because the quality is excellent – a dynamic, interesting BC take on a white variety that has come to fame in Austria.  Culmina has only a small parcel planted at their new property in the South Okanagan’s Golden Mile, but it has received rave reviews from the start.

Second place went to 50th Parallel 2014 Pinot Noir, from New Zealand trained, Okanagan veteran Grant Stanley. Here is pinot that is just so expressive of BC’s rugged, foresty terrain – like a mouthful of slightly tart mountain wild berries with very fine oak, great tension, balance and length.

Third place actually ended in a tie between the rich, smoky, northern Rhone inspired Hester Creek 2013 Syrah Viognier, and the always, smooth and nicely herbal, fruity and generously oaked Tinhorn Creek 2013 Cabernet Franc.

Later in the evening the winning chefs and their wine pairings were announced by Chief Culinary Judge James Chatto. Bronze medalist Shane Chartrand of Sage chose the Culmina 2015 Unicus Gruner Veltliner with his dynamic spot prawn creation.  Silver medallist Doreen Prei from Get Cooking chose the 5oth Parallel 2014 Pinot Noir, and Gold Medal chef Eric Hanson of the Prairie Noodle Shop paired Summerhill 2014 Ehrenfelser with a subtle delicious scallop dish.

So Summerhill becomes the first winery in Canada to earn a birth at the Canadian Culinary Championships, being held just down the road, at the Delta Grand Hotel in Kelowna, Feb 3-4, 2017. And Culmina earns a possibility of winning a week’s stay at a private villa at Borgo San Felice in Tuscany in 2017.

The Edmonton Wines and Spirits
in tasting order, full reviews can be found at www.winealign.com)

Calliope Fig 8 2015 White, Okanagan Valley

Culmina 2015 Unicus Gruner Veltliner, Okanagan Valley

Summerhill 2014 Ehrenfelser, Okanagan Valley

Quails’ Gate 2014 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley

Tinhorn Creek 2015 Gewurztraminer, Golden Mile Bench

Stoneboat 2013 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley

50th Parallel 2014 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley

Calliope 2014 Figure 8 Red, Okanagan Valley

Quails Gate 2014 Merlot, Okanagan Valley

Red Rooster 2014 Merlot, Okanagan Valley

Laughing Stock 2013 Blind Trust Red, Okanagan Valley

Tinhorn Creek 2013 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley

Sandhill 2013 Small Lots One, Okanagan Valley

Hester Creek 2013 Syrah Viognier Okanagan Valleyt

Fallen Timber Saskatoon Mead, Alberta Premium Rye Whisky, Birch syrup, Saskatoon berries, spices

2015

  • Chef: Jan Trittenbach
  • Restaurant: Solstice Seasonal Cuisine
  • Pairing: Sandhill 2012 Small Lots Three Sandhill Estate Vineyard Okanagan, BC
  • Chef: Andrew Cowan
  • Restaurant: Packrat Louie Kitchen and Bar
  • Pairing: Mission Hill 2013 Reserve Riesling, Okanagan Valley, BC
  • Chef: Cory Rakowski
  • Restaurant: 12 Acres Restaurant
  • Pairing: Castoro de Oro Estate Winery 2012 Merlot, Oliver, BC

James-Chatto-by-George-Whiteside-high-resCulinary Report by James Chatto

Gold Medal Plates loves Edmonton! Last night, it was clear that the feeling is mutual. The sold-out crowd of 780 (a new record) at the Shaw Centre came to party as if we were already in Rio, cheering on our Olympic athletes, our splendid chefs and their teams, and a stage-full of dazzlingly talented musicians – a veritable orchestra of rock starring Barney Bentall, Anne Lindsay, Colin Cripps, Devin Cuddy, Sam Polley and Geoffrey Kelly and Matthew Harder of Spirit of the West. Curt Harnett was the smoothest and most amusing of MCs. There was much dancing in the aisles and an eye-popping energy level that was sustained right through the auction (so many trips sold!) to the final announcement of the winning chefs.

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2014

  • Chef: Ryan O’Flynn
  • Restaurant: The Westin Edmonton
  • Paired Wine: Sandhill Small Lots 2011 Viognier, Okanagan, BC
  • Chef: Blair Lebsack
  • Restaurant: Rge Rd – untamed cuisine
  • Paired Wine: Kettle Valley 2010 Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc, Naramata Bench, BC
  • Chef: Lindsay Porter
  • Restaurant: Mercer’s Catering
  • Paired Wine: Sumac Ridge 2012 Gewurztraminer Private Reserve, Okanagan Valley, BC

2013

  • Chef: Chef Paul Shufelt 
  • Restaurant: Century Hospitality Group
  • Paired Wine: Mission Hill Family Estate Select Lot Collection Syrah 2010 
  • Chef: Chef Doreen Prei    
  • Restaurant: Edmonton Petroleum Club
  • Paired Wine: Kettle Valley WineryPinot Noir 2009
  • Chef: Chef Paul Campbell   
  • Restaurant: Café de Ville
  • Paired Wine: Red Rooster Winery Meritage Reserve 2010

 

2012

  • Chef: Nathin Bye
  • Restaurant: Wildflower Grill Restaurant
  • Paired Wine: Tantalus Chardonnay 2010

 

  • Chef: Shane Chartrand
  • Restaurant: Murrieta’s Westcoast Grill
  • Paired Wine: Lake Breeze Pinot Blanc 2011 
  • Chef: Paul Shufelt
  • Restaurant: Century Hospitality Group
  • Paired Wine: Quail’s Gate Old Vines Foch 2010

2011

  • Chef: Jan Trittenbach
  • Restaurant: Packrat Louie
  • Paired Wine: Peller Estates Winery, 2007 Private Reserve Syrah

 

  • Chef: Deependra Singh
  • Restaurant: Guru Restaurant & Bar
  • Paired Wine: Little Straw Vineyards, 2008 Pinot Rose Limited Release
  • Chef: Paul Campbell
  • Restaurant: Cafe de Ville
  • Paired Wine: ExNihilo Vineyards, 2007 ExNihilo Night

2010

  • Chef: Andrew Fung
  • Restaurant: Blackhawk Golf Course
  • Paired Wine: Road 13 Vineyards
  • Chef: Michael Brown
  • Restaurant: Share, The Westin Edmonton
  • Paired Wine: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
  • Chef: Shane Chartand
  • Restaurant: L2 Fantasyland Hotel
  • Paired Wine: Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery

2009

  • Chef: Nathin Bye
  • Restaurant: Lazia Restaurant
  • Chef: Blair Lebsack
  • Restaurant: Madison’s Grill
  • Chef: Sonny Sung
  • Restaurant: Bistecca

2008

  • Chef: David Cruz
  • Restaurant: Sage Restaurant
  • Chef: Michael Brown
  • Restaurant: Pradera Café, The Westin Edmonton
  • Chef: Blair Lebsack
  • Restaurant: Madison’s Grill

2007

  • Chef: Judy Wu
  • Restaurant: Wild Tangerine
  • Chef: Frank Olson
  • Restaurant: Red Ox Inn
  • Chef: David Cruz
  • Restaurant: Sage Restaurant

2006

  • Chef: Michael Brown
  • Restaurant: Pradera Café, The Westin Edmonton
  • Chef: Dennis Cummings
  • Restaurant: Billingsgate Seafood Market & Lighthouse Café
  • Chef: Simon Smotkowicz
  • Restaurant: The Shaw Conference Centre

Best Of Show

2015

  • Bartier Bros. 2011 Syrah, Oliver, BC
  • Manta Caliente, Collingwood Rye Whiskey, Ontario
  • Mission Hill 2013 Reserve Riesling, Okanagan Valley, BC

David Lawrason - Wine Advisor

David Lawrason, National Wine Advisor

As a record crowd of 780 people began to fill the Shaw Conference Centre for the 10th Gold Medal Plates chow down in Edmonton, a group of judges were huddled in a corner of the cavernous kitchen behind the scenes tasting through the slate of wines and other beverages being served this night. The purpose was to select the Best Wine of Show, an award created to bring attention to and honour the generous contribution of Canada’s wineries, breweries and distilleries.

The complete list of the Edmonton beverages follows below

The voting, as dozens of kitchen staff readied for the celebration ahead, was very close.  The judges were asked to rank their top five wines.  Two judges picked the same wine in first place, but the methodology of giving five points to a first place, four to second, three to third etc meant that a wine that was in everyone’s top three won the day.

And that wine was Bartier Brothers 2011 Syrah from the Okanagan Valley.  Winemaker Michael Bartier has emerged as a star in B.C. having honed his craft for several years at Road 13 before striking out on his own.  All the judges agreed that it was a textbook, finely honed and age-worthy example of syrah, the transplanted Rhone Valley variety that has found a home in the semi-desert near Osoyoos.

Second place went to a remarkable whisky sour like concoction called Manta Caliente, fashioned in the Road to Rio theme of the evening by Chef Lindsay Porter. It was based on a new artisan spirit called Collingwood Rye from the Ontario community of the same name, but jazzed up with a complex array of ingredients including hot peppers.

Third place went to Mission Hill 2013 Reserve Riesling, a classic, complex riesling that perennially take gold at the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada.

This year three Edmonton wine authorities were asked to join me as judges, two of them making a return visit.  Gurvinder Bhatia is a National Wine Awards judge, a wine commentator for the Edmonton Journal and CBC, and owner of a wine store called Vinomania.  William Bincoletto is a well-known wine educator from Vines.  And this year we were joined for the first time by Juanita Roos, owner of a new store called Color Del Vino Wines and Spirits and a holder of the prestigious WSET Diploma.

In the process of the judging we were treated to a mini-clinic on the rise of small batch distilling in Canada.  Not only did we marvel at the richness and complexity of the Collingwood Rye, we sampled two sensational gins from opposite sides of the country.  Victoria Gin, with wonderfully bright, complex and nuanced aromas mindful of an evergreen forest hails from Vancouver Island, while Ungava Gin is redolent with the wild scents from six botanicals harvested from Canada’s  Arctic in northern Quebec.

Later in the evening the winning chefs and their pairings were announced by Chief Culinary Judge James Chatto. Bronze medalist Cory Rakowski of 12 Acres expertly matched a triptych of beef with the rich, very ripe Castoro de Oro 2012 Merlot from Oliver, B.C.   Silver medallist Andrew Cowan from Packrat Louie Kitchen and Bar selected the racy Mission Hills 2013 Riesling Reserve to beautifully parse a charcuterie and foie gras based dish.  And returning Edmonton champ Jan Trittenbach of  Solstice Seasonal Cuisine created a fine pork belly dish paired with the complex sangiovese based  Sandhill 2012 Small Lots Three Sandhill Estate Vineyard.  This means Sandhill will join Chef Trittenbach at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna in February 2016.

The Edmonton Wines, Beers and Spirits
(in tasting order)

Mission Hill 2013 Reserve Riesling, Okanagan Valley
Meyer Vineyards 2013 Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley
Nighthawk 2014 Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Falls
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2014 Gewürztraminer,  Okanagan Valley
Therapy 2014 Pink Freud, Naramata, Okanagan
Burrowing Owl 2013 Calliope Figure 8 Red, Okanagan Valley
Stoneboat 2012 Pinotage, Okanagan Valley
Castoro de Oro 2012 Merlot, Okanagan Valley
Bartier Bros  2011 Syrah, Okanagan Valley
Sandhill 2012 Small Lots Three, Okanagan Valley
Victoria Gin, Vancouver Island, BC
Ungava di Uva (Gin), Quebec
Manta Cliente made with Collingwood Rye Whiskey, Ontario

2014

Mission Hill 2011 Martin’s Lane Riesling

Malivoire 2013 Gamay

Young & Wyse 2011 Black Sheep Blend

2013

Sandhill Phantom Creek Vineyard Small Lots ‘One’ 2010 Kelowna, BC

Sandhill Syrah 2011, Okanagan Valley, BC

Kettle Valley Pinot Noir 2009 Okanagan Valley, BC

2012

Tantalus Vineyards 2010 Chardonnay, Burlington ON

Kettle Valley Winery 2008 Pinot Noir, Okanagan-Similkameen BC

Sperling Vineyards 2011 Pinot Blanc, Kelowna BC

2011

LeVieuxPin 2007 Merlot, Oliver BC

Road 13 Vineyard 2009 Merlot Syrah, Oliver BC

Laughing Stock’s Vineyard 2008 Portfolio, Penticton BC