Chef Awards

2015

  • Chef: Stuart Cameron
  • Restaurant: Byblos
  • Pairing: Benjamin Bridge 2013 Nova 7, Nova Scotia
  • Chef: Damon Campbell
  • Restaurant: Shangri-La Hotel
  • Pairing: Stratus Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Franc Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Chef: Victor Barry
  • Restaurant: Splendido Bar & Grill
  • Pairing: Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery 2013 Estate Riesling Beamsville

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

Oh my goodness, what a great party that was!! Last night at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Gold Medal Plates threw an amazing shindig – as smooth a ride as the new BMW we’re giving to the chef who wins the Championship next February, but with even more energy. Curt Harnett was our MC, the effervescent Marnie McBean interviewed (count ’em) 26 other athletes, while the whole idea of the Rio Olympics was expressed with a riot of feathered dancers, martial artists and drumming. And the band played on, to the delight of the sold-out crowd of 760 guests – Jim Cuddy, Royal Wood, Anne Lindsay, Colin Cripps, Devon Cuddy and Sam Polley totally rocking the house.

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2014

  • Chef: John Horne
  • Restaurant: Canoe
  • Paired Wine: Creekside Estate Winery  2012 Iconoclast Syrah VQA Niagara Escarpment
  • Chef: Damon Campbell
  • Restaurant: Shangri – La Hotel
  • Paired Wine: Southbrook Vineyards 2011 Poetica Chardonnay Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Chef: Jason Bangerter
  • Restaurant: Langdon Hall
  • Paired Wine: Leaning Post Wines2010 Pinot Noir Niagara Escarpment

2013

  • Chef: Lorenzo Loseto
  • Restaurant: George Restaurant
  • Paired Wine: Kew Vineyards 2010 Old Vine Riesling
  • Chef: Tyler Shedden
  • Restaurant: Café Boulud, Four Seasons Hotel
  • Paired Wine:  Stratus Vineyards, Stratus Red 2010
  • Chef: Victor Barry
  • Restaurant: Splendido
  • Paired Wine: Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery, Vintage 2010 Estate Pinot Noir

2012

  • Chef: Marc St. Jacques
  • Restaurant: Auberge du Pommier
  • Paired Wine: Peller Estate Ice Cuve
  • Chef: Lorenzo Loseto
  • Restaurant: George Restaurant
  • Paired Wine: 2012 Junmai Sake
  • Chef: Martin Kouprie
  • Restaurant: Pangea
  • Paired Wine: 13th Street Winery “Essence” 2009 Pinot Noir

2011

  • Chef: Jonathan Gushue
  • Restaurant: Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa
  • Paired Wine: The Organized Crime Winery 2009 Fumé Blanc
  • Chef: Rob Gentile
  • Restaurant: Buca
  • Paired Wine: 13th Street Winery 2010 Merlot
  • Chef: Michael Steh
  • Restaurant: Reds Bistro & Wine Bar
  • Paired Wine: Château des Charmes 2008 Old Vines Riesling

2010

  • Chef: Frank Dodd
  • Restaurant: Hillebrand Winery Restaurant
  • Paired Wine: Hillebrand Winery
  • Chef: Lorenzo Loseto
  • Restaurant: George
  • Paired Wine: Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery
  • Chef: Michael Steh
  • Restaurant: Reds Bistro & Wine Bar
  • Paired Wine: Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery

2009

  • Chef: David Lee
  • Restaurant: Nota Bene
  • Chef: Jonathan Gushue
  • Restaurant: Langdon Hall Country House
  • Chef: Anne Yarymowich
  • Restaurant: FRANK at the AGO

2008

  • Chef: Patrick Lin
  • Restaurant: Sen5es
  • Chef: David Lee
  • Restaurant: Splendido & Nota Bene
  • Chef: John Kwan
  • Restaurant: Lai Toh Heen

2007

  • Chef: Anthony Walsh
  • Restaurant: Canoe
  • Chef: Lorenzo Loseto
  • Restaurant: George Restaurant
  • Chef: Claudio Aprile
  • Restaurant: Colborne Lane

2006

  • Chef: Keith Froggett
  • Restaurant: Scaramouche
  • Chef: Mark McEwan
  • Restaurant: North 44
  • Chef: Mark Thuet
  • Restaurant: Bistro Bakery Thuet

Best Of Show

2015

  • Osoyoos Larose 2010 Le Grand Vin VQA Okanagan Valley
  • Stratus Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Franc Niagara-on-the-Lake

TIE

  • Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery 2013 Estate Riesling Beamsville
  • Norman Hardie 2014 Calcaire Wellington

David Lawrason - Wine Advisor

David Lawrason, National Wine Advisor

A Record Breaking Night For GMP Wine

Not only was the 700-strong crowd one of the largest and most generous of the year, the Toronto event cemented wine records as well.  It boasted the largest number of different wines donated to a Gold Medal Plates (16 – see the list below). It boasted the largest, most illustrious cadre of ten wine judges, and it was the first time that we have served wines from Canada’s five leading wine appellations. From east to west they were:  Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, Ontario’s Prince Edward County, the Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore and B.C.’s Okanagan Valley.  As Canada’s largest showcase for Canadian wine, it has always been my mission to have the breadth of the country’s wine on display.

But it was the lone B.C. wine – Osoyoos-Larose 2010 Grand Vin – that carried off the Best of Show Award. This is a wine that has come to define the highest aspiration of Bordeaux-style wine in Canada, a merlot-based blend of estate-grown varieties grown on bench lands above the border town of Osoyoos.  It was established 15 years ago as a joint venture between former Vincor Canada and Groupe Taillan of Bordeaux, but now is wholly owned by the latter, with a young French winemaking team at the helm.  The 2010 showed impressive depth and structure against its peers this night, garnering four first place votes and two seconds. It sells for $40 to $45 in most Canadian provinces.

The strong runner up placed in the top five of seven judges. It was the Stratus 2012 Cabernet Franc, an intense, firm and fragrant red that will continue to age nicely for another ten years of more. And in third position we had a tie between two always popular whites – the intense, dry Hidden Bench 2013 Riesling from Niagara’s Beamsville Bench and the racy, taut Norman Hardie 2014 Calcaire from Prince Edward County.  Other wines that came within a hair’s breadth in the judging included the complex and profound Malivoire 2012 Mottiar Chardonnay and the impeccably balanced Cave Spring 2013 Dolomite Riesling (my personal favourite)

The Best of Show Wine Award was created to gain exposure for the dozens of wines donated to Gold Medal Plates by Canadian wineries.  Not only does the program highlight the wines it gives them exposure to some of the leading wine writers, judges, educators, sommeliers and retailers in the country.

In Toronto I called on ten of my friends and colleagues – the crème de la crème of Toronto’s wine writing and education community – and all responded.  From WineAlign my close friends and National Wine Awards Judges included John Szabo, Master Sommelier;  Sara d’Amato, President of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers, Michael Godel, wordsmith extraordinaire and Margaret Swaine, one of the most prolific and well-travelled wine and spirits writers in the country.

We were also joined by Tony Aspler, founder of the Ontario Wine Awards, author of many books on Canadian wine, Order of Canada recipient and my friend and mentor of over 30 years.  Michael Vaughan of Vintages Assessments has been writing about wine in Toronto just as long.  Carolyn Evans-Hammond has just recently been named the new wine columnist for the Toronto Star. And we also welcomed the Zoltan Szabo, a palate and gentleman about town extraordinaire.

This night we had a record number of wineries donating to our Celebration.  Guests did not have all the same wines on their tables but this was by design in the spirit of diversity. The line-up included  O’Leary 2013 Unwooded Chardonnay, Malivoire 2012 Mottiar Chardonnay,  Fielding 2013 Viognier, Malivoire 2013 Courtney 2013 Gamay, Kacaba 2012 Cabernet Syrah,  Colio Bricklayer Small Lot 2012 Syrah, Chateau des Charmes 2012 St. David’s Vineyard Merlot and Henry of Pelham 2014 Baco Noir.

The Best of Show Wine Awards program is all about the wines, but other wines rose to the top when it came to the chef pairings. Gold Medal Chef Stuart Cameron of Byblos will be taking Nova Scotia’s Nova 7 to the Canadian Culinary Championships  in Kelowna.  Silver medalist Damon Campbell of Bosk at the Shangri-La choose to match his Cumbrae lamb with Stratus 2012 Cabernet Franc. And Bronze medalist Victor Barry’s very excellent five hour carrot was beautifully paired with Hidden Bench 2013 Riesling.

Here is the portfolio of wines served in Toronto 2015, presented in tasting order as presented to the judges.

The Whites

Benjamin Bridge 2013 Nova 7, Nova Scotia
Norman Hardie 2014 Calcaire, Prince Edward County
Cave Spring 2013 Dolomite Riesling, Niagara Peninsula
Hidden Bench 2013 Riesling. Beamsville Bench
O’Leary 2013 Unwooded Chardonnay, Niagara Peninsula
Grange of Prince Edward County 2012 Chardonnay Select, Prince Edward County
Malivoire 2013 Mottiar Chardonnay. Niagara Peninsula
Pearl Morrisette 2012 Chardonnay Cuvee Dix-Neuvieme, Niagara Peninsula
Fielding 2013 Viognier, Niagara Peninsula

The Reds

Malivoire 2013 Courtney Gamay, Niagara Peninsula
Stratus 2012 Cabernet Franc, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Cave Spring 2013 Dolomite Cabernet Franc, Niagara Peninsula
Kacaba 2012 Cabernet Syrah, Niagara Peninsula
Colio Bricklayers Small Lot 2012 Syrah, Lake Erie North Shore
Chateau des Charmes 2012 St. Davids Vineyard Merlot, St.David’s Bench
Osoyoos-Larose 2010 Le Grand Vin, Okanagan Valley
Henry of Pelham 2014 Baco Noir, Ontario

2014

  • Norman Hardie Winery 2011 Pinot Noir (unfiltered) Prince Edward County
  • Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery 2012 Nuit Blanche (White Meritage) Niagara Escarpment
 
  • Creekside Estate Winery 2012 Iconoclast Syrah VQA Niagara Escarpment

2013

  • Stratus Vineyards, Stratus Red 2010, Niagara-on-the-Lake ON
  • Hidden Bench Vineyards & Winery, Vintage 2010 Estate Pinot Noir, Beamsville ON
  •  Kew Vineyards 2010 Old Vine Riesling, Beamsville ON  AND Tawse Winery 2012 Sketches Chardonnay, Niagara ON

2011

  • Château des Charmes 2008 Old Vines Riesling, Niagara-on-the-Lake ON
  • Stratus 2008 White, Niagara-on-the-Lake ON
  • Tawse Winery 2009 Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Vineland ON