As 13 of the city’s most renowned chefs gathered yesterday at Parts & Labour for a group photo shoot, Canada’s next-in-line hopefuls squared off at the Calphanon Centre for a spot at Napa Valley’s Almost Famous Chef Competition.
Monday was a busy day in the Toronto culinary scene as 13 chefs gathered in the basement of Parkdale’s Parts & Labour (1566 Queen St. W., #PRK) for a photo shoot for the upcoming annual Terroir Symposium in April. (We were invited by event organizers to hang out at the shoot.) The symposium is aimed at people working in the restaurant industry, with speeches and discussion groups for all things hospitality-related. The chefs at the photo shoot will preparing a Canadian-Chinese-themed lunch for the event—hence, the takeout containers and strands of chow mein. The folks in the above shoot included Graham Pratt (The Gabardine), Alexandra Feswick (The Brockton General), Scott Vivian (Beast), Matty Matheson (Parts & Labour), Jason Bangerter (Luma), David Givon (The Bellevue), Kevin Gilmour (The Drake Hotel) and Charlotte Langley (Cafe Belong). Nick Liu was absent from the shoot—probably due to a late shift the night before where he was cooking his last dinner at the Niagara Street Cafe; he did a later photo shoot alongside Aaron Joseph Bear Robe of Keriwa Cafe and Chris Brown of The Stop.
Later that night at the Calphalon Centre (425 King St. W., #KGW), six student chefs were competing for a spot in the finals at the Almost Famous Chef Competition, where culinary students from across Canada and the States will duke it out in Napa Valley in March. (Last night was the Canadian regionals.) Among the prizes: a mentorship with a famous chef, thousands of dollars in goods and even media training where budding chefs get to (hopefully) learn important lessons like why cooking with excessive amounts of butter while selling diabetes medication might be a bad idea. Here are some of the entries:
Representing École hôtelière de la Capitale in Québec City, Charles Gignac made a roasted Quebec piglet.
Also from École hôtelière de la Capitale, Anne-Marie Plourde made duck with foie gras and gingerbread crust:
Representing Toronto’s George Brown College is DeAille Tam with this colourful creation featuring thinly sliced lotus root.
But the winner was Daniela Molettieri from Montreal’s Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Quebec with her mushroom-stuffed veal.
Who knows, maybe a few years from now we’ll see some of these young chefs hamming it up in paper hats and feeding each other chicken balls in front of cameras.