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October 28, 2011 Comments (2) Views: 2408 GFR Photo Essay, Good Food Events, Good Food Media Article

Alsace and Rhône Chef Competition Award Gala Dinner

By Jamie Drummond

In the kitchen at Lee with a muttonchopped and tattooed Chef and Shane Straiko from Pantages.

On Thursday evening at Toronto’s Lee Restaurant the winners of the Alsace and Rhone Wines Chef Challenge were announced in front of a select group of Toronto Food/Wine media folks including Amy Rosen, Lucy Waverman, Zoltan Szabo, Tony Aspler, Signe Langford, Graeme Duncan, Suresh Doss, Angela Aiello, and Shinan Govani, amongst many others.

I had originally been scheduled to participate as a judge for this event, but unfortunately found myself stranded in the United Kingdom upon the day in question, much to the chagrin of the organisers.

With this in mind I made a firm promise to attend the Award Gala Dinner that was scheduled for the following week and document the proceedings for Good Food Revolution.

The competing Chefs who had been challenged to create the perfect food matches with the wines of both Alsace and the Rhône were:

  • Gaetano Ferrara, Ultra Supper Club
  • Scott Bailey, Ancaster Mill
  • Craig Madore, Le Canard Mort
  • Ben Denham, Veritas
  • Jason Maw, The Bowery
  • Misha Mesterenko, Marben
  • Stephanie Guth, Toca by Tom Brodi
  • David Sider, Langdon Hall
  • Shane Straiko, Pantages Hotel
The eventual winners were Shane Straiko from Pantages Hotel and Misha Mesterenko from Marben, who both prepared a special dinner for the assembled guests and will be running a special Alsace and Rhône promotion at their respective restaurants in the coming weeks.
Dishes and pairing were as follows:
  • Pig Head Presskopf, Celariac Remoulade, Granny Smith Apple Puree, Endive and Autumn Leaf Salad, with Maple Mustard Jus from Misha Nesterenko, Marben.

Paired with 2009 Léon Beyer Pinot Gris, Alsace, France $16.95 LCBO# 165241

  • Chilean Sea Bass, Citrus Saffron Fondant Potato, Baby Spinach, and Strawberry Balsamic Salsa from Shane Straiko, Pantages Hotel.

Paired with 2009 Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France $17 LCBO#373373

  • Braised Short Ribs, Curly Kale, Horseradish Pomme Puree, Butter Glazed Vegetables, Fines Herbes from Misha Nesterenko, Marben.

Paired with 2009 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Rhône Village “Rasteau” Rhône Valley, France $18.45 LCBO# 321539

  • Cinnamon Citrus Creme Caramel, Hickory Chocolate Ice Cream, Maple Foie Gras Reduction from Shane Straiko, Pantages Hotel.

Paired with 2009 Ogier, Marquis de Valchair, Gigondas, Rhône Valley, France $19.95 LCBO# 219345

All communications between Tony Aspler and Zoltan Szabo are now done exclusively through Twitter.

All of the Chefs at each others throats in this viciously competitive culinary challenge... One of these things is not like the others, something that speaks volumes about contemporary kitchen culture.

And the award for cutest LCBO Product Consultant goes to Laura Ruffolo.

Chief Judge Chef Susur Lee looking rather pensive about something whilst Marben's Ryan Donovan looks a bit odd in the background.

Pig Head Presskopf, Celariac Remoulade, Granny Smith Apple Puree, Endive and Autumn Leaf Salad, with Maple Mustard Jus from Misha Nesterenko, Marben. A really well executed dish, outstanding.

Chilean Sea Bass, Citrus Saffron Fondant Potato, Baby Spinach, and Strawberry Balsamic Salsa from Shane Straiko, Pantages Hotel. Oceanwise certified? I think not. For further discussion methinks...

Braised Short Ribs, Curly Kale, Horseradish Pomme Puree, Butter Glazed Vegetables, Fines Herbes from Misha Nesterenko, Marben. Again, very well composed, perfect food for Fall.

Cinnamon Citrus Creme Caramel, Hickory Chocolate Ice Cream, Maple Foie Gras Reduction from Shane Straiko, Pantages Hotel. Not my favourite dish of the evening.

GFR's Jamie Drummond and Chef Susur Lee catch up after a long time.

Susur presents Misha Nesterenko (Marben) and Shane Straiko (Pantages Hotel) with their awards.

Now Magazine's Graeme Duncan looks as if he is having a good time... as does the lady to his right.

Oh dear... GFR's Jamie D goes off into storytelling mode with Laure Vaissermann from Wines of Rhone.

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… and he is really sorry about missing the judging.

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2 Responses to Alsace and Rhône Chef Competition Award Gala Dinner

  1. McFoodie says:

    Chilean Sea Bass? really?

  2. Zoe says:

    wow who is that guy with tattoos he is hot

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