By Jamie Drummond
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
- 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
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.