I am a bit late filing these observations, but have been away at a well known "fat farm" to lose all of the excess baggage I had put on after 2 months of non-stop travel. As everyone may be aware, chef David Lee won the Toronto Gold Medal Plates competition, qualifying to compete in the Canada wide chefs final competition, all in the interest of helping to raise funds in support of the Canadian olympic athletes. Chef Lee won with his well executed Feran Adria (chef at the world's #1 resto, El Bulli, in Spain) inspired crispy chicken skin topped with it's cartilage, flavoured with plum hoisin and sour apple compote. Having tasted the El Bulli version, I can say, that in some respects, his version was even better because how he brought new flavours to the dish to enhance the pure chicken experience. This was one of my top 4 favourite experiences of the night.
Chef Mark McEwan presented braised rabbit with apple caponata gnocchi and a roasted squash puree. Chef Donna Dooher of Mildred Temple Kitchen created one of my top 4 experiences of the night, a dish reflective of some of the new texture taste experiences I enjoyed in Spain, potted dungeness crab salad with chopped heirloom winter radishes, mache, jellied butter and Dijon ice cream. Chef Teddy Corrado of C-5 restaurant at the ROM presented an ambitious smoked mackerel and hokkaido scallop with barley, tatsoi, speckled trout roe from Prince Edward County, pickled gooseberry all topped with a sauce mornay. Chef Jason Bangerter of Auberge Du Pommier created a very flavourful roasted venison loin on golden nugget squash puree with port wine glazed onion tarte, braised chestnuts all topped with a vanilla game jus (one of my top 4 favourites). Chef Anne Yarmovitch of Frank Restaurant in the AGO presented roasted glazed pork belly with purple cabbage sauerkraut, brandied blue prune plums, plum cardamom and blue potato chips.
In all, a wonderful evening of great tastes for a worthy cause.