Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gold Medal Plates Food Event

At the VIP reception, former Gold Medal Plates Winner Chef David Lee greeted everyone with a reprise of his winning dish from last year, crispy chicken skin topped with soft cartilage and a small piece of mildy hot pepper, as an app and also a dish of beans and blood sausage with pigs trotter ragout de boulettes (meatballs).

Frank Dodd, chef of Hillebrand Winery Restaurant, presented soft unctuous pigs head terrine  terrine, plated with a crunchy bacon sugar crisp in a creamy ice-cold bacon ice cream ball and also hot pastry covered soup, a lovely broth with cubed squash, ham hock and white beans. A very interesting and palate provoking juxtaposition of elements. The pastry crust was the only weakness, not flaky enough.

Anne Yarmovitch, chef of the Art Gallery restaurant, Frank, presented melt in your mouth corned beef tongue with exceptionally tender braised beef cheek, all mounted on potato and parsnip pureee accompanied by zippy and tarte horseradish puree, beet and horseradish relish, pickled baby beet and a crisp horseradish chip. This was my favourite dish for intense flavours and texture.

Chef Anthony Walsh, of Canoe Restaurant, presented cumbrae farms turkey "a la king", pieces of pulled turkey with spaetzle, edamame and small chunks of lobster (would have preferred larger). Protein liquid from the lobster and turkey stock along with creme fraiche, was put through a creamer under pressure, to create  a very tasty foam that was placed on the top of the ingredients.

Chef Jonanthan Gushue of Langdon Hall Restaurant presented "pickerel under pressure". Pickerel was combined with butter and thyme and cooked sous vide (but not "under pressure") and plated with heartnut creme fraiche, thinly sliced black radish, celery hearts and black pepper honey. A delicate combination of subtly flavoured ingredients for the mild taste of the perfectly cooked fish.

Chef Lora Kirk of Ruby Watchco Restaurant presented delectable slow braised, extremely tender short ribs, mounted on a shallot puree and all topped topped with bone marrow and caviar. What a wonderful combination of flavours. My number 2 dish.

Chef Ted Corrado of C5 Restaurant  at the ROM presented Cumbrae Farms flavourful, tender lamb neck, cooked sous vide, with garlic peppercorns and thyme, anchovy, porcini confit and chanterelles, sprouts, charred onion sauce all topped with finely shaved white truffle.

Lorenzo Loseto of George Restaurant presented very tender Tamworth pork belly, ricotta cavatelli, artichokes, matsutake mushrooms, red pepper sauce with marsala jus and elderberry sauce. A very complementary presentation of flavours.

Chef Martin Koupre of Pangaea Restaurant presented perfectly cooked rare duck breast with wild mushrooms, pearl onions, shaved duck liver, lingonberry sauce and shaved yellow beet root. Another wonderful assembly of complementary flavours for a dish.

Chef Jamie Kennedy of the Gilead cafe presented a "celebration of poultry", a delicious terrine of hearts, gizzards, fois gras and confit combined with both a Hillier wine onion soubise and a mignonette sauce. I took a photo, but somehow, it was not stored. But, a lovely colourful presentation.

Chef Michael Steh of Red's Bistro and Wine Bar presented saddle of rabbit stuffed with Slovenian blood sausage, smoked rabbit kielbasa, crisp fried rabbit confit, verjus glazed baby veg (carrots, scallions and beets) and armagnac poached prunes. Sauce of chanterrelles and grainy mustard. There were perhaps too many flavours and textures happening together in this dish, but a very ambitious effort.

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