Feb 7, 2013 / 6:36 am
He will take on the best from around the country this weekend, and Chef Mark Filatow is ready for the 'home turf' challenge.
As the winner of Gold Medal Plates Vancouver, the Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar owner now moves on to represent the province in the annual Canadian Culinary Championships.
Using local ingredients he will compete against nine others during the three day event, in the hopes of taking gold again.
Filatow says there are several components to the competition.
The chef says the most complicated will be Thursday night. Each of the chefs will be given a blind tasting of a Canadian wine and then given a budget of $500 to shop around Kelowna for local ingredients to pair with the wine.
"Basically you have all day to prepare and then the crowds come in at 6 o'clock and you have to do 400 portions, so you have to be ready to go."
Filatow says he could have the upper hand in this competition because he is from the area and knows the local butchers and grocers.
"I will know which stores to go to and who has what, but it's a small advantage because people who are coming to town will have done their research and know the meat shops and seafood markets because there isn't too many of them to chose from."
The following day is a black box competition where each chef will be given 60 minutes to plan and create two different dishes, using six diverse food items provided.
Filatow is most excited about the grand finale where he will have the opportunity to present a dish he has pre-planned. He also has already 'pre-paired' the dish with local winery Orofino from Cawston.
However he is keeping tight lipped on what that entree will be, "It's kind of a surprise," he says.
Sous Chef Wayne Morris will accompany Filatow along with a student chef team designated to help with the plate up.
"The local support has been awesome, several chefs have offered to help in any way they can, but it's is really hard. Wayne and I have been practicing, so there isn't much they can do within the rules. But lots of moral support."
The local chef says each competition requires a different skill set and will present a challenge, but he hopes to make Kelowna proud.
"There is a little pressure being the home town guy because you always what to play the championship card….. I am really trying to stay focused (with) myself and the dish we are doing for Saturday as well as having a frame work for the other two competitions."
Filtow realizes this is a great opportunity for the whole Okanagan to shine as he serves local ingredients that many will not have tasted before.
"This is really what we do at the restaurant every day so we are carrying that forward to the competition as well."
Follow the competition over the weekend on Twitter using #CCC2013.
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