A questioning palate

The Canadian Culinary Championships return to Kelowna Feb. 3-4.

Eleven of the best chefs from across the country have competed to represent their regions in Kelowna.

The Gold Medal Plates grand finale will take place at the Delta Grand Hotel, with the crowning of the national champion.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Canadian Olympic Foundation. 

Castanet is featuring an exclusive series of bios on the competing chefs leading up the event.

Jesse McCleery – Pilgrimme, Galiano Island

Originally from Winnipeg, Jesse McCleery began his culinary career at the age of 15 in his home city.

Moving to British Columbia in 2000, he has since worked at some of the province's top restaurants and resorts.

Having spent a combined five seasons in Clayoquot Sound and the Great Bear Rainforest, he has developed a deep respect for the coastal waters and forests.

Continually searching and questioning ideas in food and our relationship with our environment, McCleery made the inspiring journey to Denmark to spend the winter in the kitchen of Copenhagen's acclaimed restaurant, Noma.

Returning west with new ideas and a reinforced vision, he and partner Leanne set forth on opening Pilgrimme, where his philosophies and ethics are given life, working with the growers and artisans of Galiano Island.

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