Ottawa wins chefs title

Marc Lepine of Ottawa took the Canadian Culinary Championships Saturday night after three days of serious competition. 

Lepine finished the competition with a smoked steelhead and a pork belly dish at the grand finale event at the Delta Grand Hotel.

His performance in the mystery wine pairing on Friday and blackbox competition Saturday morning contributed to his win.

Matt Batey of Calgary took silver in the competition and Alex Chen of Vancouver took bronze.

The competition was fierce as 11 of Canada’s best chefs competed for top honours.
Lepine, of the restaurant Atelier, won gold for the second time, making Canadian Culinary Championships history with his smoked steelhead trout with miso-molasses glaze, cured pork belly, barley and corn porridge, corn cob broth paired with Les Clos Jordanne Vineyard 2012 Chardonnay Twenty Mile Bench from the Niagara Peninsula.

“I am truly speechless, and still in shock. The competition was fierce, and I was only able to do this with my team," he said.
Chen, of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, took the bronze with his truffle scented chicken, celeriac fondant, foie gras stuffed celery, “umami” consomme, paired with Foxtrot Vineyards, 2009 Pinot Noir from Naramata. Batey, from The Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar in Calgary, earned silver for his alder smoked sablefish, Pacific octopus compression, northern divine caviar, Yukon gold potato, sabayon paired with Road 13, 2011 Sparkling Chenin Blanc from Oliver.   
Lepine won not only the finale, but also the mystery wine pairing and black box competitions.
The finale was attended by 600 wine and food enthusiasts, with music by Barney Bentall, along with John Mann, Geoffrey Kelly and Matthew Harder from Spirit of the West.

The events were also a fundraiser for Canada's Olympic athletes. Those in attendance included: cyclist Curt Harnett, hockey player Gillian Apps, curler Sandra Jenkins, snowboarder Kevin Hill, swimmer Curtis Myden, skeleton slider Jeff Pain, and freestyle skier Kristi Richards.

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