Chefs ready to do battle

Supporting Canada's Olympic athletes has never tasted so good.

The Canadian Culinary Championships return to Kelowna Feb. 2-3 as Olympians head to Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The culinary battle of the plates supports the Canadian Olympic Foundation, said Karen Blair, co-founder of Gold Medal Plates.

“Since 2004, Gold Medal Plates has generated over $12 million for Canada's Olympic athletes," she says.

The culinary championships involve three intense competitions over two days.

“This is the biggest and most serious national competition for Canadian chefs,” says national culinary advisor James Chatto. “Victory is a career-changer.”

Those competitions are:

Mystery Wine Pairing: Chefs are given a mystery bottle of wine and are challenged to create a dish with local ingredients that best complements it, in a set amount of time and with a set budget. Guests can sample the creations in a stand-up cocktail reception format. During the event, guests will vote on the People’s Choice Award for the best food-and-wine pairing. In addition, five Gold Medal Pints finalists (selected from 50 craft beers from across Canada) will be featured and judged live by a panel of judges.

Black Box Competition: Chefs are given a box containing seven diverse ingredients and must use them all to produce and plate a spectacular dish for the judges – all in one very short hour. Guests won’t get much closer to watching an Iron Chef type competition than this. – you are in the kitchen where all the action is.

Grand Finale: The chefs create their best dish for guests to sample, paired with a Canadian wine, spirit or beer from their regional beverage partner. By evening’s end, Canada’s champion chef of 2018 will be crowned. Olympic gold medalist Ashleigh McIvor is emcee, and iconic Canadian rockers 54-40 will perform.

Limited tickets remain and are available at www.goldmedalplates.com.

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