TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Chef Michael Bashford, catering manager at Beretta Farms in Etobicoke, won round ten of the new Discovered Culinary Competition, held on Monday night at Nella Cucina in Toronto. Chef Bashford will join the winners of the first nine rounds to compete in the semi-finals at the CRFA Show, March 4 - 6, 2012 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.
The Discovered Culinary Competition is a four-month search for the best of Canada's up-and-coming culinary stars. The winning chef will get the opportunity of a lifetime: an all-expenses-paid trip to spend a week cooking at a Michelin-star restaurant in northern Spain.
In a mystery box challenge, the Discovered Culinary Competition features four Canadian chefs competing against the clock each week to create an appetizer, entrée and dessert. In addition to Chef Bashford, competitors included Amanda Walti, sous chef at Origin restaurant; Paul Wejman, sous chef at Paganelli's restaurant; and James Robbins, pizzaiola at Paganelli's restaurant, all of Toronto.
The judging panel comprises three local chefs. Monday night's panel included Donna Dooher, executive chef/proprietor at Mildred's Temple Kitchen; Daniel Mezzolo, executive chef at Gusto 101; and Rodney Bowers, chef/owner of Hey Meatball, all in Toronto.
The mystery boxes included gorgonzola, pistachios, prosciutto and rosemary for the appetizer round; Liber Terre beef bavette, asparagus, chorizo sausage and French's horseradish Dijon mustard for the entrée round; and blackberries, buttermilk, cinnamon and ginger for dessert.
"I had so many ideas going through my head," said Chef Bashford. "I ended up trashing the first sauce I made for the appetizer. The buttermilk was the hardest ingredient to figure out."
Chef Bashford wrapped a slice of Granny Smith apple with the prosciutto and roasted pistachios and surrounded it with a sauce of gorgonzola and rosemary. He paired grilled beef bavette with a chorizo and fingerling potato hash flavoured with mustard for the main dish along with grilled asparagus with a smoked paprika and mustard hollandaise. For dessert, he made a ginger shortbread cookie topped with blackberry puree and a buttermilk and icing sugar glaze.
"This was great fun," said judge Donna Dooher. "The competitors did a great job and the final decision was very close. Chef Bashford was steady throughout and while he had a rough start with his appetizer, his main dish was executed perfectly."
Winners to date:
Round 1 - Chef Arron Carley of Volos restaurant, Toronto
Round 2 - Chef Trish Gill of Beast restaurant, Toronto
Round 3 - Chef William Tolentino of Celestin restaurant, Toronto
Round 4 - Chef John Koplimae of the Drake Hotel, Toronto
Round 5 - Chef Alejandro Winzer of Ristorante Verdicchio, Sudbury
Round 6 - Chef Glenn Sheridan of Le Bon Marché, North Bay
Round 7 - Chef George Tyminski of Annona restaurant, Park Hyatt Hotel, Toronto
Round 8 - Chef Mitchell Lamb of Stone House in Burlington and Lake House in Vineland
Round 9 - Chef Bruno Elsier of the Toronto French School
The competition continues through February. Applications are still being accepted. For more information and to apply, go to the Discovered Culinary Competition page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/discoveredchefs. The Discovered Culinary Competition is open to all Canadian chefs employed in the hospitality/foodservice industry. You must be at least 19 years old to compete. There is no entry fee. The competition is sponsored by Discover and presented by Nella Cucina and the CRFA Show.
Chef Bashford will next compete on March 4 or 5 at the CRFA (Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) Show, Canada's largest event for hospitality professionals. The four semi-final winners will then compete on March 6 to determine the overall winner.
Registration for the CRFA Show (trade only) is open now at www.crfashow.ca.
For further information:
Contact: Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254 or [email protected].