TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Chef William Serre, cook at Acadia restaurant in Toronto, won round eleven of the new Discovered Culinary Competition, held Tuesday night at Nella Cucina in Toronto. Chef Serre will join the winners of the first 10 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 Serre, competitors included Andrew Wilson, chef de cuisine at Colbourne Lane in Toronto; Steven Khor, executive chef at Nova Services in Toronto; and David Cooke, chef de cuisine at Arowhon Pines Resort in Algonquin Park.
The judging panel comprises three local chefs. Last night's panel included Christine Cushing, television host and cookbook author; Rodney Bowers, chef/owner of Hey Meatball; and Giacomo Pasquini, executive chef at Vertical Restaurant, all of Toronto.
The mystery boxes included asparagus, buffalo mozzarella, lemon and pancetta for the appetizer round; Liber Terre chicken wings, roasted peanuts, mixed mini potatoes and Frank's Red Hot Sweet Chili Sauce for the entrée round; and grapefruit, green tea, honey and rosemary for dessert.
"It was really fun," said Chef Serre. "I haven't competed since college. I thought my simple salad in the appetizer round was too simple, but I felt pretty confident after that."
Chef Serre's appetizer salad featured a lemon vinaigrette with blanched asparagus. For the main, he made sweet chili chicken wings with toasted peanuts, blood orange segments and fried potatoes. His dessert included whipped goat cheese with grilled grapefruit and green tea rosemary syrup.
"You learn the most about a chef with a mystery box challenge - it shows a chef's true ability," said judge Cushing. "Chef Serre showed consistency of flavours from course to course and demonstrated simplicity and knowledge in the harmony of ingredients."
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
Round 10 - Chef Michael Bashford of Beretta Farms in Etobicoke
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 Serre 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:
Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254 or [email protected].