The Tomato

Meet the 2016 Gold Medal Plates Contenders

Ten hopefuls compete to become Edmonton’s top chef

On October 20, 10 chefs vie for three spots on the podium of the Edmonton Gold Medal Plates competition. Some Gold Medal Plates facts: Chefs must be at the executive chef level or own their own restaurant. Past competitors are always welcome, but newcomers are encouraged to compete. Last year’s champ (Jan Trittenbach) sits out of competition and takes a turn at the judges’ table. The gold medal winner goes on to represent Edmonton at the national Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna next February. Chef Ryan O’Flynn has been Edmonton’s sole podium finish (gold in 2014) at nationals, yet the event here is always the first to sell out. Gold Medal Plates has raised close to $11 million for the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

There are only a few tix left for the #yeg GMP competition October 20. Get yours now:

Steven Brochu
Steven Brochu, Chartier (Beaumont)
“I’m really looking forward to the competition; it’s such a great mix of chefs this year. I am part of a restaurant that has a strong belief system and a tight focus on one style of cuisine, so our dish is a classic Canadian dish—tourtiére. We make it in the restaurant, but we are going to chef ’s-table it up. We’ll pair it with a cocktail, either gin or vodka, with all-Alberta ingredients.”
Geoffrey Caswell-Murphy
Geoffrey Caswell-Murphy CCC, Share at the Westin
“When our team won bronze in Regina, my exec sous and I came up with the dish at the last possible second. This year we are planning ahead. We have chosen the winery, Red Rooster, but not the wine yet, and we are playing around with something quite different for me—cold instead of hot, with ingredients from all across Canada. We’re thinking pheasant, or perhaps nose to tail, which is difficult for so many chefs.”
Shane Chartrand
Shane Chartrand, Sage
“I have always wanted to do a strong aboriginal dish, and this year I have the team to do it with. The dish is a tribute to the Haida Gwaii— west coast seafood, charcoal smoke with all its earthy flavours, and we’ll be pairing with either Culmina or the new Indigenous World Winery.”
Bryan Cruz
Bryan Cruz, The Marc
“I was raised by my grandmother and my uncles in the Philippines, and I remember watching them, whether it was making the day’s meal, or preparing for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. When we moved to Canada, my first restaurant job was cooking hamburgers while I was in high school. Food has to taste good first, and then it has to look good. Keeping a minimalist approach is something I’m constantly working on.” Bryan’s dish for October 20 involves pork and BC Tree Fruit’s Broken Ladder apple cider.
Eric Hanson
Eric Hanson, Prairie Noodle Shop
This is chef Hanson’s first appearance at Gold Medal Plates and probably the first time he’s been in one place long enough to compete. Between stints of travel and working abroad, Eric has been involved with Passion for Pork, Niche, Get Cooking, North 53 and is now settled in at Prairie Noodle.
Tony Krause
Tony Krause, Privada Wine + Tapas (St. Albert)
“This is my first time heading up a team for Gold Medal Plates. GMP is a great cause, and it’s nice to support the Canadian culinary scene. I helped a team in Saskatoon, so I have some idea of what it takes. It’s a lot of fun too. The main idea is rockfish, perhaps a terrine, still working it out and we’re still talking about the wine.”
Lindsay Porter
Lindsay Porter, el Cortez
El Cortez executive chef Lindsay Porter comes back to GMP after scooping the bronze in her first try. “It’s pretty steep competition this year—I have my work cut out for me.”The dish? “We went to the southern US earlier this year to do research for the menu at our new sister restaurant Have Mercy. There was an amazing dish —a long charcoal-smoked rib—at a place in Memphis called Rendezvous. So I’m heading in that direction—pork, charcoal, smoke, to pair with the Hester Creek 2014 Syrah Viognier.

“My goal this year (besides winning) is to try more of the other chef’s dishes.”

Doreen Prei, Get Cooking
Chef Prei won silver at her first Gold Medal Plates and gold at the Canadian Food Championships in the Seafood category.
“I visited 50th Parallel Winery this summer and found so many quail living on the property. It’s not so nailed down yet, but 50th Parallel with quail is the direction.”
Paul Shufelt, Workshop Eatery
Chef Shufelt is our most seasoned competitor, but this is the first time he has entered at the helm of his own restaurant. “We’re planning on duck from Four Whistle Farm and using the whole bird. Confit the neck and legs, use the kidney, heart and liver in a savoury terrine. We are looking at either TH Wines from the Okanagan or Benjamin Bridge from Nova Scotia.“I love the versatility of duck and duck fat. The key is to not overcook it; crisp the skin, and cook it nowhere past medium rare. Duck is funny—if it’s rare it’s chewy, if medium, it’s tough, gotta find the sweet spot.”
Emmanuel Theriault
Emmanuel Theriault, Pack Rat Louie
Chef Theriault has an impressive resume, having worked with Martin Picard at Pied de Cochon and Fred Morin and David McMillan at Joe Beef and Liverpool House in his native Quebec.Three years ago he moved to Edmonton to follow his love (his wife) and passion (cooking). Lucky us.

“I am making a dish that is usually made with rabbit braised in a strong red wine. Instead we are using bison (probably sous vide) and pairing it with a Sandhill wine. It’s a country dish and using bison reflects where I live now.”

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