2011 Chef of the Year Competition, Vancouver Island

1st Place Winner Chef Ryan Reed and Sous Chef Jenny Jones. Photo by Ellie Shortt

If you think Berkshire pork tenderloin and peppercorn gnocchi with a Madeira sauce sound like a winning combination, then you’d be in agreement with both the judges and the guests at last weekend’s 2011 Canadian Culinary Federation Vancouver Island Chef of the Year Competition.


This stunning main dish was just one item on Chef Ryan Reed’s victorious menu, which included three other courses of delicately plated but full-flavoured dishes, winning him the People’s Choice Award as well as title of Vancouver Island 2011 Chef of the Year. Chef John Waller was awarded 2nd place winner with a menu that included parsley root and ricotta agnolotti, with roasted cauliflower & toasted pistachios. The 3rd place recipient was Chef Daryl Pope whose menu included a pear & honey braised bison short rib appetizer with parsnip puree, caramelized pear, Belgian endive and fried parsnip.


Each chef performed exceptionally well, displaying the talent we are fortunate to have on Vancouver Island. But for the judges, there was a clear winner. Tasting judge Chef Gyurkovits explained that the calibre of skill Chef Reed demonstrated was of the highest level, and his creations could truly hold their own at any competition worldwide.


Top: Chef Tony Trinh preparing a sauce during the competition. Middle: Hors d’oeuvres enjoyed by guests at the reception. Hors D’oeuvres include (from left) roasted vegetable tart with a goats cheese and edamame filling, Fraser Valley duck breast with cranberry and sour cherry gastrique, dried chorizo and a smoked paprika aioli on top of a baguette slice, lamb kofta in between two pita crisps. Bottom: Tasting Judges take a look at the competitors’ plates.

However, Chef Reed’s success didn’t come without last minute

Top to bottom: 1) A row of contestants eagerly awaiting the announcement for the winner. 2) Pan Seared Peppercorn Crusted Tenderloin finished with a Mulled Prevost Reduction on top of a Carrot and Potato Mash and Island Squash, by Chef Travis Rawluk. 3) Petite Chicken Ballontine, Roasted Pepper, Corn Puree, Pistachios, and Micro Greens, by Chef Brock Bowes. 4) Milk Chocolate, Blood Orange Coulis, Vanilla Praline Ice Cream by Winning Team Chef Ryan Reed and Sous Chef Jenny Jones. Photos by Ellie Shortt

stress. Five days before the competition his assistant pulled out, causing the chef to seriously consider withdrawing from the competition. Without a moment to spare, Reed was able to find another Sous Chef (Jenny Jones) who not only provided assistance for a past winner, but also came up with the concept behind their dessert – a delicious combination of milk chocolate, blood orange coulis, and a vanilla praline ice cream. In addition to a trophy and a monetary reward, Chef Reed will have the honour of participating in the Provincial round of the Chef of the Year Competition in January.


Other than Chef Reed’s big win and the amazing talent shown by each of his fellow competitors, highlights of the event, organized by COTY Chair Terry Lockhart-Rust, included a champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception, and an appearance by last year’s winner Graham Smith. There was also raffles for gift baskets and weekend getaways, which in addition to ticket sales, raised funds that contribute to the educational advancement of future chefs through scholarship awards.


The Event: The Canadian Culinary Federation 2011 Chef of the Year Competition, Vancouver Island

When/Where: Sunday, November 20th 2011, Camosun College Interurban Campus, Hubert Hall.


The Competitors:

Chef Takumi Kitamura & Sous Chef Vincent Baart

Chef John Waller & Sous Chef Emily Phillips (2nd Place Winner, People’s Choice Best Course #2)

Chef Andrew Kuwica & Sous Chef Matt McRae

Chef Brock Bowes & Sous Chef Alan Maceiras

Chef Ryan Reed & Sous Chef Jenny Jones (1st Place Winner, People’s Choice Best Course #3 and #4, People’s Choices Best Overall)

Chef Travis Rawluk & Sous Chef Tyler Patterson (People’s Choice Best Course #1)

Chef Garrett Schack & Sous Chef Sam Edmondson

Chef Daryl Pope & Sous Chef Tony Trinh (3rd Place Winner)

Chef Lana Popham & Sous Chef Gordon



The Judges:

Kitchen: Chef David Roger, Chef Walter Gurtner, Chef Lesley Stav, Chef Ronald St. Pierre

Timing: Chef Nick Milonas, Chef Graham Hawkins

Tasting: Chef Donald Gyurkovits, Chef Angelo Prosperi-Porta, Chef Dwane MacIsaac


The Winning Menu:

Course #1: Duck Breast, Hazelnut Foie Gras Croquette, Black Plum

Course #2: West Coast Salmon, Qualicum Bay Scallop, Green Pea Puree

Course #3: Berkshire Pork Tenderloin, Peppercorn Gnocchi, Madeira Sauce

Course #4: Milk Chocolate, Blood Orange Coulis, Vanilla Praline Ice Cream

– By Ellie Shortt



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