Victoria chef takes home award at Canadian Culinary Championships

Chef Takashi Ito won the people's choice competition at the Canadian Culinary Championships on Feb. 1, 2019.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Canadian Culinary Championships

KELOWNA — A chef from Victoria has won the first competition of Kelowna’s Canadian Culinary Championship, yesterday.

Chef Takashi Ito from AURA restaurant in Victoria was chosen by 400 guests to receive the People’s Choice Award, a media releases says.

Chef Ito’s seared pork belly and gnocchi, winter squash puree and black sesame tenkasu was paired with a “mystery wine” which turned out to be a Cabernet Franc wine from West Kelowna’s Mission Hill Family Estate.

The Mystery Wine Competition is the first of three contests over two days.  The people’s choice award won’t affect the official judging scores to determine the 2019 Culinary Championship.

That being said, it’s still a win for Ito.

“Wow, I’m so happy what a great way to end the day,” Chef Ito says in the release.

Ito is one of eleven competitors who received a bottle of the unlabelled wine, and challenged to create a dish that would pair well with it.

Chefs went shopping in Kelowna with a budget of $500 to feed 400 guests. Some are more familiar with local suppliers, and others had arrived a few days earlier to familiarize themselves with the city.

David Lawrason, national wine advisor for Canada’s Great Kitchen Party, helped choose the mystery wine for this year’s competition.

“When selecting a wine, we look for a wine that will challenge our competitors and bring out their creativity,” he says in the release.

The competition continues today as chefs take part in the “Black Box” competition at Okanagan College. They will close off the two-day competition with the Grand Finale at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort.

Tonight the three winning chefs will be standing on the podium.

Chefs Competing at the 2019 Canadian Culinary Championships:

British Columbia
Takashi Ito - AURA waterfront restaurant + patio, Victoria

Edmonton
Davina Moraiko – RGE RD

Calgary
Dave Bohati – Murrieta’s

Saskatchewan
Christopher Hill – Taste Restaurant Group

Winnipeg
Jesse S. Friesen - The Merchant Kitchen

Toronto
Elia Herrera – Colibri

Ottawa/Gatineau
Yannick LaSalle – Restaurant Les Fougères, Chelsea, QC

Montreal
Jason Morris - Pastel

New Brunswick and PEI
Irwin MacKinnon – Papa Joe’s, Charlottetown, PEI

Nova Scotia
Thomas Carey – Fresh Twenty One, Dartmouth

Newfoundland and Labrador
Katie Hayes – Bonavista Social Club, Bonavista Peninsula

Chef Ito’s seared pork belly and gnocchi, winter squash puree and black sesame tenkasu was paired with a “mystery wine” which turned out to be a Cabernet Franc wine from West Kelowna’s Mission Hill Family Estate.
Chef Ito’s seared pork belly and gnocchi, winter squash puree and black sesame tenkasu was paired with a “mystery wine” which turned out to be a Cabernet Franc wine from West Kelowna’s Mission Hill Family Estate.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Canadian Culinary Championships


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