(Charlottetown, PE – July 14, 2017) The Garland Canada International Chef Challenge returns to the PEI International Shellfish Festival with its most intense competition yet. The Competition is the Festival’s most prestigious event and gets underway on Friday, September 15th, with the semi-finals on September 16 and finals on September 17. Food Network’s Chef Lynn Crawford will return as a head judge along with other judges soon to be named. This year the competition heats up with an all-Canadian line-up to celebrate Canada 150!
“The Government of Canada is proud to support the PEI International Shellfish Festival, a world-class event that celebrates our strong Island fishery, aquaculture, and agri-food sectors all packaged in a culinary tourism experience,” said Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). “Best of luck to participants from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia in the 2017 Chef Challenge.”
Top Chef Canada meets live action in this high stake competition where $10,000 cash is on the line. With the growing popularity of live cooking competitions like Master Chef, this fierce competition has quickly become a crowd favourite as chefs go to head under the pressure of a live audience. Over 25 Canadian chefs applied, with 11 of the country’s best chefs being selected by an industry panel based on culinary skill, reputation and notoriety.
Earlier today Best of Sea announced their 2017 Chic Chef of the Year after a month long competition that included sixteen of the Islands top local chefs. The winner, Javier Alarco, is an Island favourite and will take the 12th spot in the Garland Canada International Chef Challenge lineup. Cheer on this hometown hero as he heads into the action on the mainstage at the Festival this fall.
“The quality, freshness and flavor of seafood available here in Canada’s Food Island lends itself well to the talent and creativeness of the culinary world. The PEI International Shellfish Festival and Best of Sea are great ways to showcase both,” said Prince Edward Island Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac. “I want to recognize all chefs who participated in this year’s Best of Sea promotion and I look forward to cheering on Chef Javier Alarco as he competes among the very best Canada has to offer. This year’s International Shellfish Festival will be something truly special.”
Meet the Garland Canada International Chef Challenge Competitors:
- Andrew McLeod (Bolete, St. Catharine’s Ontario): 1st place winner – 2016 Garland Canada International Chef Challenge and runner-up in 2015.
- Jinhee Lee (Foreign Concept, Calgary Alberta): Crowned the culinary queen after claiming gold at the 2017 Canadian Culinary Championship.
- Lindsay Porter (Woodwork, Edmonton Alberta): Gold Medal Plates 2014; Bronze Winner 2015 and 2016 participant.
- John Vetere (Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake Ontario): Yours Truly – Toronto Life’s Best New Restaurant 2012.
- Stephen Pynn (The Stone Jug, Carbonear Newfoundland): Appearance on TV Series Four Senses with Top Chef Canada’s Carl Heinrich and featured in Toronto Cooks Cookbook.
- Kenneth Pittman (Seto Kitchen & Bar, St. John’s Newfoundland): Graduate of the Culinary Institute of Canada, MacLean’s Top 50 (2013), nominated for best new restaurant in Canada by Enroute Magazine (2016)
- Jeremy Charles (Raymonds, St. John’s Newfoundland): consecutive winner of MacLean’s Top 50 Restaurants in Canada and two-time winner of Enroute’s Best New Restaurant in Canada Award. MacLean’s Magazine considers him one of the 13 “Most Powerful People in Canadian Arts and Media.”
- Chris Stewart (Hawksworth, Vancouver British Columbia): Cooked for the Queen at Windsor Castle; #6 on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants.
- Stephen Wall (Supply and Demand, Ottawa Ontario): Top 30 under 30 at Ontario Hospitality Awards, Silver Medalist Gold Medal Plates (2015), named 4th best restaurant (2014) in Canada by Enroute Magazine
- Jeremy Tucker (Vineyard Terrance Cedar Creek Estate Winery, Kelowna British Columbia): Islander and graduate of the Culinary Institute of Canada. Has cooked at James Beard House in New York.
- Jeremie Falissard (Barroco, Montreal Quebec): Head chef of award winning Restaurant Barroco and a couteaux tires winner.
- Javier Alarco (Waters Edge, Charlottetown PEI): Best of Sea Chic Chef of the Year (2017)
“Our country turns 150 this year. To celebrate, we’re hosting the best chefs from across the country to compete in this high stake competition where $10,000 cash is on the line,” says Liam Dolan, Festival Chair. “This is the most impressive roster of chefs we’ve ever had and an incredible opportunity to introduce these talented chefs to Canada’s Food Island and our world class shellfish products.”
Over $24,000 in cash prizes will be handed out over the weekend as part of industry, chowder and shucking competitions. The PEI Fishermen’s Association will again attempt to break the World’s Longest Lobster Roll Record. This year’s lobster roll is expected to exceed 150 feet with the entire roll constructed inside the tent. This year’s length makes its too difficult to build off-site and transport to the Festival.
Festival headliners include Gordie McKeeman and his Rhythm Boys and the Big Bad Party Band on Friday, September 15; Trinity Bradshaw and Signal Hill on September 16 and Matt Minglewood on September 17. Advance tickets and pricing are now in effect until September 14.
For tickets or to learn more about the Garland Canada International Chef Challenge, visit www.peishellfish.com
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Established in 2003 this competition has evolved over a decade into what is now known as one of Canada’s longest running culinary competitions. Watch as 12 Chefs go head to head in front of a live audience and panel of celebrity judges.
Chefs will be given a black box of ingredients and asked during the 45-minute preliminary heat to prepare an entrée dish. Six chefs will go on to compete in the semi-finals and two chefs in the finals.
Chefs are judged based on presentation, taste, and menu. This is a world class culinary competition sponsored by Garland Canada, the Culinary Institute of Canada and Innovation PEI with a $10,000 cash prize. Competitors are expected to bring creativity and originality to their dishes, highlighting Prince Edward Island’s world class shellfish.
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