Algonquin chefs win culinary hot food challenge on home turf

Algonquin chefs win culinary hot food challenge on home turf

Fourth annual event attracts five teams competing for total $2,.000 purse


L-R, judge chef Claude Leblond from sponsor High Liner Foods, winning Algonquin College culinary team members Isreal Loylo, lead chef Brendan Kobzan, Tyler Devine, with Canadian Culinary Federation (Ottawa) president chef Russ Weir.

JUN 11 14 – 2:50 PM — A culinary team from Food Services at Algonquin College took the top $1,000 prize Sunday at the fourth annual Canadian Culinary Federation (Ottawa) hot food competition, headed by chef Brendan Kobzan with Tyler Devine and Isreal Loylo.

Placing second ($700 prize) was team Marriott Hotel led by executive chef Mark Steele with Han Lin and Kevin Pearce, while third place ($300) went to Café 327 led by chef/restaurant owner Colin Lockett with Andy Wong and Brittany Maika. Café 327 also collected the People’s Choice award.

CCF-1Surprise ingredients from the Ottawa Mission, above. Competing teams were awarded extra points if they could incorporate ingredients from the soup kitchen in their dishes Sunday.

Prizes were announced before an audience of about 100 attending the annual CCF Ottawa Culinary Celebration Gala held at the college.

CCF-2Top, contestants Andy Wong and Brittany Maika from Café 327 give themselves a high-five. Bottom left, chef Eric Rochon from team National Arts Centre; right, chef Brendan Kobzan from top-place team Algonquin College.

In all, five teams competed in the event sponsored by Maple Leaf Foods, which supplied chicken and pork belly for the contestants, and High Liner Foods, which provided peeled and deveined 16/20 size shrimp and cod fillets from the North Atlantic. In a new twist this year, the Ottawa Mission as sponsor supplied various products ranging from Kraft Dinner to jam, pasta and canned goods that are typically donated to the soup kitchen. Contestants were awarded extra points if they were able to incorporate the soup kitchen ingredients.

Gee, would could have imagined haute cuisine Kraft Dinner?

While proteins from High Liner and Maple Leaf were known to contestants in advance, they had no inkling of the products supplied that morning by the Ottawa Mission.

Other teams included lead chef Jhonathan Gonzalez with Tanya Innestrom and Melanie Winiger from Winchelsea Events, and Eric Rochon, Abhishak Shetye and Jacob Greene from the National Arts Centre. Judges were chefs Frédéric Filliodeau from the Sheraton Ottawa, Claude Leblond from High Liner Foods, Kenton Leier of the Weston Ottawa, and Ric Watson at the Ottawa Mission.

The winning plates looked like this:


Winning team Algonquin College’s appetizer of seafood tower, lemon aioli, candied lemon rind that managed to incorporate canned potato and coconut milk from the Ottawa Mission.


Also from Algonquin College, main plate with chicken, pork belly, fresh vegetables and pavé potato with pickled asparagus, slaw. From the Mission, the dish incorporated Kraft Dinner cheese powder in the carrot cream and pavé, blueberry jam in pinot noir wine reduction.


Appetizer from second-place Marriott Hotel: Smoked cod brandade pierogi with candied bacon and pistachio tuile, caramelized onion and crispy Yukon Gold potato threads. No ingredients from the soup kitchen found their way into this dish.



The Marriott’s main dish of beer-braised pork belly, mini candy apple, maple gastrique with crispy sweet potato tuile, fried crispy sage. Ingredients incorporated from Ottawa Mission included ketchup, peanut butter, a Kraft Dinner fried croquette, orange ginger purée.


Team Café 327 placed third, also winning People’s Choice, with this appetizer of crispy braised pork belly, coconut ginger shrimp, Thai chili sauce, tender greens. Mission ingredients included coconut milk, ketchup.


Main dish from Café 327 of chicken asparagus roulade, sweet potato gnocchi, home-made ricotta, smoked mushroom and rosemary jus with brown butter. Ingredient from Ottawa Mission was blueberry jam.


L-R sequestered chef judges Claude Leblond, Frédéric Filliodeau, Ric Watson and Kenton Leier.


A sample of gala dinner desserts (not in competition) from a team lead by executive chef Jean Claude Bertin of Rideau Carleton Raceway.


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