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Shaw Centre hosts Gold Medal Plates Ottawa, reigning as one of the city’s top culinary events

Gold Medal Plates is known as “Canada’s Best Kitchen Party” and there’s no denying it lives up to the hype. Shaw Centre hosted GMP Ottawa along with 650 guests for the fourth consecutive time on November 9, 2017, where all proceeds went towards the Canadian Olympic Foundation. This unique tie-in brings together two strong communities, Canadian athletes and Ottawa chefs, for a memorable evening bursting with national pride. As Ottawa’s kitchen and restaurant scene grows at an impressive rate, it’s no surprise tickets for this annual culinary event are some of the most highly sought-after in the Nation’s Capital.

The event is based around ten locally recognized chefs who face off against one another in hopes their dish will be recognized as the winning recipe by a panel of judges compiled of industry leaders. The gold-medal chef will then go on to represent Ottawa and receive national recognition competing at the Gold Medal Plates Culinary Championships, on February 2-3, 2018 in Kelowna, BC.

2017 Gold Medal Plates winners, 1st 2nd and 3rd

Briana Kim of Café My House displays her gold medal plate, alongside Yannick LaSalle of Les Fougères (silver medal winner), and Steve Harris of two six {ate} (bronze medal winner). Photo: Gold Medal Plates

Below is the list of the 10 local chefs who participated in GMP Ottawa, their presented dish, restaurant and Ottawa neighbourhood/suburb:

  • Briana Kim, Café My House (Hintonburg) – Ginger marinated “steak” and smoked mushroom
  • Jeff Bradfield, Bar Lupulus (Wellington West) – Smoked sturgeon with caviar, pickles, crema and shungiku
  • Jordan Holley, Riviera (Centretown) – Matsutake chawanmushi with crab
  • Kevin Benes, Carben Food + Drink (Hintonburg) – Beef tongue, carrot, corn, clack garlic, nasturtium and consommé
  • Kyle Mortimer-Proulx, La Maison Conroy (Aylmer) – Elk ranch osso bucco with fermented blueberry demiglace
  • Marc Doiron, town (Centretown) – Green chili pozole verde and hominy cake
  • Steve Harris, two six {ate} (Little Italy) – Sea urchin pate in smoked urchin aspic
  • Jamie Stunt, Soif bar à vin (Hull, QC) – Scallop with fried shitake pickle and smoked eel
  • Walid El-Tawel, Fairouz (Centretown) – Ras el-hanout crusted seal
  • Yannick LaSalle, Les Fougères (Chelsea, QC) – Pangnirtung Wild Arctic char, butternut squash purée, cranberries, maple syrup and ginger
Marc Doiron and his team at table making food

Marc Doiron of Town leads his team at their GMP Ottawa food station

The evening began with guests mingling and sampling the individual dishes presented by these acclaimed Ottawa chefs, each with their own food station, and paired with a Canadian wine of their choice – or in this case there was also cocktails, beer and even sake. Guest could also bid on silent auction items such as fine wines, international trips, Olympic memorabilia, and other enticing items.

The third-floor space of Shaw Centre, known as Parliament Foyer, lends itself well to this vibrant atmosphere. The high-level local cuisine is enough for guests to feel a sense of pride for their city, but the captivating backdrop of the Ottawa cityscape revealed through the Centre’s glass walls is a constant reminder of how great this city truly is.

A couple hours later, after guests were able to indulge their senses, they made their way into the adjoining Canada Hall space, where dessert was presented by Shaw Centre’s Executive Chef, Patrick Turcot, and his culinary team. It was a Korean themed dish, tying in the host of 2018 Winter Olympics, featuring adzuki bean brownies, sesame seed candy and flourless rainbow cake.

The evening continued with a program led by Olympic medalist, Isabelle Charest and a question-and-answer period led by Sylvie Bigras, featuring interviews with Olympians Farah Jacques (athletics, Rio 2016), Erica Wiebe (wrestling gold medalist, Rio 2016) and Ashleigh McIvor – (skicross gold medalist, Vancouver 2010). In addition, there was no shortage of live entertainment and an exciting live auction featuring several world-class trips.

green leafy food in a white dish

The winning dish by Briana Kim of Café My House. Photo: Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia

The evening wrapped up with the final announcement everyone had been waiting for – the presentation of the winning dish. The bronze-medal-winning dish was presented to Steven Harris of two six {ate}, the silver-medal dish went to Yannick La Salle of Restaurant Les Fougères in Chelsea, Quebec, and the gold-medal dish was awarded to Briana Kim of Café My House. Kim made history as the first vegan dish to win GMP Ottawa, proving you don’t necessarily need meat to make a flavourful dish enjoyed by the masses.

Hats off to everyone involved in this incredible event: the chefs, athletes, musicians, volunteers, and the Shaw Centre operations team working hard behind the scenes. The event was a huge success, helping support our Canadian Olympic athletes on their quest for gold in PyeongChang 2018. GMP Ottawa 2017 leaves some tough plates to fill, but there is no question many will return next year to see what other new dishes Ottawa brings to the table.