This past Friday, November 21, Larry Mogelonsky was asked to judge the annual Copper Skillet competition for the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) at the BMO Institute for Learning in the northern end of Toronto.
Sponsored by Maison LeGrand, the food competition was amongst five acclaimed Canadian chefs who each had to prepare a dish within 30 minutes. These five included:
- Luc McCabe – Executive Chef, NAV Centre
- Rick Doucett – Sous Chef, Donald Gordon Centre
- Alan Van Heerden – Executive Sous Chef, BMO Institute for Learning
- Tim Lentz – Sous Chef, Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre
- Rexy Barit – Baker, BMO Institute for Learning
Given a standard assortment of basic ingredients and vegetables (olive oil, butter, red wine, carrots, scallions, broccoli, herbs, spices etc.), the mystery mains were then revealed – red snapper, beef sirloin and pork belly – and each chef then had an additional ten minutes to think about what dish they would cook prior to the 30 minute battle. As cooking tools, each station was fitted with two gas stove tops and accompanying skillets (hence the name!) with no ovens, microwaves or other appliances available.
Joining Larry as a judge was Rose Reisman, acclaimed culinary author and owner of the Pickle Barrel restaurant chain. The five chefs were scored on taste, presentation, creativity, variety of ingredients, practicality for meetings purposes and work station cleanliness.
Amazingly, both Larry and Rose chose the same chef as the winner – Tim Lentz – with both awarding him the exact same score. It was a tough decision though; all the final tallies were close! As the 2014 Canadian champion, Chef Lentz advances to the next round, which pits him against the very best of North American chefs in a competition taking place in Flordia this upcoming January 2015. While Chef Lentz took the prize at the senior level, Chef Barit also advanced to represent Canada at the junior level.
Congratulations to all five chefs who participated, and if you ever happen upon one of the centres where these fine chefs work, do yourself a favor and try their food because it’ll be incredible!