Doing good by Eating well. Habitat for Humanity receives $4000 in fixtures from American Standard and Grohe, and a donation from Chef Collective.
The Chef Collective is back, and the enthusiastic industry insiders and food lovers who packed Boehmer Restaurant to the rafters, couldn’t be happier. Here is a Culinary Battle created by chefs for chefs. Three prominent chefs compete for the chance to win the competition title, prizes and bragging rights.
Hosted by Chef Joe Friday and Chef Devan Rajkumar, the action-packed event challenges three of the industry’s top chefs. Chef Jerome Robinson, Chef Sam Medeiros and Chef Imrun Texeira have one hour to create two original dishes using a secret ingredient. In front of their peers at an open kitchen, there is no room for error. The tension is palpable. And, sitting at the judges table, right in front of the action, within eyeball-distance of any errors, is a formidable industry panel. Top Chef Canada season nine winner Chef Erica Karbelnik, grill master Chef Robert Rainford, restaurateur and Iron Chef Canada season six winner Chef Paul Boehmer, and Canada’s renowned cheese expert Afrim Pristine judge the dishes and choose the winner.
Large TV monitors throughout the room bring the kitchen action to everyone’s view. The secret ingredients are unveiled: a beautiful selection of beef from Meyer Angus Canada and eggs from Egg Farmers of Ontario. The chefs begin, mindful of the digital clock, clicking toward sixty minutes.
Chef Medeiros creates two original dishes: Beef Tenderloin Egg Roll with lime vinaigrette, pear and toasted sesame, and Beef Striploin Katsu with nduja, fresh oyster sauce, kumquat, radish and celery salad. Dessert is Cinnamon Sugar Churro with chocolate dip and a glass of Baileys.
Chef Robinson uses the secret ingredients to make crostinis with beef and sausage gravy, chili oil topped sautéed kale, mushrooms and an egg. Then to finish, his trademark dish, truffle mac n’ cheese with stewed beef.
Chef Imrun Texiera presents a most complex and ambitious menu. First course is Flank Steak and celery, Steak Tataki with crispy celery leaves, soy cured egg yolk and Black garlic Dashi broth. Followed by Beef and Kimizu Souse Vide, Grilled Strip Loin, roasted heirloom tomato, aerated Kimizu, Fennel pollen and Port demi glace. His dessert, another unique course, is pan seared Foie gras, apples flambeed in Calvados and brown butter, Maple gastrique, and torched Truffle Gouda cheese. All in one hour, folks. This chef is amazing.
From my bird’s eye view of the judges’ reactions and whispered discussions as they admire presentations and taste the dishes before them, choosing a winner is not a simple task.
And the winner is: Chef Sam Medeiros wins the Chefs Collective Toronto Battle. In addition to bragging rights, the young chef receives two round-trip tickets to Lime, Peru with Copa Airlines, $1,000 for spending money, and more.
In partnership with Samurai Media, The Chef Collective is proudly supported and sponsored by title sponsor Ontario Beef as well as Meyer Angus Canada, Egg Farmers of Ontario, SYZL, Mountain Oak Cheese, St. Lawrence Market, Amarula, Gnarly Head, Mezzacorona, El Dorado Rum, Carib Brewery, Perennial Brands (18.8 and Ab0ve Cocktails), Medium Rare Chef Apparel, CookUP Co. (AMT Gastroguss Pans, F. DICK Knives and ProfBoard Cutting Boards.)
Sara Waxman, OOnt, is an award-winning restaurant critic, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and has eaten her way through much of the free world for four decades, while writing about it in books, newspapers and magazines. She is the Editor in Chief of DINE and Destinations magazine.