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Almost Famous Canadian Winner

For the second year running I had the opportunity to attend the Canadian regional finals for the S. Pellegrino Amost Famous Chef Competition. My view from the audience this year was more relaxed than last year as part of the judging panel. All the same, I really enjoyed tasting what six of Canada’s top culinary students had to offer.

The panel of eight judges (including Toronto blogger Alexa Clark) chose Daniela “Danger” Molettieri as their favourite. Daniela will represent Canada at the North American finals in March in Napa Valley. She’ll have to recreate her Filet of Veal stuffed with wild mushrooms for a room of 150 guests.

Daniela Molettieri accepts her prize as the winner of Canadian regional finals for the S. Pellegrino Almost Famous chef competition.

Daniela Molettieri accepts her prize as the winner of Canadian regional finals for the S. Pellegrino Almost Famous chef competition.

Based on their exuberant reactions after her win it was obvious that Daniela, who studies at the Institut de tourisme et d’hotellerie du  Quebec, had found a place in the heart of some of the panel’s judges. 

Daniela Molettieri's winning dish: Filet of veal stuffed with wild mushrooms.

Daniela Molettieri's winning dish: Filet of veal stuffed with wild mushrooms.

The other Canadian regional contestants, their schools, and dishes were:

  • Hans Berg; The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Vancouver; Atlantic Cod in Limonata
  • Cole Nicholson; The George Brown Chefs School; Maple & Juniper Seared Venison Loin
  • Anne-Marie Plourde; École hôtelière de la capitale; Roasted Duck Breast and Gingerbread Crusted Foie Gras
  • Deaille (Yee Man) Tam; The George Brown Chefs School; Steamed Halibut Marinated with Mirin & Sake (she poached the fish instead.)
  • Charles Gignac; École hôtelière de la capitale; Roasted Rack of Québec Piglet
Chef judge Ricardo Roque gives one of the competitors the business for the temperature of his dish.

Chef judge Ricardo Roque gives one of the competitors the business for the temperature of his dish.

If comfort food and simple classics are dominating restaurant menus the same is apparently not the case for culinary school curricula. This year two of the six competitors used a Thermomix (a device so expensive that dealer’s make you apply to be told the price) for a significant portion of their dishes.

Anne-Marie Plourde's duck dish on its way to the judges.

Anne-Marie Plourde's duck dish on its way to the judges.

I’m also happy to announce that we have a winner for our contest on Food With Legs. I used random.org to select the fifth commenter, CallieK, as the winner of a $150 gift certificate to Lee Restaurant courtesy of S. Pellegrino.

Incidentally, CallieK had one of the more unique cookbook suggestions with The Ontario Table by Lynn Ogryzlo. Thanks to Callie’s tip we’ve all got another book on our to-read list.

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One Comment

  1. CallieK says:

    Thanks for the gift certificate- I’m looking forward to a fabulous meal at Lee! Hope you enjoy the book as well.

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