Moving Forward

These past few weeks have been keeping my hands filled, with school, culinary gigs, airbnb, culinary competition prep, competition itself, awesome time in Toronto while trying to keep a social life… It kind of feels weird going back to the normal beat.

Prepped and ready to head over to the Toronto Food and Wine to compete on the Taste Canada Cooks the Books competition
Prepped and ready to head over to the Toronto Food and Wine to compete on the Taste Canada Cooks the Books competition (from left to right. Chef Derek, Chef Giulia, Culinary students Olivia, Miguel and Nick, VP Chef Alain and Chef Sistino)

The Taste Canada Cooks the Books competition was a freaking awesome experience! I feel lucky to have had the chance to work along side all these great folks, spending a weekend in Toronto with all of the crew was also pretty cool and we got to bring a trophy back with us for the next years group to go fight and keep it. In short, the national competition had 10 schools that they assigned an author and a recipe from their book for us to recreate with our personal touch to then serve up to the judges. The other contestants recipes? They included lobster tails, scallops, sushi and many more. Ours? The little slider that could! Bison sliders with blueberry sauce was the title of our recipe, not so threatening eh? Leave it up to the Roastbusters to kick it up a notch.

Bison slider trying on many dresses
Bison slider trying on many dresses

Sides, plating, quantities and many other details were changed every day, something that can be quite frustrating. We went through so many sides and only decided on a lot of things a couple days before we departed to Toronto, the most dramatic one was when our dear friend Olivia unexpectedly changed our whole canvas for the best. What else could we do to compliment the dish? Soft bread that will still hold that saucy little burger! Pretzel, challah, milk bread, jalapeno bread, squid ink bun… What will tie in and accentuate the slider? Beetroot bread! Once we knew we were rolling with that one, it was time to simplify the recipe. Once we were confident we had the pleasure to have guests from past competition come in and try the dish, give us feedback and wish us good luck because we’d need it!

Bison slider, marinated red onions, goat cheese, blueberry bbq sauce on a beetroot bread with an apple, fennel, smoked corn and kohlrabi slaw and candy cane beetroot chips accompanied by a goat cheese mousse and bbq sause for dip.
Bison slider, marinated red onions, goat cheese, blueberry bbq sauce on a beetroot bread with an apple, fennel, smoked corn and kohlrabi slaw and candy cane beetroot chips accompanied by a goat cheese mousse and bbq sause for dip.

At the awards gala, we waited anxiously for the Taste Canada Cooks the Books category to come up. I was pretty calm until the third place was announced, the second place went to someone else… my heart started racing, time started to slow down… they called our name and we all sprung up in joy! We made noise, Montreal in the house! We moved on to cocktails to celebrate our victory! Winning night might have been the most tamed outing we had seeing as we got the pleasure to try out Boralia on our first night in and got a next level experience from Chef Nick Liu at Dailo.

Gala - Taste Canada Cooks The Books

With this story coming to a close, whats next? One more event, one more Restaurant Day, so little time left at school, internships soon and then?

Want to make the slider? Here’s two articles that have the recipe!

Montreal Gazette: http://montrealgazette.com/life/food/table-talk-montrealers-win-big-with-bison-burgers

Canola! Eat Well: http://canolaeatwell.com/taste-canada-cook-the-books/#.Vh2pAlUVikr

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