WINNIPEG'S top chefs are going for the gold Friday night at the sold-out Gold Medal Plates gala at the RBC Convention Centre.
Gold Medal Plates is a prestigious, nationwide competition that annually celebrates Canadian culinary excellence while raising funds for the Canadian Olympic Foundation.
Timothy Palmer (The Velvet Glove), Eric Lee (Pizzeria Gusto), Kelly Cattani (Elements the Restaurant, by Diversity), Tristan Foucault (Peasant Cookery), Terry Gereta (Mise, Haute Prairie Cuisine), Simon Resch (Terrace in the Park), Michael Schafer (Sydney's at the Forks) and Jason Sopel (Chaise Restaurant & Lounge) will battle it out for the chance to represent Winnipeg at the Canadian Gold Medal Plates finals in Kelowna, B.C., in February.
Each chef will prepare one appetizer-sized dish for more than 500 guests, including high-profile Olympic medallists such as cyclist Curt Harnett, who is emceeing the event, high jumper Greg Joy, figure skater David Pelletier, triathlete Simon Whitfield and speed skater Susan Auch. Chefs must select a Canadian wine or beverage to pair with the dish and will be allowed a maximum of 10 staff members, in addition to two wine pourers, per station. Last year's Winnipeg winner, Chef Östen Rice of Wasabi Sabi, will be among the judges. Each dish will be judged on visual presentation, texture, taste, wine compatibility, originality and wow factor.
Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy and country crooner George Canyon will be providing the evening's entertainment.
Since its inception in 2004, Gold Medal Plates has raised more than $7 million for the Canadian Olympic Foundation.