This past week, MILDRED’S Temple Kitchen held their annual ‘Tin Chef’ Competition in celebration of the City of Toronto’s 2015 Winterlicious event. Toronto, being a city that’s well known for its diverse culinary experiences, has to of course have its own chef competition in order to pitch together the best of the best in order to see who rises out on top.
Five amateur-chefs/at-home cooks will had a chance to prove their talents in front of a panel of three of Toronto’s top chefs: Paul Brans from Oliver & Bonacini, Alida Solomon from Tutti Matti, and Saverio Macri from Ciao and Cibo Wine Bar. The five contenders: Roman Kliotzkin, Eugena Kwon, Sean Kay, Laura Wright and Christine Emerson, were given a total of 60 minutes to showcase their talent and ingenuity, while utilizing the secret ingredient – a rack of lamb. Luckily for them, they were allowed to bring in one secret ingredient of their own to shake things up a bit.
Although we weren’t able to taste test the final dishes (but oh we wished that we could have), MILDRED’s culinary team kept the onlookers’ taste buds satisfied with a variety of bite sized delights throughout the night. But since we were so wrapped up with the action going on in the kitchen and we were unable to sample the delicious treats, we’re already planning our return to really try out what their kitchen has to offer.
Speaking of which, MILDRED’s in-house chef, Donna Dooher, hosted the event and provided on-lookers with witty narrative of the events happening behind the counter. Was someone sweating? We knew of it. Was a chef struggling? We knew of it too. Nothing was hidden from the prying eyes and ears of the guests.
If there ever is a bigger struggle in life, it would be having all five of your senses aroused without being able satisfying any of them. Our eyes twinkled at the rainbow of colors in the pantry. Our olfactory senses tingled at the aroma of spices wafting throughout the room. Our taste buds salivated at the thought of the delicious texture of the lamb. Our auditory senses perked at the sound of sizzling protein. And our fingers itched at the thought of picking up a fork to steal a morsel of food from the judges’ plates. Oh how we wished that we could be one of the judges sitting at the panel sampling all of the five dishes. Fortunately, two of the lucky attendees had their raffle numbers drawn and were able to feast on the extras!
You could feel the tension rising as the time ticked down to the last second. With all of the contestants quickly plating their creations, you could see the sense of satisfaction in their eyes as they threw their hands up in the air with finesse when the timer ran out.
We patiently waited for the judges to taste each dish, and each of the cooks were given a last second chance to defend their dishes by describing exactly what their vision was. After savoring each dish, the judges went “backstage” to deliberate some intense deliberation, while Chef Donna Dooher announced the winner of the Peoples’ Choice Award – Laura Wright!
After much celebrated fanfare, the judges came back out to deliver their verdict. And the winner of the night for MILDRED’s Temple Kitchen’s 2015 Tin Chef title was…*drumroll*… Roman Kliotzkin! To celebrate his victory, Roman brought his daughter up to the mainstage to accept his award. Looking back on the photos of the dishes, it wasn’t a surprise that his creation was what won the judges over. The way that he prepared his lamb? Scrumptious. Now the question that remains is – is he ready for hire?
Do you have the skills to compete for the Tin Chef title?
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