It was my pleasure this past weekend to act as judge with Food Network Celebrity Chef Massimo Capra. He is famous for his iconic mustache and more importantly, owner of famed Toronto restaurant Mistura and Sopra. We were also joined by Weather Network host Carrie Olver who I like to think was in charge of the fantastic weather we enjoyed all day! We had been invited to Oakville’s first 100 Mile Culinary Mashup Competition and were excited to see what some of Lakeshore’s most celebrated chef’s were going to create for us. The town square was set up with a cooking station and judging table. The street north of the square had been closed off for the day and featured food samples from Lakeshore’s best restaurants as well as tastings from local brewery Cameron’s, Tag Vodka and Burning Kiln Winery.
Six restaurants were involved in this black box mashup (two chef’s were teamed together for a total of three 45 minute challenges). Chef Massimo was in charge of choosing the secret ingredients for the three teams, all of which were sourced 100 miles from Oakville to showcase the bounty of the region. Team’s had 45 minutes to prepare an appetizer and entrée for the judging panel. Oakville food fans filled the square to chat with the chef’s and watch them work away on their dishes. While the chef’s prepared “our food” Carrie and I hopped across the street to dabble in food samples and the many wines, beer and vodka (martini-perfection). Massimo was busy throughout the day signing his book One Pot Italian to his many adoring fans. I also had an opportunity to meet the infamous Wine Ladies who I ran into while sampling a bit of unoaked Chardonnay. They had hilariously large wine glasses!
The three teams did a great job preparing some very unique dishes for us:
tabbouleh with red onion and tomato
beef curry on basmati rice with raita and corn pepper salsa
beef tenderloin tartar with quail egg, pickled celery, fried bread
bison strip loin with mustard seeds and peppercorns with beets, tomato and 12 year aged balsamic
roasted corn, tomato, grapefruit, havarti and aged balsamic
oven roasted pork chop, smoked paprika and cumin spiced quinoa with green beans and chickpeas with roasted zucchini
Special Thanks to the Oakville BIA for putting on such a great event! Head to Oakville September 16th-30th to indulge in the Taste of Oakville. Can’t wait for 2012!