Chef Jasper Cruickshank of Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar, in Whistler, B.C. won the 2024 Canadian Culinary Championship in Ottawa Saturday night.
The winner of the Vancouver qualifying event served a dish that he called a “wild B.C. experience,” that featured a side stripe shrimp terrine, tartlet of Dungeness crab and a geoduck clam sauce.
Taking home the sliver was chef Rupert Garcia of the restaurant Hawthorn at the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary, winner of the Calgary qualifier. He served a refined culinary composition that starred steelhead trout, cranberry apple fluid gel and pickled radish.
Winning the bronze was chef JP Dublado of the Red Deer Resort and Casino, representing Edmonton. His dish combined B.C. sablefish with Hokkaido scallops and highlighted the sweetness of Taber corn.
Chris Johns, the championship’s national culinary advisor, said the level of competition was “as good as I’ve ever seen.” The championship consists of three events including the finale, and Johns said the lead changed hands as the competition progressed.
Seven other chefs from across Canada took part in the competition, including chef Raghav Chaudhary of Aiana Restaurant Collective in Ottawa.
Last year, Ottawa chef Briana Kim won the national championship with her plant-based creation that consisted of an onion tuile, smoked potatoes, rhubarb jerky, maitake mushrooms, pickled onion, dill, lacto-fermented green tomato brine and koji broth.
Kim recently closed her celebrated Adeline Street restaurant Alice, which was ranked 31st on last year’s Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list, so that she could open a new restaurant, Antheia, later this year.
In the history of the Canadian Culinary Championship, which goes back almost 20 years, Ottawa chefs have been prominent on the podiums.
Chef Yannick LaSalle, now the chef for the Supreme Court of Canada but formerly the chef at Les Fougères in Chelsea, won gold in 2019.
Marc Lepine, chef-owner of Atelier on Rochester Street, won the national championship in both 2012 and 2016. He is the event’s only two-time winner.
In addition to crowning a national winner, the culinary championship is a fundraiser, along with its Great Kitchen Party regional qualifiers, for Spirit North, MusiCounts and assorted local food charities.
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