Food & WineYannick LaSalle Wins 2019 Canadian Culinary Championships

Yannick LaSalle Wins 2019 Canadian Culinary Championships

Yannick LaSalle Wins 2019 Canadian Culinary Championships

From left to right: Chef Christopher Hill (Taste Restaurant Group – Saskatoon), Chef Yannick LaSalle (Les Fougères – Chelsea, QC) and Chef Dave Bohati (Murrieta’s – Calgary).

This past weekend, eleven of Canada’s top chefs competed in three gruelling competitions with one goal: to win gold and stand on the podium as the Canadian Culinary Champion for 2019. This year, Yannick LaSalle, of Restaurant Les Fougères, was crowned the top check in Canada at the 13th annual Canadian Culinary Championships.

The Canadian Culinary Championships is the national finale of the Canada’s Great Kitchen Party regional events which are held annually in the fall. The regional events have been created to elevate and celebrate three pillars of Canadian culture – sport, music and food. The purpose: providing young Canadians the opportunity to be extraordinary in the same pillars.

High performing athletes are provided the support they need to compete on the world stage. Musical instruments are purchased for schools, enabling students to discover the magic of music. And kids learn from leading Canadian chefs how to grow, cook and share healthy food addressing food security for all youth. Canada’s Great Kitchen Party and the Canadian Culinary Championships support B2ten, MusiCounts and Community Food Centres Canada. 

In each of the eleven cities, 8 – 10 chefs compete with a dish of their choice paired with a Canadian wine, beer or spirit. Chef Yannick LaSalle's final dish was fennel with sea buckthorn, Eastern township duck magret > & Quebec saffron, paired with 2016 Barrel Select VQA Chardonnay from Meldville Wines.

The other Chefs who competed at the 2019 Canadian Culinary Championships: Takashi Ito (British Columbia), Davina Moraiko (Edmonton), Jesse S. Friesen (Winnipeg), Elia Herrera (Toronto), Jason Morris (Montreal), Irwin MacKinnon (New Brunswick and PEI), Thomas Carey (Nova Scotia) and Katie Hayes (Newfoundland and Labrador).

To be invited to compete locally is a notch in the belt. To get on the podium is very difficult. To win gold is a major achievement! To be crowned the top chef in Canada at the Canadian Culinary Championships is a career changer!

LaSalle’s response when he realized he was on the top of the podium: “I am so happy I just can’t stop smiling. My team did a great job and I’m so honoured to be here.”

Charles Part, Yannick’s mentor and owner of Les Fougères, competed in the Canadian Culinary Championships in Banff Alberta in 2008. Ten years later, the mentor had the opportunity to see his mentee compete in the same competition and take home the gold.

James Chatto, Canadian Culinary Championships National Culinary Advisor and Head Judge, “This year marks were closer than ever, after competition one it was very close between gold and silver, this year the pack was really tight; we saw chefs who stumbled in the black box soar tonight in competition three and in the end the marks were very close. Well done to all of our competitors!”

There is definite bragging rights being named the best chef in Canada, and in addition, a great prize: a trip to West Africa or South America to visit a chocolate plantation – donated by Cocao Barry.

Stephen Leckie, Co-Founder of Canadian Culinary Championships said, “This city graciously and enthusiastically hosted chefs, judges and guests from across the country again this year. Tonight the chefs definitely were the stars as they inspired us with their creativity and determination! It was great to feel the buzz here tonight. The Canadian wineries, the craft breweries, a craft distillery, and the elite athletes in attendance – everyone came together to celebrate Canadian Excellence and gave Canadian youth the opportunity to be extraordinary in sport, music and food.”

Proceeds from this memorable two-day event support three Canadian beneficiaries: B2ten, MusiCounts and Community Food Centres Canada.

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