Murray Hall, Executive Chef at BMO Financial Group Institute for Learning in Toronto, set the record for winning IACC’s coveted culinary cook-off by winning the Canadian Copper Skillet award for the third consecutive year and earning the right to represent Canada at the International Association of Conference Centres’ ninth annual Copper Skillet Cooking Competition.
The event was held at White Oaks Resort & Spa in Niagara-On-The-Lake where five other chefs from across Canada competed in the cook-off. As in the past competitions, three mystery proteins were unveiled including quail, Arctic char, and smoked whole ham hocks. Local judges observed the chefs throughout the competition and evaluated their final product based on originality of creation, technique, presentation, textures, balance of flavour combinations, and hygiene standards.
Other chefs in the competition were:
- Jean Mathieu LeClerc, Sous Chef, Sodexho at Nav Canada, Cornwall, ON
- Alan Boden, Exec Chef, Donald Gordon Conference Centre, Kingston, ON
- Wandee Jefferson, Exec Chef, Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre, London, ON
- Spencer Gadener-Durdle, Sous Chef, White Oaks Resort, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
- Santosh Kumar Sahoo, Sous Chef, Banff Centre, Banff, AB
Hall will join seven other chefs from IACC chapters in North America, Europe, and Australia at La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa in Montgomery, TX in March to vie for the crown of the Global Conference Centre Chef of the Year.
Chef Hall’s winning entry was pan-seared Arctic char with white wine sabayon sauce on a bed of Japanese eggplant, plus pan-seared quail with sweet potato risotto and pine nut-basil-cranberry relish with zucchini flowers.
The popular Copper Skillet competition was introduced in 2004 to highlight the artistry and skill of the best chefs from IACC-member conference centres around the world and to honor their contributions to the shared goal of providing an outstanding conference centre experience.