Seven chefs from the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC)-member properties across Canada gathered to compete for the coveted Canadian Copper Skillet at the BMO Financial Group Institute for Learning in Toronto, where the winners edged one step closer to the International Copper Skillet global final in April.
Chef Alexsandra Lalonde, pastry chef from St. Andrew’s Club & Conference Centre, took the Junior Category Canadian Copper Skillet for her winning dish of spiced citrus panko crusted pork loin, pan-seared Cornish hen with a wild rice medley of carrots, yellow and green peppers and tomatoes in a white wine pan reduction.
Barrington Graham, first cook at St. Andrew’s Club & Conference Centre, took the Senior Category Canadian Copper Skillet for his winning dish of pan-seared trout, jerk pork tenderloin on a bed of warm quinoa salad and pineapple, pomegranate salsa.
In the competition, the chefs were presented with basic pantry items along with a “mystery basket” of three protein options. They were given 30 minutes to prepare, create, and present their creations to local area judges.
“It was a fabulous event that included fierce competition,” said TJ Fimmano, IACC-Americas President. “The chefs all displayed their skills and creativity in true IACC fashion.”
For the second year in the 12-year history of the Copper Skillet competition, IACC introduced a Junior Chef category where IACC conference centre chefs under the age of 26 competed in the cook-off.
The winners of the February U.S. and Canadian cook-off (one senior chef and one junior chef) will go on to compete with four other chefs from IACC chapters around the world at the International Copper Skillet Competition at the IACC-Americas Connect meeting at Convene Midtown East, New York City, in April 2016 where the 12th Global Copper Skillet Champion will be named.
The popular Copper Skillet competition was introduced in 2004 to highlight the artistry and skill of the best chefs from IACC-member conference centers around the world and to honour their contributions to the shared goal of providing an outstanding conference centre experience.