Apr 17, 2024

Two Filipino chefs shared the podium with the gold prize winner at this year’s Canadian Culinary Championship. From left: silver medalist Rupert Garcia of Calgary, Alberta, Jasper Cruickshank of Whistler, BC and bronze medalist JP Dublado of Red Deer, Alberta. Photo by Great Kitchen Party.

February 16, 2024 —This year’s Canadian Culinary Championship (CCC) was not only dominated by Western Canada chefs but two out of the three podium finishes were bagged by Canadian Filipinos.

Both from the province of Alberta, Rupert Garcia of Calgary and JP Dublado of Edmonton bagged the silver and bronze awards respectively at the national culinary championship held in Ottawa on February 2 and 3. Taking the gold prize is Jasper Cruickshank of Whistler, B.C.’s Wild Blue Restaurant. 

The CCC began with the annual regional competitions held in 10 competing cities in the fall of 2023. In each of the cities, chefs compete with a dish of their choice paired with a Canadian wine, beer or spirit.

 

Winning Entryhef Rupert Garcia’s winning entry is steelhead trout with cranberry fluid gel, apple crème fraiche and pickled radish. Photo by Peter Hum, Post Media.

 

At the CCC, participants were faced with three challenges: mystery wine competition, the black box and the grand finale. In the mystery wine competition, the chefs had to create dishes with local ingredients, within a limited time window and a small set budget to pair with a mystery wine they were given the night before. 

A black box containing a selection of diverse foods is provided to the chefs in the second challenge. Chefs were required to create two dishes in one hour. On the final night of the competition, the grand finale allowed competing chefs to plate a dish for both guests and judges. 

This is Garcia’s second time participating in the Calgary regional competition and his first to join the nationals. Garcia told Canadian Filipino Net (CFNet) that his Canadian culinary journey started when the family moved to Canada. He finished a culinary arts program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology at age 20 and has been “pretty much doing competitions every year after that, with the exception of the pandemic years.”

Garcia is currently the chef de cuisine at the Hawthorn Dining Room & Bar at the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary.

Garcia served a steelhead trout with cranberry fluid gel, apple crème fraiche and pickled radish at both the regional and national finales. He told CFNet, “I think the dish resonated with the judges because instead of finding a wine that matches the dish, the dish was created from group up to pair with the wine… reverse-engineered dish to match the structure and notes of the unique blend.” 

Garcia paired the dish with Monte Creek 2021 Frontenac Noir from Thompson Valley, B.C. He 

told CFNet that the dish had to be created with zero waste, meaning that he had to use all parts of the fish including skin and bones.

Dublado is executive chef at the Red Deer Resort and Casino in Edmonton. His winning dish was B.C. sablefish with Hokkaido scallops and sweet corn paired with Frind 2020 Chardonnay from the Okanagan Valley in BC. 

On the resort’s website, Dublado thanked his team and the Edmonton community: “This win is a testament to everyone’s dedication and hard work. It’s an honor to represent Edmonton and bring home this recognition.” 

Two Filipino chefs shared the podium with the gold prize winner at this year’s Canadian Culinary Championship. From left: silver medalist Rupert Garcia of Calgary, Alberta, Jasper Cruickshank of Whistler, BC and bronze medalist JP Dublado of Red Deer, Alberta. Photo by Great Kitchen Party.

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Chef Rupert Garcia’s winning entry is steelhead trout with cranberry fluid gel, apple crème fraiche and pickled radish. Photo by Peter Hum, Post Media.


About the Author
Rachel Ramos-Reid started writing for magazines and newspapers when she was still a junior at the University of the Philippines’ Communication degree program majoring in Journalism. She continued to write in a public relations/corporate communications capacity in various private and government offices until moving out of the country in 1997 to work as Programme Officer for the arts and culture branch of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO-SPAFA) in Bangkok, Thailand. At the end of her term, Rachel found herself immigrating to Canada in the year 2000 and again searching for new beginnings. Currently she is the Executive Assistant to a small rural college on Vancouver Island.


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