Archive | February, 2013

San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition Results

28 Feb

Good morning everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful Thursday so far. Only one day left till the weekend!

I wanted to stop in real quick and give you guys an update on what happened at the S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Regional competition in Toronto this past week. As you all know I got to interview Kevan Hafichuk who was one of our Vancouver representatives in the competition.

Especially after getting to talk to Kevan as well as taste his dish, I was really rooting for him and I know you all were too. So I was on twitter all Monday morning checking to see what was happening with the competition.

Finally I got the update that the winner was:

Jean-Christophe Comtois from École hôtelière de la Capitale (Québec City), who prepared Milk Veal tenderloin, Matsutake and “Tomme des Joyeux Fromagers” flavored polenta as his signature dish.

Here is a photo of his beautiful dish:

Jean Christophe Comtois Ecole hoteliere de la capitale

They also had a “Peoples Choice Winner”:

Kellie Callender from Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island (Nanaimo), who prepared Slow Sockeye Salmon – Sockeye salmon confit, Sunchoke puree, crab stuffed leek, beet quinoa salad, sunchoke chips, crispy leeks and salmon skin as his signature dish.

Here is the photo of Kellie’s Dish:

Kellie Callender Vancouver Is University

The runners up and their dishes (in no particular order) are as follows:

Alexandre Latendresse, Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (Montréal)

Piglet loin and scallop sautéed, accompanied with a “cidre de glace” sauce and served with pickled vegetables and cauliflower pure.

Here is the photo of Alexandre’s dish:

Alexandre Latendresse ITHQ

Matt Cusano, The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Vancouver, prepared A Taste of BC – Poached BC Halibut with Dungeness crab Gnocchi, chanterelles, local Kushi Oysters, and chorizo emulsion.

Here is the photo of Matt’s dish:

Matt Cusano AI Vancouver

Janine Hall, The Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College (Niagara-on-the Lake), prepared Oh Deer – This dish features fresh terroir from my home country pared with some of the flavours from my cultural heritage.

Here is the photo of Janine’s dish:

Janine Hall Niagara College

Timothy van Ryzewyk, Humber College (Toronto), prepared a

Seared Scallop with Pork Tenderloin (appetizer).

Here is the photo of Timothy’s dish:

Timothy van Ryzewyk Humber College

And last but not least,

Kevan Hafichuk, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (Vancouver), prepared

Poached Spot Prawn on an Oxtail Lemongrass Tortellini with Cauliflower Purée & Baby Peas.

Here is Kevan’s final product:

Kevan Hafichuk Pacific Inst of Culinary Arts

So too bad that our Kevan wasn’t the winner but I heard he did great and represented Vancouver and his school very well! I’m sure that there are going to be wonderful opportunities for him in the near future!

Also, I want to wish Jean-Christophe, all the best of luck in the final competition in Napa California!

**Photo Credit goes to Cliff Spicer of Cliff Spicer Photography**

Thanks for reading guys, I will be back tomorrow with a confession update!

Miss Delish asks:

Which dish sounds/looks the best to you?

If you were to compete in a similar competition, what dish would you make to wow the judges?

Easy Pad Thai

27 Feb

Good Morning to all you lovely people!

I hope you are all having a fabulous Wednesday so far!

I have been totally MIA lately and I apologize. I have really good intentions but then life and a full time job get in the way, and that really creams my corn.

So it is, I just have to post when I have time to sit down and do it. I don’t want to post something when I know I don’t have the time or energy to really do it properly. I like having a chat with you guys first, and then giving you the full recipe, instructions and the photos that you deserve.

I’m going with quality over quantity people.

Tomorrow I am going to have some updates on the Almost Famous Chef Competition that I have been following along with. They had their regional competition on Monday and I have the results from that to share! Then Friday I am planning a confessions post to tell you all what has been up in the Delish household lately.

Today, though. Today we make Pad Thai!

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I’m just going to give you a heads up, this is NOT authentic Pad Thai. This is my interpretation of the dish, using ingredients you will be able to easily find, if not things you already have in your fridge or pantry.

So pulleaase, don’t send me emails saying this isn’t authentic, because I know this. I just want to make a recipe that is easy to make and one that doesn’t require a mile long list of ingredients you can’t find at your local Safeway.

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You can, however, email me about how this recipe changed your life. Those emails are A-OK.

When I am developing a new recipe, I always try to think of the flavor components I want to have. Usually it is savory, spicy (not necessarily HOT spice, just spicy spice, kapeesh?) and sweet. When I was thinking about how I could amp up the flavor of this dish, and also put a bit of a spin on it, I thought, CANDIED peanuts.

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Yes folks, candied.

This adds a little extra sweetness and crunch!

I was incredibly happy with the result, too. It really made the dish or was the “kicker” as Guy Fieri would say…

I also changed it up by using regular fresh linguine noodles, rather than the rice noodles you would normally use. I have to admit, I myself have scoffed at the use of the good ol’ Italian pasta in Asian dishes. It just seems…wrong. I have to admit, I actually preferred the linguine over the rice noodles! I found that the sauce really absorbed into the pasta better than it does on the slippery rice noodles. Which I think was also helped by the fact I used the fresh noodles as opposed to dried.

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My other favorite thing about this dish is the TOPPINGS.

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You all know I am a sucker for toppings, whether it be on froyo, soup or a good ol baked potato, toppings are the bomb.com

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Hello. How gorgeous is this?

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Make this for dinner and forever change your opinion of this noodley, saucey, spicy, savory, sweetey, amazing, dish.

Half of those weren’t words and I am fine with that.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:17]

Romantic Valentines Dinner {Cielo’s} White Rock

20 Feb

Good morning lovelies! I hope you all are having an amazing week so far.

Me? Meh. Things are kinda boring so far, definitely looking forward to the weekend. I know, I know it’s only Wednesday.

I’m doomed.

My last weekend was so busy that I actually needed to come back to work to get a bit of a break!

Friday night Mr. Delish and I went to dinner for Valentines day (which I will tell you about in a minute.)

Then Saturday, I went shopping with Tascha at Metrotown, which was kind of a nightmare. We were there for upwards of 4 hours and barely bought anything. In the end our feet were so sore from walking around all day, we barely made it to the car.

Later that night we went out with some friends for Tascha’s birthday.

Then finally, Sunday I woke up early to make Chocolate Pots for a family dinner and then we finished off the weekend with the Canucks/Blues game.

Phew.

Anyways back to Friday night. As I mentioned, we had reservations at Cielo’s for Valentines day. I was super stoked because I love that place and it’s just one of those restaurants I always forget about when planning dinner out.

I did however, plan out my outfit, as I always do! I wore a gold sequined high waisted skirt, with a white tee and black blazer. I paired that with some black suede wedges. It was a super cute outfit, unfortunately, the skirt and shoe combo made it impossible for me to walk properly. The skirt cut my typical leg range of motion in half. So I kind of had to shuffle, then the shoes are really high and tippy, so they made things even more interesting. The walk from our car took double the time. Mr. Delish kept looking over and saying “are you okay?”

Like “ya, I’m fine just traipsing around on these cobblestones, TOTALLY fine”

THEN when we finally got into the restaurant, I realized that the tables are all bar height, and so were the chairs!

Dun, dun, dunnnnnn….

I tried to be as graceful as possible when I got up on the seat but I’m sure I looked like a hot mess.

I’m never wearing that skirt/shoe combo again.

I didn’t take any pictures because it was VERY dark in the restaurant and they would have turned out horribly. However, I did want to do a restaurant review, so I will just quickly reiterate what we had.

So basically it is a tapas bar, so they have lots of small plates. Now, one thing you have to know about Cielo’s is the plates are not typical tapas size, most of them are ginormous. We ordered 4 dishes to share but we definitely could have gotten away with 3.

We started out with the bruschetta:

“gorgonzola basted, pesto rub, house dried roma tomato drizzle, balsamic reduction”

In a word, amazing! This is definitely the must order dish on their menu. They do a blend of cream cheese, goat cheese and gorgonzola and they definitely don’t skimp on the cheese! Then it has the pesto, tomato and balsamic all over it. And like everything else, the portion is big, you get like half a baguette! Yum.

Then we had the Marinated Tiger Prawns:

“fragrant mix of lemon, fresh herbs and spices.”

These were really good. They are served cold and marinated in lemon, oil and herbs and spices like the description says. To be honest, I am not sure if I would order them again just because there are better things on the menu.

Next we had the Haida Indian Candy Salmon:

“brown sugar cured and pepper bathed, served atop frizzled onions, red pepper jelly dipping sauce.”

Mr. Delish LOVES smoked salmon, and if you haven’t had candied salmon, it is amazing. If you like the whole sweet and salty combo, it’s definitely something you would enjoy. They also stack them up like lincoln logs, just what I like in my meal :)

Lastly, we had a pot of their famous mussels, we ordered the curry style ones:

“sweet curry, garam masala, white wine sauce.”

They also have a white wine and herb style as well as Cajun chorizo style. We loved the ones we got. The curry really stood up to the bold taste of the mussels. I would say this was my favorite dish of the night. I liked it even more than the bruschetta!

We finished our dinner with their delicious Creme Brulee Boat. Yum!

All in all, it was a fabulous dinner as usual, Cielo’s has a wonderful atmosphere, it’s so nice and cozy! The service was excellent and we will be back again!

If you live in the lower mainland or are planning to travel here soon, you should really check this place out. The menu can be found here.

Thanks for reading guys, talk to you soon!

B Teams Casserole {lasagna casserole}

15 Feb

Good morning everyone! Happy Friday!

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentines day. I am really looking forward to going out to dinner tonight. Since we have been saving up for our first home, we haven’t had dining out in the budget. So we are making a special exception in this case.

If you live in the Vancouver area or are planning in visiting, we are going to Cielo’s Restaurant in White Rock

To Mr. Delish’s dismay, I will take some photos and do a review next week. He’s not so cool with the whole whipping out my camera and taking photos in the middle of dinner but he has learned to deal with it.

Okay, on to the casserole.

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This casserole is a dish that was in a cookbook that Mr. Delish had when he was younger. It was one of those school cookbooks, where the kids put in their family recipe. I guess somewhere along the line the second best baseball team (aka B Team) came up with this recipe.

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His mom used to make it a lot when he was a kid and he just LOVES it. I added in the Lasagna Casserole name because that really describes what it is. Basically it is a lasagna without the sheet noodles, so it is super easy to put together.

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Since this is so quick and easy to put together and most of the ingredients are things you would probably already have on hand, this makes a perfect weeknight meal.

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You can even make it ahead of time and then bake it off when you need it (just like a lasagna.)

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Then pull it out of the oven, serve it with a big green salad, and you’re good to go!

Make this for your family tonight, it’s super kid friendly too. Not that I know the first thing about children.

Miss Delish asks:

What did you do for Valentine’s Day?

What is your favorite kid friendly meal?

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:16]

San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Practice Session

14 Feb

Good Morning everyone! Hope you’re all having a fabulous Valentines Day so far!!

Do you all have Valentines day plans?

Mr. Delish and I have plans for tomorrow night. It will be nice to go on a non-work night so we can enjoy a few glasses of wine (read: we forgot to make reservations ahead of time.)

In all seriousness though, it will be nice to not have to worry about going out on a weeknight. Especially because we all know my bedtime is 9:30.

Actually I found this website the other day that tells you what time you should go to sleep dependent on what time you have to/want to get up. We all know you’re supposed to get 8 hrs but this website actually tells you what time exactly to go to sleep, to make the most of your sleeping patterns. If you wake up in the middle of a REM pattern, you will likely be drowsy and groggy no matter how much sleep you got. However, if you get a full pattern in and then wake up, you will feel more refreshed, even if you don’t get your full 8 hours. If you wanna try for yourself, click here.

Psychology brought to you by Miss Delish.

Anyways, on to some food stuff.

I told you a few days ago about the Almost Famous Chef Competition being put on my San Pellegrino, and on Tuesday I had the opportunity to watch the two Vancouver contestants practice their dishes. I took a few photos and I wanted to share them with you today!

 

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Matt Cusano of the International Culinary Arts School at the Arts Institute of Vancouver, prepping his ingredients

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Matt slicing some spicy Chorizo

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Matt Cusano’s finished plate, Miso Glazed Poached Halibut with Chorizo and Parsnip Puree, Garnished with Celery Leaves

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We were lucky enough to get to sample a taste! It was very delicious.

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Kevan Hafichuk of Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, peeling his BC spot prawns for his dish

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Kevan rolling out the fresh handmade pasta for his oxtail tortellini

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Kevan with his completed sample tray

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Kevan Hafichuk’s finished plate, Oxtail Tortellini with Sustainable BC Spot Prawns Cooked in Kaffir Lime Butter Sauce with Roasted Cauliflower and Cauliflower Puree, Garnished with Baby Watercress. Can I just say YUM.

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Lastly, Kevan and Matt scoping out the competition. They will be two of the seven contestants competing in the regional competition, which will be held in Toronto at the end of this month.

I want to say good luck to these aspiring chefs and I really think that both of you will do very well in the competition!

Thank you all for reading today and I will be back tomorrow with a yummy casserole recipe. Yes, casserole!

We’re going back in time tomorrow.

Miss Delish asks:

Which of these awesome dishes, do you think will be the winner?

Do you still make casserole? If so what kind?

 

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