June 13, 2008

Jeunes Commis Rôtisseurs Competition

June 13, 2008

Mel Miners, Vice-Chargé de Presse

The Jeunes Commis Rôtisseurs Competition for the Calgary and Southern Alberta Bailliage was held at SAIT Polytechnic on Friday June 13, 2008. Competing were twelve young chefs from the finest restaurants in Calgary, Banff and Lake Louise.

Three kitchen judges observed the preparation and execution of the meals. The black box consisted of 6 mandatory ingredients and 11 optional choices. The mandatory ingredients were a piece of wonderful Alberta AAA striploin, a filet of fresh sablefish, wild rice, spinach, parmesan cheese and an artichoke. Surprisingly, the artichoke was the item that seemed to present the most difficulty and showed the most variety in preparation and presentation. Each competitor had 30 minutes to examine the black box and prepare a menu. Following this, they had three and a half hours to prepare four plates of each course.

Each competitor prepared a menu which was forwarded to the eleven tasting judges to ensure that the dishes as served, were those that the competitor planned. Then the meals were presented in flights of four competitors. Appetizers, mains and deserts for each flight were evaluated in turn. This presented a wonderful challenge for each judge to sample 36 courses over the duration of the competition.

After the judging was finished, the competitors had a chance to see the fruits of each other’s labour, since only three plates were consumed by the judges. The fourth plate was for peer review.

Finally, all gathered for the announcement of the winner. First, all competitors were recognized with a certificate of achievement. However, at this level, only one competitor is selected for advancement to the National competition. The winner was Ms. Kimberly McNeil of Delta Calgary South.

Kim McNeil received her Professional Cooking Diploma from SAIT Polytechnic in 2004 and earned her Red Seal Journeyman Certificate in 2006. Since this time she has worked and traveled, learning the secrets of other cultures and their foods in Canada, Central America as well as Europe. She was Banquet Chef at the Country Club of the Hamptons and was Executive Chef in Belize, Central America. Most recently Kim has been crafting her skills at the Delta Calgary South as Sous Chef being mentored by Executive Chef Max Labhardt. Kim believes lifelong learning and expanding her cooking skills further.

I would like to thank Max Labhardt for Kim’s resume and Helmut Schoderbock for some of the accompanying pictures.

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