Yesterday evening, Chef Caroline Ishii, Sommelier David Loan, and their team from ZenKitchen broke new ground at the Gold Medal Plates competition, which raised funds for the Canadian Olympic Foundation this past Tuesday. They are the first ever team from a vegan restaurant to compete. Chef Ishii is one of few female chefs invited.
First to present their plate to the judges, ZenKitchen’s won the Silver Medal. Moreover, the competition was fierce. Chef Michael Moffat’s (@michaelmoffatt) team, he the Executive Chef of Play Food and Wine (1 York Street) and Beckta Dining and Wine (226 Nepean), edged out Chef Ishii’s by a single vote to earn the Gold.
Want to see what it takes to compete in Gold Medal Plates?
Here are Sommelier Loan’s shots. He generously gave us permission to post them:
Here are ours from the event:
The plate that earned the ZenKitchen team their well deserved silver medal?
Ragout of Le Coprin mushrooms, yuba (tofu skin)-wrapped macadamia curd, polenta, red pepper aspic, and passilla conserve
Congratulations to Chef Ishii and her team!
If you would like to read more about Chef Ishii and Sommelier Loan, click here for their “Meet a Gold Medal Plates Chef” post.
Update: Here is what Gold Medal Plates judge James Chatto (@jameschatto) has to say about ZenKitchen’s plate:
It looked spectacular, topped with a crisp tube of fried, applewood-smoked yuba (dried soy milk skin) filled with fermented macadamia curd that tasted like richly nutty cream cheese. The principal element was a ragout of exotic mushrooms from local grower Le Coprin set over a truffled mushroom sauce, and a drum of polenta, creamy within, golden and crispy on the surface. A thin disc of beet-and-red-pepper aspic crowned the drum, which sat on two little sheets of seared green kale dressed with a kombu-plum wine vinaigrette. A conserve of fruity passilla peppers finished a most seductive dish. Chef Ishii’s wine was the crisp, refreshing 2008 Archangel Sparkling Pinot Noir from Angels Gate winery in Niagara, Ontario.
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