foodiePrints is an Ottawa food blog. It was initially meant to be a collection of recipes, but grew organically into something more. We began learning about local restaurants and meeting local producers. Over the years, we have become more involved in the community through volunteer work and helping to raise money for charitable causes. We strongly believe in giving back. Many events we participate in are food-related. They benefit the arts, youth-initiatives, medical research, and healthcare. When foodiePrints received a special invitation to take part in a popular chocolate competition to raise money for Carefor, we gladly accepted.
Two Saturdays ago, Don, Claire, and I found ourselves navigating a decorated ballroom filled with laughter, excitement, and the heavenly scent of chocolate. It was the 7th annual Carefor Chocolate Brunch and Competition.
The 7th annual Carefor Chocolate Brunch and Competition
Held on March 19th, the Chocolate Brunch and Competition is a fundraiser for Carefor Health & Community Services. Carefor is a non-profit charitable health care organization. For over 110 years, Carefor has provided services for people of all ages and all stages of life. It offers a wide variety of accessible home-care and community support services.
Each year, Carefor Health & Community Services invites up to 15 competitors, ranging from small truffle shops, caterers and chocolatiers to large local restaurants, bakeries, and hotels in the Ottawa-Gatineau region to compete against one another and serve hundreds attendees sublime dishes made with chocolate. At the end of the competition, a panel of judges selects the best chocolate dessert. And, attendees choose a people’s choice.
Incredibly, Don and I were asked to take part of the judging panel. However, with my rather unfortunate chocolate allergy (darn it!), Claire happily stepped in. Together, she and Don represented foodiePrints while I took endless photos.
For the third year in a row, the 2011 event was sold-out. Its 400 attendees were treated to a buffet bunch, a morning of live music, and silent and live auctions with items donated by local businesses.
Afterward, table by table, attendees were invited to sample the chocolate dishes, prepared by the competitors. Take home containers were given to each guest, ensuring everyone could take home something sweet and sinful.
Before I get you on a sweet chocolate high, let me introduce the judges.
Pictured from left to right: Director of Communications Jantine Van Kregten (@OttawaJantie) of Ottawa Tourism, Don (@foodieprints) & Claire (@gadgetgirl_ca) of foodiePrints, Ottawa Citizen Food Editior Ron Eade, and Chef Christian Faure (International Executive Pastry Chef of Le Cordon Bleu). Not pictured: Frances Ebbrell from 98.5 The Jewel
There were two categories for the competitors: the Judges Choice (judged blindly) and the People’s Choice. Three components made up the total score per chocolate dish: Taste (worth 10 points), Originality (worth 5 points), and Table Presentation (worth 5 points).
With ten competitors, there was a lot of chocolate on hand and wonderfully decorated displays to work through. Chocolate enthusiasts were greeted at the first table with a fountain of flowing chocolate for fondue.
Chef Calabro’s entry: 56% Callebaut Belgian Chocolate Mousse with a chocolate cake base, and chocolate truffle center coated in dark chocolate ganache.
From Manotick, Chef Michelle Guillemet’s entry: “Le Dome” – a 70% chocolate dome, cremeux insert, chocolate cake base with almond croustillant, finished with a french macaron and a pipette of blood orange juice.
The Joy of Gluten Free
The Joy of Gluten Free’s entry: The Ultimate Craving
Chef Susan Phipps describes her entry as, “The best chewiest moist brownie of all time, smothering in Susan’s Mom’s chocolate sauce, layered with mousse and crunchy candied bits, Hershey’s semi sweet chocolate, brandy and Drambui.”
Southern Cross Grill on Queen
Executive Chef Phil Morneault’s entry: Raspberry Chocolate Sugar Bomb
This sinful dish included raspberry and chocolate ganache between two semi-sweet chocolate crusted brown sugar coated wafers dipped in rich dark chocolate.
The Wakefield Mill & Spa
Winner of the 2010 People’s Choice Award, here is their entry for this year’s competition: Sushi
Chef Romain Riva’s sushi consisted of white chocolate and coconut milk sushi with fresh fruit with spicy black chocolat dip Cocao soya reduction.
Todric’s Fine Dining and Catering
Todric’s 2011 entry: Duo of Hot Chocolate and Old Fashioned Donut
Chef Eric Patenaude’s dish consisted of home made hot chocolate and a freshly fried donut, drizzled with chocolate caramel.
A former judges’ choice winner in 2008, their entry for this year’s competition: Two Chocolate Terinne
Chef Tania Jacques chocolate dessert consisted of white and dark chocolate pâté with raspberry coulis
Tulips & Maple Catering
Tulips & Maples entry: Double Sensation
Chef Chris Tremblay’s chocolate dessert consisted of flourless dark chocolate and ancho cake with bourbon and orange crème anglaise and roasted garlic and goat cheese truffle. It was garnished with slices of dessicated, candied orange.
Luxe Bistro had one of the most visually appealing entries of the competition. Even their restaurant signage was an edible treat.
Chef Maneeca Belbin’s entry: Raspbery and White Chocolate Ganache.
It consisted of a dark chocolate and raspberry ganache with cookie crumb crust and white chocolate anglaise.
Unfortunately due to an undisclosed family matter, Rochef Chocolatier had to pull out at the last minute. However, chocolatier Roch Fourniera generously provided 400 truffles for sampling.
The foodiePrints Judges
And the winner of the People’s Choice award went to…
Finally, the winner of the Judges’ Choice went to…
With ticket prices at $75 for adults (Charitable receipt for $25) and $40 for children (aged 4-12 years old), both silent and live auctions, and dozens of sponsors, Carefor announced they had reached their goal of raising $30000 just before the trophies were presented.
Thank you Carefor for inviting us to participate in this year’s chocolate competition! Congratulations!
Here is a slideshow of all the photos taken by the foodiePrints team at the event: