Local chef on world’s stage

A local chef is heading to Germany Sunday to compete in one of the largest and most prestigious culinary competitions in the world.

For Iain Rennie, executive chef at Oak + Cru, this will be the second Culinary Olympics he has participated in, having claimed a gold medal with Team BC in 2012.

The Culinary Olympics are held every four years in Erfurt, Germany, and hosts 54 different countries and over 10,000 chefs from around the world, from Oct. 22 to 25.

Rennie is one of six members of Culinary Team Canada.

The team will be competing in a hot food competition, which consists of a three-course meal, on Oct. 22 and a cold food competition on Oct. 24.

“The hot show is for 120 people and we have five hours to do that,” Rennie said. The cold show is judged only on appearance.

Rennie says teamwork is just as important as individual skills in the competition, and the team has been practicing for a year.

Rennie grew up in Parksville, B.C., and hit the ground running from a young age. His father was an executive chef and his grandfather was a commercial baker.

Rennie has been working professionally in the food industry for 25 years and moved to Kelowna two years ago.

While Rennie is confident Team Canada can be successful this year, he says a big part of the competition is seeing other chefs from around the world he hasn’t seen in years, and sharing their culinary expertise with each other.

Team Canada will be bringing some local ingredients with them to Germany, giving local producers a chance to show off their products on the world’s stage.

“We’re actually going to the farmer’s market tomorrow to try and find some more produce and that,” Rennie said.

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