Chef Kai Koroll Wins Gold Medal at First Regional Great Kitchen Party in Kelowna

Fundraiser Held for B2ten, MusiCounts & Community Food Centres of Canada

Culinary Winners:

Gold: Chef Kai Koroll from Block One at 50th Parallel Estate paired with 50th Parallel 2017 Chardonnay, Lake Country, BC

Silver: Chef Andrea Callan at Red Fox Club at Indigenous World Winery paired with Indigenous World 2018 La’p Cheet, West Kelowna, BC

Bronze: Chef Chris Braun from RauDZ Regional Table paired with CheckMate 2014 Black Rook Merlot, Kelowna, BC

Kelowna B.C. (November 15, 2019) – Seven of Kelowna’s top chefs competed in an exciting culinary competition, with one goal, to win gold and stand on the podium as Kelowna’s first Regional Chef heading to the Canadian Culinary Champion in Ottawa, ON in 2020.

The Great Kitchen Party winner for 2019 is Chef Kai Koroll of Block One Restaurant at 50th Parallel Estate Winery. His final dish was “Gindara Sablefish, Sea Urchin, Sidestripe Shrimp, Nori, Dashi Gelée, Umeboshi, Red Kuri Squash, Koji Butter, Ponzu, Black Garlic”, paired with 50th Parallel Estate 2017 Chardonnay from Lake Country, BC.

Chef Kai’s response to being on the top of the podium: “It’s unbelievable. I’ve been pinching myself all night being in the room with all these amazing Chefs, and then what happened, happened! I can’t even explain the feeling, it’s just incredible.” Chef Kai also won the People’s Choice award to make his win that much more thrilling.

The second and third place winners also impressed the judges with their dishes. The bronze was awarded to: Chef Chris Braun from RauDZ Regional Table and the silver was awarded to Chef Andrea Callan from Red Fox Club at Indigenous World Winery. The bronze winning dish was “Octopus Terrine with Octopus Demi Glace, Tobacco Smoked Bisquits, Violet and Plum Jam, Perfect Potato Chip” paired with CheckMate Winery 2014 Black Rook Merlot and the silver dish was “Foraged Milkweed Pods, BC Side Stripe Shrimp & Local Salsify” paired with Indigenous World Winery 2018 La’p Cheet.

The event at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort was one of the hottest tickets in town. The chefs’ culinary expertise was on full display, and as per the guidelines, each chef paired their dish with a Canadian beverage. Guests were surprised to see that Chef James Holmes from Salt& Brick paired his dish with a delicious craft cocktail “The Harvest Cup” featuring Mulled Orange Wine from the Hatch, Sage Liqueur from Noteworthy, Spiced Cherry Syrup from Simp’s and Autumn Spices.

The event was hosted by Freestyle Skiing Gold & Silver medalist Kelsey Serwa who kept the crowd laughing with her charismatic personality and perfectly timed jokes. “It was an absolute privilege to Emcee in front of this crowd. I am so proud to be from this community and participating in an event that does so much to support food, music and sport,” said Kelsey.

To top off a fabulous evening, there was some great music and dancing with the legendary Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, rock star Neil Osborne of 54-40, genre-defying violinist Anne Lindsay, and Jim Cuddy’s incredibly talented sons, Devin Cuddy and Sam Polley.

James Chatto, Canadian Culinary Championships National Culinary Advisor and Head Judge explained, “This was the closest competition of the whole year. The judging team spent over an hour debating between the gold and silver medalists. The two dishes were very different and hard to compare. Ultimately, we had to go back to the numbers on our judging criteria and we came to our winner. Less than a 1% difference, the standards were just so high in Kelowna. The line up of star Chefs truly blew me away.”

Not to be overshadowed by the incredible food, the wines of the evening did not disappoint. David Lawrason, National Wine Advisor, stated, “it is no great surprise to me that some of BC’s best reds have been awarded first, second and third for Best in Show in Kelowna. Only two votes separated the number one and number two wines tonight. The first place 50th Parallel Pinot Noir was rich and delicious and second place CheckMate Black Rook Merlot was elegant. The third place CedarCreek Meritage was the best value in the room and had great depth and class.”

The other competing chefs at Canada’s Great Kitchen Party Kelowna event were:

  • Brock Bowes, CrAsian Foods Corp.
  • James Holmes, Salt & Brick
  • Jeff Van Geest, Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek
  • Rob Walker, Big White Ski Resort

Judging the 2019 competition were: James Chatto (national Culinary Advisor), Bernard Casavant, Senior Judge, RauDZ Regional Table, Jennifer Schell, Cookbook Author, Jeremy Luypen, Executive Chef, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Judy Burns, Honorary Chair, Canada’s Great Kitchen Party and Mark Filatow, Chef & Sommelier, Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar. Each dish was judged out of 100 points, based on visual presentation (20%), texture (10%), technical achievement (10%), taste (40%), wine compatibility (10%), and wow factor (10%).

Several Canadian athletes took part once again, including Sara Pavan ranked number 1 in beach volleyball, going for gold in Tokyo 2020, Olympic Double Bronze Medalist in Soccer, Melissa Tancredi, and Paralympian and World Cup Medalist in Para Snowboarding, Michelle Salt. The athletes finished the show on stage with singing their hearts out to thunderous applause from all attendees.

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