Thunder Bay Top Chef – Derek Lankinen of the Foundry

Chuck Hughes congratulating Foundry's Derek Lankinen after being awarded Top Chef 2013
Chuck Hughes congratulating Foundry's Derek Lankinen after being awarded Top Chef 2013

Chuck Hughes congratulating Foundry's Derek Lankinen after being awarded Top Chef 2013
Chuck Hughes congratulating Foundry’s Derek Lankinen after being awarded Top Chef 2013

Top Chef Honours – Derek Lankinen of the Foundry

THUNDER BAY – Sharla Brown from Keynote Events has topped last years event and has people talking about 2014 Top Chef! 

This years guest judge was Chuck Hughes from the TV series Chucks Day Off. Chuck did an amazing job and was quite entertaining, walking round answering questions and joking with everyone! 

Chuck never hesitated to stop and have his photo taken, even if it was with a local cookbook supporting local chefs! Superior Flavours cookbook was for sale at the Top Chef event, this excellent local cookbook showcases local restaurant recipes!! If you would like a copy check out Split Tree Publishing’s website ref=br_tf.splittreepublishing.com/products/superior-flavours

Chef Chuck Hughes taking a bite out of local cookbook Superior Flavours
Chef Chuck Hughes taking a bite out of local cookbook Superior Flavours

Top Chef hosted 14 local restaurants who entered their chefs in this years event in hopes of taking home the title of Top Chef.

This year the event was very exciting and full of positive energy, and every booth had a bite of amazing goodness waiting for you!

This year the contestants were, Victoria Inn & Conference Centre, Delucas Family Restaurant, The Foundry, The Sovereign Room, OLG Casino Getaway Restaurant, This Old Barn, 5 Forks, Daytona’s, Retro Bakery & Diner, Northern Unique, Davinci Centre, Bight and Beaux Daddy’s.

Last year some stations ran out of food before everyone had received their bite size portions, so this year Sharla Brown gave coupon booklets for each person who purchased a ticket,  each booklet had a coupon for every station and 2 coupons for coffee and 2 coupons for dessert. Sweet Escapes Bakery was handing out sweet treats from their bakery, truly amazing baking, from salted caramels, to lemon cheesecake and my favorite Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream-cheese icing. Twin City Refreshments was also serving up coffee or cappuccinos.

This year there were more judges, a team of eight judged the bite size creations. The judges were Richard Gunn Envana Energy, Sarah McArthur Shaw TV, Danny Foresta CKPR 91.5, Brent Hawley The Thunder 103.5, Carol Maki Thunder Bay Cattle Association, Allan Mihalcin Twin City Refreshments, Chef Tim Matthews Culinary Program Coordinator at Confederation College and last years Top Chef winner Steve Simpson.

Each Head Chef and their helpers took their bite size creation up to the judge’s table, the head chef gave the description of the bite while the judges sampled. 

Here is what each restaurant entered as their creative bites!

Victoria Inn presented Wood Fire Crisp Maple Brined Pork Belly, Pickled Granny Smith Apple and Sortilege Drizzle.

Delucas presented Arancini Calabrese Mini rice balls stuffed with asiago cheese, peas, and calabrese salami. Potato Braciola fried potato seasoned with Italian cheeses and fresh herbs.

Jack Daniels Smoked Salmon with a arugula, chevre and a blueberry salad
Jack Daniels Smoked Salmon with a arugula, chevre and a blueberry salad

The Foundry presented Jack Daniels Smoked Salmon with a arugula, chevre and a blueberry salad.

Sovereign Room Boudin Blanc and Chicharon "pogo" Foie Gras, Apple Butter and Pickled Mustard Seeds
Sovereign Room Boudin Blanc and Chicharon “pogo” Foie Gras, Apple Butter and Pickled Mustard Seeds

The Sovereign Room presented Boudin Blanc and Chicharon “pogo” Foie Gras, Apple Butter and Pickled Mustard Seeds

OLG Getaway Restaurant The Canadian Maple Beef. Succulent strips of locally raised beef, provided by the Cattlemans Association, marinated in a sweet liquid honey, wrapped with pepper maple bacon ad grilled to perfection.
OLG Getaway Restaurant The Canadian Maple Beef. Succulent strips of locally raised beef, provided by the Cattlemans Association, marinated in a sweet liquid honey, wrapped with pepper maple bacon ad grilled to perfection.

OLG Getaway Restaurant presented The Canadian Maple Beef. Succulent strips of locally raised beef, provided by the Cattlemans Association, marinated in a sweet liquid honey, wrapped with pepper maple bacon ad grilled to perfection.

This Old Barn presented Terrymore Farms lean ground lamb, seasoned with a selection of spices and fresh herbs, garlic and red wine reduction, a kick of our homemade dijon mustard, skewered, seared and served upon locally grown yukon gold potatoes from Breukelmans potato farm, accompanied with red jus.

5 Forks presented Kalbi BBQ Beef Tacos served in a crisp lettuce shell with a sweet and spicy Asian slaw topped with Sesame seeds green onion and crispy wonton strings.

Daytonas presented Crispy Pork Belly Confit on Potato Hash cake, Sour apple Puree, Balsamic Glaze.

Retro Bakery & Diner presented Spiced Harvest Pumpkin Soup.

I enjoyed the flavour and colour of the fall bounty; A velvety blend of roasted sweet pumpkins and apples accented by the warmth of cinnamon, ginger, all spice and the earthy notes of sage. Topped with a crunchy brown butter pepitas and a drizzle of apple cider creme fraiche. Accompanied by our bakery fresh one bite sage and parmesan scone.

Northern Unique presented Maple Balsamic Glazed Pressure Braised Pork Belly with Maple Butter Brioch and Green Apple Caviar.

The Serious Underdog Our over the top spin on the humble hot dog. Boar tenderloins, duck and home smoked bacon finely ground in house and blended with black truffle, honey and our own blend of seasonings. Cold smoked and readied for the bakery fresh everything bun. With your choice of Smashmouth toppings!
The Serious Underdog Our over the top spin on the humble hot dog. Boar tenderloins, duck and home smoked bacon finely ground in house and blended with black truffle, honey and our own blend of seasonings. Cold smoked and readied for the bakery fresh everything bun. With your choice of Smashmouth toppings!

Davinci Centre presented The Serious Underdog Our over the top spin on the humble hot dog. Boar tenderloins, duck and home smoked bacon finely ground in house and blended with black truffle, honey and our own blend of seasonings. Cold smoked and readied for the bakery fresh everything bun. With your choice of Smashmouth toppings!

Bights Local Goat Leg Confit Ssam In house pickling, dragon tongue beans, sprouts, micro greens, hydroponic butter lettuce, house made sriracha, hoisin-pineapple sauce.
Bights Local Goat Leg Confit Ssam In house pickling, dragon tongue beans, sprouts, micro greens, hydroponic butter lettuce, house made sriracha, hoisin-pineapple sauce.

Bight presented Local Goat Leg Confit Ssam In house pickling, dragon tongue beans, sprouts, micro greens, hydroponic butter lettuce, house made sriracha, hoisin-pineapple sauce.

Beaux Daddys presented Signature blackened striploin with classic crawfish etouffee atop potato gaufette.

There were a few crowd favorites such as the Serious Underdog by Chef House at the Davinci and 5 Forks Kalbi Beef Taco. Even the Sovereign Room without Steve Simpson as their head chef this year presented a great bite, Boudin Blanc and Chicharon “pogo”, but in the end the winner was Derek Lankinen of the Foundry with a Jack Daniels Smoked Salmon with a Arugula, Chevre and Blueberry Salad.

Congratulations to Derek Lankinen of the Foundry on winning Top Chef 2013!

Kim Berly

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