Yannick LaSalle, of Restaurant Les Fougères in Chelsea, Que. is the winner of the 2019 Canadian Culinary Championships, Grand Finale.
The final event took place Saturday night at the Delta Grand in Kelowna, before more than 300 people.
LaSalle choked-up with tears in his eyes when asked what if feels like to win the competition.
“At the moment I cannot explain how proud I am of the team,” LaSalle said. “I just know the team and students worked really hard and they deserve every moment of this celebration.”
LaSalle took home the gold medal plate with a dish comprised of fennel, sea buckthorn and eastern town duck Magret Le Rougié with Quebec saffron.
The Quebec chef praised his Okanagan College culinary students following his win, saying he couldn’t have done it without them.
“Every chef worked really hard, it was a very challenging weekend. But to me, it’s all about the team… we worked all together,” LaSalle said.
In second place is Christopher Hill of Taste Restaurant Group in Sask. and in third is David Bohati of Murrieta’s in Calgary.
Both Hill and Bohati are returning chefs to the championships who were looking for a win but will have to settle for second and third on the podium.
During the Grand Finale chefs created their best dish paired alongside a Canadian beverage from their regional competition, all to the tunes of Canadian rock band, Chilliwack.
This was the third event in 24-hours for the 11 competing chefs, the championships kicked off with a Mystery Wine Pairing competition held on Friday followed by the Black Box competition on Saturday morning.
Chef Takashi Ito, from AURA waterfront restaurant and patio in Victoria took the win at the Mystery Wine Pairing with his seared pork, belly and gnocchi, winter squash puree, black sesame tenkasu paired with this years’ Mystery Wine 2016 Vista’s Edge Cabernet Franc from Mission Hill Family Estate.