By Colleen Isherwood, Senior Editor
TORONTO — Trevor Ritchie, chef technologist at George Brown College, and his commis Navjeet Singh will represent Canada at the 2019 Bocuse d'Or after winning the 2016 National Selection Competition held at George Brown yesterday.
Chef Dan Craig, executive chef at Delta Hotel Toronto and his commis Ian Yau placed second, and Chef Roger Ma and commis Brittany Lygo of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Vancouver, came third.
Other finalists included Keith Pears, executive chef at Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre, Burnaby, B.C. and commis Jason Hsu; Eric Lee, chef/owner of Damso Restaurant, Vancouver, and commis Peter Kim; and Samuel Sirois, executive chef, Manor Rouville-Campbell, St. Hilaire, Que., and commis Philippe Juhos.
Jury members included Normand Laprise, grand chef Relais & Chateaux, TOQUE! Restaurant in Montreal; Jean-Pierre (JP) Challet, executive chef at The Fifth Grill & Terrace in Toronto; Didier Leroy, master chef and restaurant consultant who has worked at Michelin star restaurants in France and Canada; Judson Simpson, CMC and executive chef, House of Commons, Ottawa; Simon Smotkowicz, executive chef, Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton and Cornelia (Connie) Volino, manager CCFCC Bocuse d'Or Canada. The kitchen judges were Chef Luc Boissy and Chef Tony Fernandes.
Sponsors included Rougie Sarlat, who provided the duck and foie gras for the meat course, Cacao Barry chocolate, Chef's Hat Inc., and Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar, who provided ingredients for the fish course.
Founded in 1987 by chef Paul Bocuse, the Bocuse d'Or is held every two years in Lyons, France. Ritchie will represent Canada and the CCFCC in the 2019 competition; the 2017 representative, James Olberg, Glowbal Group culinary director and executive chef, Coast Restaurant, Vancouver, has already been chosen. One of the most prestigious culinary competitions in the world, it brings together 24 young chefs from around the world, and has them prepare meat and fish courses, each accompanied by three original garnishes, in 5 hours and 35 minutes.
The Bocuse d'Or audience is known for its enthusiasm and the competition is covered by journalists from around the world.
In his remarks just before the winners were announced, master chef Judd Simpson told participants that the George Brown competition provides participants with an example of just how challenging the Bocuse d'Or will be. “Irrespective of who wins, it is important that you are all here. The camaraderie, learning and unique food products provide a learning experience for each and every one of you.”
He added that Olberg tried seven times before he had the chance to represent Canada.