Chef Briana Kim from Ottawa's Alice restaurant came out on top in Canada's Culinary Championship, hosted at home in Ottawa this weekend, Feb. 4.
The competition pits nine of Canada's top chefs from across the country against each other in a series of challenges. A series of regional competitions select the top chef from each region and brings them together for the championship, this year hosted in the nation's capital.
Launched in 2006 by Stephen Leckie, Canada' Great Kitchen Pantry Canadian Culinary Championship was created as a celebration of Canadian culture as expressed through food. Chefs are paired with Canadian wines, brewers and distillers and challenged to create dishes with local ingredients in Iron Chef style competitions.
The event helps raise money in support of Canadian charities addressing access to healthy food, sport and music programs. Since its inception, the organization has raised more than $17 million supporting charities and amateur athletes across Canada.
Kim, representing Ottawa for the second time at the championship, on top of being the only woman in the competition this year, is also the only competitor offering vegan fare. Her restaurant Alice, a vegetarian and fermentation focused spot in Little Italy, brought something special to the competition, said Leckie on The Sam Laprade Show.
"I just have to say that Brianna is bringing in something that is so unique from a vegetarian standpoint. In a world where there is not that many chefs that are at the Gold Level bringing in the vegetarian component." Leckie said. "She's representing Ottawa very well."
After the grand finale event on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Shaw Centre, Kim came out on top, receiving unanimous approval from the judges for her dish containing a rhubarb jerky and lacto-fermented green tomato. She was paired with Niagara winery Pearl Morissette.
"I hope what I did can be inspiring to other female chefs, or any other chefs who are just paving their way," said Kim on The Sam Laprade Show on Feb. 6. "I am just taking this as a queue to keep going."
Listen to the full interview with Stephen Leckie on The Sam Laprade Show.
Listen to the full interview with Chef Briana Kim below: