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Archive for the ‘Cooking Competition’ Category

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver is once again filled with gingerbread houses built by students, and amateur and professional bakers.

2015 Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver

The gingerbread centre piece and the iconic Gastown steam clock returned to the hotel lobby. The giant gingerbread house has used 500 pounds of gingerbread dough, 400 pounds of icing sugar and 1,400 egg whites, plus a few secret ingredients and some magical touch from the hotel’s engineering department.

2015 Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver

There seems to be fewer entries but the quality seems to be higher than the last couple of years. Here are some highlights for me:

A display inspired by the TV show Supernatural:

2015 Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver2015 Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver

A super cute one that is based on the house from the animation Up: (more…)

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For the 24th year, the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver is currently filled with gingerbread houses built by secondary and post-secondary students, and amateur and professional bakers.

Similar to last year, the centrepiece has the resemblance of the iconic Gastown steam clock (which is temporarily replaced by a modern art piece as it’s undergoing some repairs). The giant gingerbread house measures 11 feet tall and 16 feet wide, using 500 pounds of gingerbread dough, 400 pounds of icing sugar and 1,400 egg whites, plus a few secret ingredients and a little help from Hyatt’s engineering department.

2014 Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver

Different from last year, there seems to be more creativity in the theme of each display (of course, there has to be a Frozen-themed display), and many of them are not necessarily in the traditional gingerbread house shape. These are some of my favourites this year:

2014 Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver2014 Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver2014 Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver

2014 Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver2014 Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver (more…)

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November is Ocean Wise Month, and to celebrate sustainable seafood in the area, Vancouver Aquarium hosted the Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown last week. Lucky for me, I got to check it out, so let me tell you all about it.

Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown

Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown (photo by Three Sixty Photography, courtesy of Samuel Adams)

How does it work? As you enter the Vancouver Aquarium, you receive a wooden spoon and a plastic cup; and you just walk around with them to the 14 participating booths. You also have a ballot to take notes of each chowder and vote for your favourite.

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Each of the 14 competing chowders was paired with craft beer. I was quite impressed to see that there were restaurants from Prince Rupert and Pemberton competing in this event.

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Among the participating craft breweries, there was Samuel Adams, the only non-local craft brewery at the event. It partnered with Fable and Chef Trevor Bird not only in the beer pairing, but it’s also used in cooking of the halibut chowder. SA’s Boston Lager is darker than most lagers out there (has an amber-ish hue), yet it’s light and quite easy drinking; would be a good entry beer for most people and would make great pairing with rich food like a chowder or deep-fried goodness.

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Chef Trevor Bird at Chowder Chowdown

Chef Trevor Bird at Chowder Chowdown (photo by Three Sixty Photography, courtesy of Samuel Adams)

In addition to the People’s Choice Award voted by the general public, there were also 4 industry judges tasting all dishes to select the top 3. (more…)

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Already in its 23rd year, the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver is currently filled with more than 30 gingerbread houses built by amateur and professional bakers, as well as secondary students enrolled in culinary arts programs.

What is noticeably different this year is the centrepiece. This new masterpiece made by Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich measures 11 feet tall and 16 feet wide. Ingredients include 500 pounds of gingerbread dough, 400 pounds of confection sugar and 1,400 egg whites, plus a few secret ingredients and a little help from Hyatt’s engineering department. Standing beside it is a replica of the iconic steam clock from Gastown.

Hyatt Gingerbread House Lane 1

In addition to traditional gingerbread houses, you will find displays themed around popular animations such as Spongebob Squarepants and Despicable Me. (more…)

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Last weekend, one young chef was crowned the winner of the inaugural Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Competition. The Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship program is a non-profit culinary foundation created to recognize and inspire young Canadian chefs, while promoting professionalism and culinary excellence within the hospitality industry. To be eligible, they must be Canadian chefs under 28, with a Red Seal certification, and are working full-time in a professional kitchen. 10 finalists across Canada were selected:

  • Mark Andrew Brown – Ayr, Ontario
  • Ross Derrick – Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Arnie Mitchell Guieb – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Talib Hubba – Sherwood Park, Alberta
  • Carmen Ingham – North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Hayden Johnston – Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • John Ly – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Brad Masciotra – London, Ontario
  • Paul Moran – Kelowna, British Columbia
  • Garrett Rotel – Calgary, Alberta

During Round 1 of the competition, these ten finalists competed against each other to create a main course dish for two within two hours, using provided ingredients. The top 3 finalists then moved on to Round 2, the black box challenge. They had two hours and fifteen minutes to cook a main course and dessert using mystery ingredients from the black box.

Welcome to Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Competition

My guest reporter Terence checked out Round 2 of the competition at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and watched the following candidates compete for a chance to receive a $10,000 bursary, provided by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, and a stage at a leading international restaurant.

From left: Carmen Ingham, Paul Moran & Brad Masciotra (Photo credit: Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Twitter feed @HawkScholarship)

Top 3 finalists

The black box ingredients were  (more…)

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In its 22nd year, the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver is adorned by more than 40 gingerbread houses built by amateur and professional bakers, as well as college and high school students enrolled in culinary arts programs.

I noticed that there are more non-traditional gingerbread houses this year. In particular, I was quite impressed by this coral reef display made by the David Thompson Secondary School Cafeteria. What a unique interpretation of a “house”:

Coral Reef

Coral Reef

Here is one on the story of the Nutcracker: (more…)

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While we had to wait 10 minutes for our food ordered at Bada Bing Food Truck, we decided to check out the Gingerbread Lane inside the Hyatt Regency Vancouver hotel.

Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver

Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver

In its 21st year, the hotel lobby is adorned by approximately 40 gingerbread houses built by amateur and professional bakers, as well as college and high school students enrolled in culinary arts programs.

The iconic gingerbread house uses over 2kg of brown sugar, 5kg of icing sugar, 4kg of margarine, 4kg of molasses, 1kg of corn syrup, 16kg of pastry flour and some other secret ingredients to build. An additional 1400 egg whites, 300lb of icing sugar and 500lb of gingerbread dough were used for extra touches.

Iconic, Giant Gingerbread House

Iconic, Giant Gingerbread House

Not only this is a fundraising initiative for Make a Wish Foundation, it’s also a gingerbread competition. As you walk around, you notice gingerbread houses are awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in various categories such as secondary school, amateur and professional. (more…)

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