With such an incredible food scene in Toronto, Abbey’s Kitchen Stadium was created to showcase the city’s culinary talent and raise money for a food initiative, My Food My Way. With inspiration from popular chef competition tv shows like Iron Chef and Chopped, a series of three interactive culinary competitions were held at the MOD club hosted by Abbey (@AbbeysKitchen).
The end of September marked the third installment of the series and the championship finale will take place at the Delicious Food Show where the winner from each of the 3 competitions plus a wild-card will compete for the ultimate win. The finale will be held on October 27th at the Food Network Celebrity stage and admission to it is included with admission to the Delicious Food Show.
Each of the competitions featured a secret ingredient where the competing chefs had to prepare two dishes showcasing the ingredient. In battle one, the secret ingredient was Neal Brothers potato chips. Competitors consisted of Matt Basile from Fidel Gastro/Lisa Marie, Rocco Agostino from Pizzeria Libretto, Matt Pettit from Rock Lobster and Bruce Woods from Woods restaurant, who emerged as the winner.
Battle two featured McClure’s pickles with Peter Ramsay from the Geraldine, Howard Dubrovsky from Fonda Lola, Jesse Vallins from the Saint Tavern and Rodney Bowers from Hey Meatball. I missed the first battle but thoroughly enjoyed myself at battle two. I’m a big fan of pickles, so I was pleased to see that it was the secret ingredient.
During the events, guests purchased the dishes for $5 each which went to benefit My Food My Way.
Rodney Bowers emerged as the winner in this battle with his meatball donair (with relish, pickled onion, donair sauce and herb salad) and pickle soup (with fried pickles, pulled pork and mussels). I tried both of his dishes and completely agreed with the judges’ decision. Really, really, delicious!
Battle three was another fantastic event featuring All The Best Fine Foods’ apple sauce. The all-star chef line-up included Top Chef Canada Season 2 winner Carl Heinrich from Richmond Station, Thomas Davis from The Stockyards, Dustin Gallagher from Acadia and David Sidhu from Playa Cabana.
There were some pretty inventive dishes including smoked duck spam with an apple mushroom gravy, tamales with apple braised lamb and an apple cinnamon creamsicle with walnuts & ginger bread.
In the end, Dustin Gallagher took the win with his apple bbq quail and apple tart.
Each battle had an entertaining judging panel which included the likes of James Cunningham from the Food Network’s Eat Street and Vikram Vij (from Vij’s). To give you an idea of what to expect, the judges at the Delicious Food Show finale will include Susur Lee, David Rocco from the Food Network and Leslie Roberts from Global TV.
If the first series of battles were any indication of what to expect at the finale, you can bet it’ll be another fun and delicious afternoon! You can purchase your tickets to the Delicious Food Show on their website here.