Archive for the ‘Charities’ Category

Chefs For Change

10 Jan

Chefs-for-Change-promo-pic-web sm

A year ago, the first Chefs For Change evenings were a triumphant success, bringing together top chefs from the city and across the country for some amazingly delicious and convivial gastronomic collaborations. Well, they’re doing it again!

Five events, with the first one happening on January 21, all at Propeller Coffee, the brilliant roastery and event venue at 50 Wade Avenue, just a coffee bean’s throw from Bloor and Lansdowne.

The line-up for January 21 is most impressive –

Jason Bangerter, Langdon Hall Victor Barry, Splendido Chris Brown, Citizen Catering Justin Cournoyer, Actinolite Jonathan Goodyear, Magna Golf Club Sean MacDonald, Market (Calgary) Joel Rousell, George Brown College  Afrim Pristine, Cheese Boutique 

You can imagine how sensational the nosh will be! I’m definitely going.

And of course, it’s all in a very good cause. Net profits from Chefs for Change will help Community Food Centres Canada to support vibrant, food-focused organizations that bring people in low-income communities together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for healthy food for all.

Find out full details and the list of participating chefs for the other dates at

Event Details

Location: Propeller Coffee, 50 Wade Ave, Toronto ON

Date: January 21 + 28 | February 18 + 25 | March 3 2016

Tickets: $125/night (includes 4 unique courses, themed cocktail by Sandy De Almeida, the funky tunes of ¡DO!, and a few surprises!) Ticket buyers will receive a charitable tax receipt of $40 by email after the event.

Night of: Reception at 6:30 p.m. Dinner at 7 p.m.   A variety of local wine, spirits and beer will be available for purchase at reasonable prices. 




Toronto Symphony Fine Wine Auction on November 10

31 Oct


It’s hard to believe that this is the 25th anniversary of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Fine Wine Charity Auction! The great event takes place on Tuesday, November 10, up on the 56th floor of the CIBC, Commerce Court West, 199 Bay Street.

This year the amazing inventory consists of about half a million dollars worth of fine and rare wines – a good opportunity to fill some gaps in your wine cellar.

And of course it is all for a very worthy cause, raising much-needed funds for The Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

To join in the fun you must register online as a bidder. Go to to do that, check out the huge catalogue and find out everything else you need to know.

Reception 5:30 pm; Auction 6:15 for 6:30 p.m. start Auctioneer: Stephen Ranger



Restaurants for Change

10 Oct

Go out to dinner on October 21 at one of our Restaurants for Change and you can help change Canada for the better.

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Restaurants for Change supports organizations like the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre

The Dartmouth North Community Food Centre launched last week, and is the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada. It is located in a neighbourhood where 61% of the population lives on less than $20,000 per year.

“This is a place for the community to come together in so many different ways. We provide access to high-quality food and use it to connect people to other opportunities – cooking skills for adults and kids, community gardening, a low-cost veggie market, workshops on health and active living, an advocacy office,” says Manager Deborah Dickey.

Take a few minutes this holiday weekend to watch their inspiring video on how food can bring communities together. And then make a reservation at a participating restaurant on October 21 and support more good food work like this across the country!


Our Kitchen Builds Community

10 questions with Steve MittonSteve Mitton from Ottawa’s Murray Street loves a good roast chicken dinner and believes in supporting local farmers. Find out more about this chef ambassador who’s making waves in supporting a healthier and fairer food system.

Read more

Global News is talking about Restaurants for ChangeThanks to our sponsor Global News for helping us spread the word about Restaurants for Change! Click below to watch chef ambassadors from across the country show off their cooking and advocacy chops live on air!

Frequently asked questionsHow do I join in for the year’s Restaurants for Change? Where will the event take place and who’s participating?

Have burning questions about this year’s Restaurants for Change? We’ve got you covered with these frequently asked questions and answers!

Read more

Book your reservation now!With less than two weeks to go until Restaurants for Change on October 21, it’s time to get reserving! Restaurants are booking up fast so make sure you check out the 59 restaurants involved in this year’s event and make your reservation today!

Book now

Thanksgiving sides shake-up!In honour of the many delicious Thanksgiving festivities happening this weekend, we’re sharing with you The National Post‘s Thanksgiving sides shakeup!

Find tasty holiday recipes from Restaurants for Change chefs and supporters like Danny Smiles, Renée Lavallée, Ted Corrado, Lynn Crawford, Justin Cournoyer, Vikram Vij, Bonnie Stern, Chris Brown and more!

Read more


Our supporters: Garland CanadaFor two years running, Garland Canada has been supporting Restaurants for Change as a national sponsor, including a $5,000 prize for one lucky restaurant participant to outfit their kitchen with some of the industry’s best supplies.

Garland Canada is dedicated to bringing value to foodservice operators by equipping them with real-world answers and solutions that enhance menus, service, profits and efficiency. Thank you Garland Canada for your support!

Read more

Thank you to our generous sponsors!


Find out more about Community Food Centres Canada

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In Aid of Nepal

27 May

Stadtlander Nepal

Passing on the news about an extraordinary event organized by Michael and Nobuyo Stadtlander and Paul Bohmer. What an opportunity!



Chefs for Change

04 Mar
Chefs Anthony Walsh, Chris Brown and Nick Liu at the Chefs for Change event

Chefs Anthony Walsh, Chris Brown and Nick Liu at the Chefs for Change event

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: no one does more for charities and good causes than chefs. Over the last six weeks in Toronto there have been four riotous culinary gatherings where a bunch of chefs – some from Toronto, others from farther afield – have cooked for highly appreciative crowds to raise funds for Community Food Centres Canada. They’ve called themselves Chefs for Change and they are another razor-sharp facet of the new movement that is energizing the country under the leadership of Nick Saul. I was lucky enough to be at one of the events, held at The Propellor Coffee Roastery on January 30. Chef Antonio Park flew in from Montreal, on his way to the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna (see my last 4 postings), to join Nick Liu from DaiLo, Anthony Walsh from Oliver & Bonacini, Matty Matheson from Parts & Labour, Joel Rousell from George Brown College and Chris Brown from Citizen Catering, who is the mastermind behind these gatherings. Great to see a bunch of George Brown students also there, helping in the kitchen and gathering invaluable experience. Krystina Roman of Rosewood Estates winery donated some splendid wines, breads came from Blackbird Baking Co. in Kensington Market (I buy bread there almost every day). Other sponsors included Beau’s, Georgian Bay gin, Provender, Core, Beretta, Higgins Event Rentals and uniiverse. Singer-songwriter Jory Nash offered a musical interlude.

Nick Liu made sturgeon fin soup

Nick Liu made sturgeon fin soup

The food was entirely representative of the individual chefs involved. Nick Liu began it with a sturgeon fin soup, rich and textured like a shark’s fin soup but with much more flavour and much more going on, including a trembling, runny-yolked, soy-cured egg topped with Acadian sturgeon caviar. Fascinating.






Anthony Walsh wrapped an oyster in beef

Anthony Walsh wrapped an oyster in beef


Anthony Walsh wrapped a gorgeous kushi oyster from Honest Weight in a pounded beef fillet then paired it with various dainty iterations of cauliflower, dulse and mustards. Awesome.






Matty Matheson's mackerel with uni and brown butter

Matty Matheson’s mackerel with uni and brown butter

Matty Matheson draped sea urchin roes over a stunning piece of mackerel that shared a fishy broth with two turned potatoes, then pushed the whole concept way over the top by adding bacon and brown butter. Intense!







Antonio Park grilled dorado unilaterally

Antonio Park grilled dorado unilaterally

Antonio Park’s dish was as impeccable and composed as his work always seems to be, and a reflection of his multi-cultural talents. He presented slices of unilaterally grilled dorado as a Peruvian tiradito-cum-Japanese sashimi, with ahi sauce, all topped by a pan-seared shishito pepper filled with marinated and slow-cooked baby anchovies. Ethereal.





Joel Rousell's awe-inspiring squash pudding dessert

Joel Rousell’s awe-inspiring squash pudding dessert

Dessert drew gasps of admiration from our table – a round, sticky-toffee squash pudding on tangy apple purée with ginger beer ice cream, black walnuts and crumbled sponge toffee. Irresistible.

The plan is to do this again next year – maybe grow it? A brilliant idea.

And meanwhile the work of Community Food Centres Canada goes on apace. This from a recent press release:

“We organized our first national conference! Last weekend, staff from Community Food Centres and Good Food Organizations across the country — 100+ people representing 40+ organizations — came together in Toronto to share the good food work that’s happening in their communities, trade best practices, and brainstorm program innovations and joint actions. In addition to those practical sessions, our Saturday plenary session speakers, Dr. Mike Evans, farmer and organizer Damian Adjodha, and Dr. Valerie Tarasuk, leader of the University of Toronto’s PROOF food insecurity research project, explored levers for individual, community and public policy change. It was a totally inspiring weekend.

“Speaking of Community Food Centres… On March 13, we’ll launch Canada’s fifth Community Food Centre — the first outside Ontario! The NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre is located in Winnipeg’s high-needs Inkster neighbourhood, and is already increasing access to healthy food and bringing  the community together through its community lunches and breakfasts, community kitchens, community action program and affordable produce market.

“And speaking of Good Food Organizations… Next week we’ll announce 36 new Good Food Organizations that will bring the total number of GFOs across Canada to 73! By joining the initiative, these organizations are committing to offer dignified food programs based in shared principles of equity, health, and respect. Having reps from most of these organizations at the Food Summit really underscored the amount of amazing community food work that’s happening across the country, and the ways CFCC can support that work, and amplify it to a national audience.”

Excellent work all round!


Restaurants For Change 2015

10 Jan


Read on for how to become part of this extraordinary movement in the fall of 2015!

But before you scroll down, there’s something I’d like to say, as Chair of Restaurants for Change: Thank you to the 25 amazing and committed restaurants who came together in 2014 to support local Community Food Centres and a national movement calling for a fair and equitable food system. You know who you are…

In Calgary, Charcut, Rouge and NOtaBLE

In Halifax: Chives Canadian Bistro.

In Montreal: Garde Manger, Le Bremner and Nora Gray.

In Ottawa: Atelier and Juniper Kitchen and Wine Bar.

In Perth: The Masonry.

In Stratford: Foster’s Inn.

In Vancouver: Hawksworth Restaurant and Vij’s Restaurant.

In Winnipeg: Deer + Almond and Elements by Diversity Restaurant.

And in Toronto, Bar Buca, Buca and Buca Yorkville, Edulis, Jacobs Steakhouse, Richmond Station, Ruby Watchco, The Drake One Fifty, The Saint Tavern and THR+Co.

And thank you to our national spokespeople Ryan Donovan and Carl Heinrich, co-owners of Richmond Station, for their dedication, enthusiasm, and support.

On October 22, diners gathered in twenty-five restaurants in nine cities across the country, from Vij’s in Vancouver to Chives in Halifax, to raise awareness, funds and their voices in support of equal access to healthy food. Participating restaurants and sponsors raised more than $120,000 in support of local Community Food Centre programs and CFCC’s national leadership around issues of hunger, poverty and poor health. We believe chefs and restaurants are uniquely positioned to raise awareness of the critical juncture where sustainability and food justice meet. We look forward to expanding Restaurants for Change to more cities and restaurants in the coming years, and to growing the community of people who will speak out for healthy food as a human right.

 AND NOW>>>    The 2015 EVENT

Mark your calendars! The 2015 edition of Restaurants for Change will be held on

Wednesday October 21, 2015.


We’re seeking to expand Restaurants for Change to more cities and restaurants in 2015. For more information on restaurant participation and media and corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Valerie Tibbles, Director of Development at Community Food Centres Canada.

Valerie Tibbles, Director of Development, 416 531 8826 ext 233,

Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) provides resources and a proven approach to partner organizations across Canada to create Community Food Centres that bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food. CFCC also works with the broader food movement to build greater capacity for impact and to empower communities to work toward a healthy and fair food system.


Restaurants for Change

08 Oct


To The Saint Tavern last night for the launch of a very exciting project! Let me cut to the chase. We must all go out and have dinner at one of 25 excellent Canadian restaurants on October 22. If we do that, certain extraordinary things will start to happen. Great wheels will begin to move. Social inertia will be suddenly galvanized by a spark of energy. The complicated mechanism of that splendid organisation called Community Food Centres Canada will speed up its work bringing people together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good, healthy food for all.

The CFCC is Nick Saul’s creation, a nationwide extrapolation of the amazing success he had with The Stop in Toronto. The fundraising push on October 22 is called Restaurants for Change and in this, its first year, it involves 25 restaurants in nine cities across Canada. You’ll find them listed below. It’s a list we should all print and carry in our wallets, not just to make our reservations on October 22 but so we can remember and visit these places whenever we feel the urge to eat out.

I am in awe of the chefs and restaurateurs who have signed up for this initiative, donating all or part of their restaurants’ proceeds on that particular evening to the CFCC. No people in our community are called upon more often to donate their time, money and genius to worthy causes than our chefs and restaurateurs,  and it is amazing how often they answer, “Yes, okay, of course I’d be glad to help.”

They are the engine that powers the machine for social justice that was built by the CFCC. You, dear restaurant-goer, are the fortunate passenger, having a fabulous meal in a renowned restaurant, with every mouthful made more savoury and delicious by the knowledge that you are doing good.

I know, I know, it is disgraceful that in a country as rich as Canada there are still millions of people who rely on Community Food Centres for their next meal. Our politicians sit gazing into their mirrors, year after year, enthralled by their own reflections, and do nothing. So it is up to these heroes to step to the plate. Here is the list of the restaurants involved:

In Calgary, Charcut, Rouge and NOtaBLE

In Halifax: Chives Canadian Bistro.

In Montreal: Garde Manger, Le Bremner and Nora Gray.

In Ottawa: Atelier and Juniper Kitchen and Wine Bar.

In Perth: The Masonry.

In Stratford: Foster’s Inn.

In Vancouver: Hawksworth Restaurant and Vij’s Restaurant.

In Winnipeg: Deer + Almond and Elements by Diversity Restaurant.

And Here in Toronto, it’s Bar Buca, Buca and Buca Yorkville, Edulis, Jacobs Steakhouse, Richmond Station, Ruby Watchco, The Drake One Fifty, The Saint Tavern and THR+Co.

In other words, The Young and the Righteous! And the talented… Dining in these places will be a hedonistic thrill as well as a noble endeavour.

That’s all I’ll say for now. You can learn more at | Facebook/LinkedIn: Community Food Centres Canada | Twitter/Instagram/YouTube: @aplaceforfood #foodforgood

Tell your friends! Let’s PACK these restaurants on October 22. And next year let’s grow it from 25 names to 100.


Gabriel Li took this picture of some of us at The Saint last night. True Toronto foodies should be able to name everyone here...

Gabriel Li took this picture of some of us at The Saint last night. True Toronto foodies should be able to name everyone here…


Baah! Be There!

11 Mar


Last year, Tony Aspler’s brilliant charity, Grapes for Humanity, staged a mighty Tartare-off where professional and amateur chefs presented their most compelling tartares to a panel of judges, all to raise money to help build a school in Guatemala. The event was so successful that they’re doing it again, but this time the theme is Ontario lamb.

Baah! is the name of the game and it’s taking place at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 21st at the Fairmont Royal York, in the beautiful Imperial Room. I have no doubt it will be the lambiest fundraiser of the year and that spectacular wines will be poured alongside the highly creative lamb dishes presented by the competing chefs, David Neinstein of Barque, Ryo Ozawa of EDO, Graham Pelley of Eleven, Jeremy Dyer of L’Avenue Bistro, Alan Liu of Linda Modern Thai, Chef Michael Pataran, David Junek of Salt and Collin Thornton of the Fairmont Royal York itself.

All the details can be read on this handsome poster. What could be more deliciously appropriate than spring lamb so close to the vernal equinox? And all for such an excellent cause. Call Annette at 416 445 9920 to purchase your ticket.


Kitchen Sisters – Last Supper for Sistering!

15 Feb

Kitchen Sisters Blog - 2

International Women’s Day is just three weeks away (it’s on Friday, March 8, to be precise) and the place to be that evening is Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village. The occasion is Kitchen Sisters, a fundraising feast prepared by some of Toronto’s finest chefs including Donna Dooher (chef-owner of Mildred’s, of course), Lynn Crawford, Anne Yarymowich, Christine Bib, Suzanne Baby and Andrea Damon-Gibson. It’s the finale of a fundraising initiative aimed at building a new kitchen for Sistering.

And what is Sistering? It’s an agency and advocacy group that has been supporting low-income and marginalized women in the Toronto community since 1981 by providing a safe haven during the daytime hours in a welcoming, multilingual and multiracial environment. Hot meals are part of the service – indeed, in the last few years the demand for meals has increased substantially, until the Sistering kitchen now finds itself providing more than 250 meals a day, 365 days a year. In order to meet this growing need, the kitchen required a massive overhaul. Fridges, stoves, cooking and baking equipment were all needed to give the hard-working chefs at Sistering a leg up on their production. The resounding success of the past two International Women’s Day dinners has meant that much of the funding is in place and Donna Dooher hopes this ‘Last Supper for Sistering’ will help them reach that final goal.

All proceeds from the event at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen will go towards Sistering’s kitchen renovation project. Tickets are $500 for a spectacularly delicious four-course feast, served at the Temple Kitchen communal table, complete with wine pairings. Partial tax receipts (for $350) will be issued. For information or tickets, please call 416-926-9762 ext. 243.

Sistering’s twitter account is @sisteringTO and Kitchen Sisters’ hashtag is #kitchensisters13


Edmonton Gold Medal Plates 2012

19 Oct

Chef Nathin Bye's dish "Breakfast for Dinner" won the gold

Edmonton has a special place in the hearts of the Gold Medal Plates team. The city has been one of our loyalest supporters since the beginning, it is the first to sell out every year and the party is always exceptional. Last night, 700 guests added to the ongoing legend at the Shaw Centre, waltzing to beautiful music from Sarah Harmer, Barney Bentall and Ed Robertson and giving a standing ovation to dozens of Olympic athletes led by the evening’s energized master of ceremonies, Adam van Koeverden. The purpose of these evenings, lest we forget, is only incidentally about pleasure and entertainment – it’s to raise money for Canada’s Olympic athletes through the Own the Podium program that paid such dividends during the 2010 Vancouver games. Gold Medal Plates has raised over $6 million so far – and counting. Last night’s contribution will have a direct and beneficial effect on the way our elite athletes perform in Russia in two years time.

Certainly, the ten competing chefs also played their role in the festivities, presenting a wide array of dishes that were highly imaginative, complex and visually stunning. The judges agree that the overall quality of the offerings rose yet again this year, and while the choice for gold medal was almost unanimous, only two percentage points separated it from the silver. Joining me on the judging panel last night were Edmonton’s Senior Judge, food and wine writer and wine educator Mary Bailey, chef instructor and international gastronomic judge Clayton Folkers (who had just flown home from Germany where he was judging the culinary Olympics), catering guru and culinary educator, Gail Hall, The Edmonton Journal’s food writer Liane Faulder, chef Chris Wood and last year’s Edmonton Gold Medal Plates champion, chef Jan Trittenbach.

Chef Paul Shufelt's Brome Lake duck won the bronze medal

The bronze medal was awarded to chef Paul Shufelt of Century Hospitality Group who presented Brome Lake duck in two ways. As he introduced the dish, Chef Shufelt explained that he grew up just ten minutes from Brome Lake (near Knowlton, Quebec) and always enjoyed working with the birds. He began by wrapping a drum-shaped piece of the marvellously tender breast in prosciutto, cooking it until the full flavour emerged but the meat was still moist and juicy. A wand of the duck’s sweetly glazed skin lay across the surface and beneath it we found a drift of roasted butternut squash purée subtly spiked with cinnamon and nutmeg. The plate’s other main component was a weighty arancini of forked duck confit, wild mushrooms and shortgrain rice, fried to a splendid crust in duck fat. Some pickled sour cherries added a sweet-sour fruitiness and a sprinkling of bull’s blood microseedlings finished the dish. The wine match was one of the evening’s best – a brambly, tangy, richly extracted 2010 Old Vines Foch from Quails’ Gate in the Okanagan.

Silver went to Chef Shane Chartrand's "Noir et Blanc"

The silver medal went to Shane Chartrand of Murrietta’s Westcoast Grill – like Paul Shufelt, another regular competitor at Gold Medal Plates. He offered a most dramatic, almost art deco presentation of sablefish “Noir et Blanc.” The sablefish was the principal component (its flesh slipping apart into petals that melted in the mouth) crusted black with onion ash that added an intriguingly deep and deliciously bitter flavour. Alongside the fish was a cod tongue, slippery and rather firmly textured, that was lent a buttery flavour by a teaspoonful of foie gras-Cognac potato crème, the better to complement the sablefish. A little crab bisque served as a second sauce while lightly pickled baby pearl onions added a moment of acidity. Crunch was provided by a tall, tissue-thin fin of crisply fried mashed potato. Smoked sea salt was discreetly used to season the fish and a squeeze-bottle atomizer of fruity verjus was presented separately, to be used acording to the taste of each judge. Chef Chartrand made a successful wine match with Lake Breeze Vineyards 2011 Pinot Blanc, not just because of his noir-et-blanctheme but because its shining fruit and forthright acidity enhanced most of the components on the plate.

Our gold medal was awarded to a young chef who has won it before – Nathin Bye of Wildflower Grill – who proffered a dish he called “Breakfast for Dinner.” Many of the judges raised an eyebrow as we read the description of the creation handed to us by Chef Bye in advance of the competition. So many components! So much going on! And when we saw the dish we were still not convinced it could all come together. But it did. An intricate knot of textural and flavour harmonies provided unexpected unity. Where to begin…? With an ornamental spoon that held a creamy bircher meusli of rolled oats, apple and quinoa, garnished with a tiny marshmallow, a miniature grapefruit jelly, a sun-cured blackberry and a half-inch-high tuile shaped like the 2012 Olympic symbol. A quail egg fried sunny-side-up, its yolk still runny, sat on a plinth of potato, golden beet and cheese pavé which served as the substantial point of reference for many of the dish’s more ethereal elements. There was a mushroom pop tart made with dried, powdered mushrooms in the flour that several judges (including me) found utterly irresistible. A triangle of buttery brioche and a puddle of spiced carrot purée were there to underline similar notes that Chef Bye had found in his chosen wine. The centrepiece of the whole affair was a maple syrup and bacon-infused panna cotta that contained a surprise – a meaty heart of Texas-barbecue-style pork paté that contributed a powerful meaty hit, as did a delicate vertical ribbon of crispy bacon. Chef Bye explained that many of the choices he had made while bringing this elaborate dish together were inspired by the flavours and aromas of the wine he chose, the delicious, complex, intense 2010 Chardonnay from Tantalus in the Okanagan.

So Chef Bye becomes our third champion of the campaign. Kelowna awaits him in February!

Now here is David Lawrason’s wine and beverage report:

It Was a Tantalus Night

In a field of very solid wines Tantalus 2010 Chardonnay from B.C.’s Okanagan Valley was the unanimous choice of the wine judges to receive the Best of Show Wine Award in Edmonton. And not only that, it carried home a Gold Medal Plates gold medal with Chef Nathin Bye of the Wildflower Grill. All agreed that it had fantastic depth, structure and complexity; attributes I first noted when I tasted it with Tantalus manager Jane Stewart at the Kelowna winery in August.

The second runner-up for Best of Show was surprisingly firm and intense Sperling 2011 Pinot Blanc, kindly donated for our enjoyment during the Celebration (as we listened to amazing Sarah Harmer in her first performance for Gold Medal Plates). Sperling is a neighbour of Tantalus on thebench lands of east Kelowna, and winemaker Ann Sperling is the only Canadian winemaker working in Niagara (Southbrook) and British Columbia. The runner up was Kettle Valley 2008 Pinot Noir, another wine of considerable structure and stature, well matched to the “Heart and Sole” combo of braised beef heart and terine of sole from chef David Omar of Zinc Restaurant.

I was joined in judging of the Best of Show Award by two prominent figures in Edmonton’s free-wheeling, privatized wine scene. Gurvinder Bhatia is a wine writer for The Edmonton Journal, owner of Vinomania, a leading fine wine shop, and a judge at the Canadian Wine Awards. William Bincoletto of Vines Wine Merchants is a wine educator and consultant, and also the kind donor of several fine lots in Edmonton’s very impressive fine wine silent auction.

On the chef pairing side of the ledger, silver-medal-winning chef Shane Chartrand of Murrieta’s West Coast grill wisely selected the pristine, subtle Lake Breeze 2011 Pinot Blanc for his delicate seafood medley. Bronze medal winning Chef Paul Shufelt of Century Hospitality Group served Quails’ Gate 2010 Old Vine Foch – an intense, wild, brambly red – with terrific Brome Lake duck.

One of the most adventurous food-and-beverage pairings in Edmonton was a cocktail combining Victoria Gin with the unique Fentiman’s Dandelion and Burdock soda, matched to a venison trio of carpaccio, tourtiere and pickled tongue.  Other paired beverages from B.C. included Road 13 2011 Honest John Rose, Red Rooster 2011 Chardonnay and Peller Estates 2009 Private Reserve Syrah. From Ontario, there were two lighter whites:  SpeckBrothers 2010 Sibling Rivalry White and Coyote’s Run 2011 Unoaked Chardonnay.

Thanks to all the wineries that helped make Edmonton a great success.