Chris Remington, noted Head Chef at the Penticton Lakeside Resort, can add yet another badge of honour to his placard of prestigious culinary achievements and credentials. Upon winning the coveted Covert Farms chef competition at the infamous Festival of the Tomato this past August, Remington now embarks on the next level of competitive cooking, at the ninth annual Citytv Master Chef Competition, hosted by the BC Chefs Association at EAT! Fraser Valley on September 16-18th. Remington is no stranger to the arduous challenge of a black box cooking competition, having previously won the esteemed title of BC Iron Chef for two consecutive years, he enters the culinary arena with a firm grip and biting teeth. The critically acclaimed Citytv Master Chef Competition is executed in typical “Iron Chef” fashion, where 17 top chefs from around British Columbia, compete for the ultimate title in a fierce, head-to-head competition before a panel of professional culinary judges, a live audience and a national broadcast on Citytv and the Food Network Canada. The competition itself is a nod to the popular fan-crazed Iron Chef and Top Chef phenomena, which have recharged the nation with a newfound sensation for the entire experience of food and cooking. From the culinary artistry, to the technical mastery, to the breakdown of new age molecular gastronomy, the world seems to be fascinated by everything “food”, therefore it comes as no surprise that the Citytv Master Chef Competition generates a large following of its own. So if you’ve been hiding under a rock these last few years and aren’t familiar with the black box format, here is a quick refresher: this style of competition is renowned for being the toughest and most grueling of culinary challenges. While each competitor is unaware of the ingredients until the very moment the competition commences, the chefs must then devise an impromptu main course within the allotted 35 minutes, judged on composition, creativity, correct preparations, service practicality, taste, utilization of ingredients, presentation and consistency. The parameters of the competition set the stage for a feverish escapade of cooking madness, showcasing true culinary talent, passion and skill. So if you’re one of those typical foodies who likes to throw around classical French cooking terms as if you were Eric Ripert, then tune into the competition and excercise your inner food critic by cheering on our very own Chef Remington!
Q & A With Chef Remington
Congratulations on your coveted Covert Farm chef competition win! Now that you’re off to Vancouver to compete in the Citytv Master Chef Competition, how does it compare to other competitions you’ve done?
The competition is a little different in the sense that there will be 16 other chefs and each stage is a knock out round so you are trying to stay in to go on and compete in the next round
What does food mean to you?
Experimenting. Different cultures mean different tastes, textures and smells that are intriguing and open up many new doors
What made you want to be a chef?
Both parents are great cooks (not professionally) but they were always cooking and I always seemed to be there, hands in, enjoying it. After high school it was just a job that turned into a passion
How would you describe the creative aspect of competitive cooking?
I have traveled and worked in many restaurants, in many different countries and I try to draw from all of those to create my own style of cooking
What are your strengths?
Having worked in many different places and for 17 years I have seen many different items done many different ways, so using that diversity in a black box competition really helps
How would you describe your cooking style?
Clean and simple. Don’t confuse the flavors
How do you come up with your dishes? Is it all impromptu and instinct or do you go into the competition with some preconceived ideas?
Honestly it is fly by the seat of your pants – see what they give you and create as you go
What do you find the most difficult aspect of competitive cooking?
Trying to do something completely different than you competitor
What ingredients are you most comfortable with?
What are the strangest, most exotic ingredients you’ve had to cook with in the past?
Pigs brain was a strange one at first and a lot of the fruit and vegetables in Asia
Best of luck in the competition! It’s so great to have you representing the Penticton Lakeside Resort! We’ll be cheering for you all the way!