Junior chefs, mozzarella and wine training
VANCOUVER — The first day of the CONNECT Food + Drink + Lodging Show included a junior chef competition, a seminar on making mozzarella and a tool that helps servers learn about wine.
Throughout the day, junior chefs competed against their peers to evaluate and assemble mystery ingredients to create unique dishes. By 3:45 p.m., the judging was complete and the top junior chef winners announced. They were:
- Gold, Harry Sangha, Delta Hotel;
- Silver, Victor Bow, Torafuku restaurant; and
- Bronze, Kalpesh Jain, Joey's Restaurant Group.
The BC Iron Chef competition takes place on Day 2, Monday, Oct. 19.
Christine Beard, chef-instructor at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts was on hand to demonstrate making mozzarella cheese from scratch. Surprisingly, organic milk is not the best product to use since it is often ultra-pasteurized at high temperatures, which breaks down the proteins needed to make cheese. Beard also explained why Buffalo Mozzarella is so expensive — while water buffalo are common in Asia, there are only about 1,000 in Canada. They deliver much less milk than cows do, and that milk is inconsistent in quantity.
Roger Noujeim of Quini Wine was on hand to demonstrate his wine training application.
"It helps restaurateurs increase sales by better training their staff," Noujeim said. Staff taste the wines the restaurant has to offer and rate characteristics using consistent wine language. They also have access to crowd-sourced opinions on the different wines.
This enables them to become more familiar with the language of wine, and more confident in talking about wine with customers.
Restaurateurs and employees can access this information free of charge. Quini also offers a paid product for restaurateurs so that they can build wine lists based on the crowd- and staff-sourced information, and can keep track of staff tastings and sales. It can also help when replacing inventory.
"It's world-class training on the fly with hardly any resources," Noujeim said, adding that Glowbal Group's Black and Blue, Coast and Italian Kitchen restaurants have used his seminars and tools to train their staff.
For information go to www.quiniwine.com.