When I aarrived at CATCH: the Nova Scotia Seafood Festival on Sunday, it was in the middle of the last semi-final round of the Great CATCH Chef Competition. Chef Bee Choo Char, Executive Chef at Gio restaurant at the Prince George Hotel in Halifax vs. Chef Luis Clavel, Executive Chef at the Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth. Last year, Char came in second to Chef Andrew Stevens, Chef de Cuisine at Little Louis’ Restaurant in Moncton, NB. After a well-fought match, and some seriously delicious plates getting handed off to the judges, Clavel — who I profiled in The Coast earlier this year — was victorious.
After a brief intermission, it all came down to Chef Peter Dewar, Professional Chef/ Teacher at Nova Scotia Community College, and Clavel. Chef Ray Bear (who is opening a new restaurant soon, called MIX Fresh Kitchen) hosted and poked a lot of fun at the two chefs, promising at least a year of ridicule and derision to the loser.
After a well-fought battle, which featured the use of lobster, scallops and maple wine as the “black box” ingredients, Chef Peter Dewar was named the winner by a panel of judges that included Kristen Pickett from WithBite.ca, Saronn Pov from QueenofHappyCuisine.com, and a local chef who competed at the Bocuse d’Or [I didn’t catch his name! If anybody knows it, please leave it in the comments!!]. Dewar’s dishes looked absolutely divine, and it’s nice to see chefs from the NSCC recognized since it’s not just owner/operators and executive chefs who are pushing the boundaries of creativity, striving for excellence and making food in Halifax more and more exciting every day.
Below are the dishes Dewar won with. I wish I could tell you more about them, but after a cursory announcement of the menu, there weren’t a lot of details being given out throughout the cooking process. The first is a lobster appetizer with balsamic watermelon and some other doubtlessly delicious trappings. The second is scallops with a roasted corn salsa, maple carrot caramel and potato. It also looks incredibly tempting. If anybody happens to know the exact details of the dishes, leave ’em in the comments!
Congratulations to Chefs Dewar and Clavel on their awesome showing! I look forward to next year.