Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition
Calgary (Canada), September 20, 2019
Darnell Banman wins for the home Bailliage
" The Bailliage of Calgary hosted a fantastic event for the young chefs "

The 43rd International Final of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition was held in “Cow Town” otherwise known as Calgary, Canada. This was only the second time that both the International and National Finals were held in the same city and venue one day apart. The same was done in Calgary in 2004.

The Bailliage of Calgary hosted a fantastic event for the young chefs and for all those that attended from far and wide. Many took the opportunity to extend their stay in Canada and for example experience the snow-peaked Rocky Mountains.

The competitors (19 male, 2 female) came from 21 countries, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Columbia, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE and USA.

For a pre-competition visit the young chefs were hosted by Canada Beef. The tour was led by the Director of Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence on a tour of W A Ranches, a 19,000 acre ranch with a 1000+ head of Angus beef that was donated to the University of Alberta last year.

There was the opportunity to see a working breeding ranch and watch a demonstration of traditional ranching methods by cowboys who manage the farm. The cows and young steers, less than six months old, were both curious and vocal during our visit! The tour ended at the Centre of Excellence with a butchery demonstration and a discussion on Canada’s international role in sustainability and the future of beef farming.

What goes well with beef? Beer of course! Big Rock Brewery gave the group a morning tour of their Calgary flagship facility with a chance to taste many of their unique craft beers.

New this year, the committee engaged the competitors starting in May by sending a monthly newsletter on what to expect at the competition as well as tips from previous competitors and judges. The newsletters are posted for all to read on the Chaîne’s international competitions website under “resources” for the Calgary 2019 Competition.

The black box was very challenging as it had four proteins. Fresh pickerel (1kg whole) was released to the competitors two months in advance. The other mandatory ingredients revealed just prior to the competitors writing their menus were: 4 whole quail, 12 raw spot prawns, beef tri-tip (1.5kg), 2 whole acorn squash, 2 whole zucchini, frozen Saskatoon berries (500g), 4 fresh peaches, honey (120g), and Beluga lentils (300g).

The competitors had to use at least 50% of each of the above-mentioned items and could complement them with a large array of non-mandatory items. The competition allows the young chefs 30 minutes to write their menu then 3½ hours to their first course followed by 15 minutes until their main and a final 15 minutes to their dessert.

The wide diversity of both the kitchen and tasting judges provided excellent and fair scoring which resulted in a Winner’s medal for Darnell Banman from the Bailliage of Canada. Great Britain’s Jordon Powell was the Runner-up and in Third Place was Theresa Rogl from Austria. Congratulations also went to winner Darnell Banman for achieving the highest marks in the kitchen.

Competitions like this rely on the expertise and unbiased fairness of both the Kitchen Judges and the Tasting Judges. The Committee extends its warm appreciation to the judges who attended from all corners of the world.

We are most grateful to our perpetual sponsors who we deeply acknowledge for their generous contributions:
- Le Cordon Bleu (Paris, France)
- Wüsthof Manufacturing (Germany)
- Chef’s-Hat Inc. (Canada)

Le Cordon Bleu was represented in Calgary by their Director of Culinary Arts, Eric Briffard.

We very much thank Canada Beef and Cargill for their sizeable donations and also extend our gratitude to local sponsors CattleBoyz and Hotel Arts.

Last but not least, competitions of this magnitude cannot be successful without volunteers from the host Bailliage working tirelessly behind the scenes. Thank you all!

Next year we will celebrate the 44th International Final in Paris, France, on September 26th at Le Cordon Bleu.

Lois Gilbert, Bailli Honoraire of Moscow
Member, Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition Committee

Photos courtesy of Tori | Food Sparks Joy

NB. As well as the selected gallery of photos attached to this article, all the photos from the Competition can be viewed via this link: photos