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Gold Medal Plates : The Quest for Canada's Best Chef

Brilliant and stressed out chefs…
Delectable and inspired cuisine…
Near impossible challenges…
And Olympic athletes?
This is the unconventional recipe for the seven part series based on the most prestigious culinary competition of them all, The Gold Medal Plates competition, the Canadian Culinary Championships.   Lively Media presents Gold Medal Plates; The Quest for Canada’s Best Chef.
We go behind-the scenes to cover this high-stakes competition, witnessing the emotional rollercoaster ride during the feverish preparations of the chefs and organizers.
Six semi-finals take place across the nation with each host city offering up on of their finest chefs. Coupled with these culinary stars are some of Canada’s best known Olympic Athletes who serve as their assistants. It’s all for a good cause – this competition is one of the key fundraising events leading up to Canada’s hosting of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Each city’s victor goes head to head in the Grand Finale – culminating months of hard work and emotional toil. The Pay Off? 
A Gold Medal and title of CANADA’S BEST CHEF.

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Episode Guide
Episode 1: Toronto

Gold Medal Plates Toronto is a highly anticipated and hotly contested competition. This year it features a particularly strong field. Seasoned competitors such as Mark McEwen from North 44 and Splendido’s David Lee have mapped out detailed battle plans based on experience while some of the uninitiated chefs are encountering some nasty shocks. The result is a roller coaster ride for the competitors and a fight to the finish.

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Episode 2: Ottawa

Ottawa’s annual competition has acquired some characteristics all its own. In one way it’s a classic David versus Goliath event as established competitors with deep pockets are challenged by young chefs eager to show off their skills.   But only in Ottawa do chefs go to extreme lengths to capture attention by designing their competition tables with videos, sculptures, and custom bars.    This year, will this extra effort gain those chefs the edge to land a gold, or will the proof be solely on the plate?

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Episode 3: Montreal

There’s a new cutting edge-group of chefs in Montreal, and they’re bringing their game to the Gold Medal Plates competition. But not all goes as planned. One competitor has dire equipment failure and must figure out a way to finish cooking before the doors open. Another reprises a popular dish from last year, but with a twist, but risks disapproval from the judges. And even the event organizer has some hurdles to overcome when all her assistants go mysteriously missing. But in the end, the dishes are amazing, and a surprise competitor claims the medal.

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Episode 4: Vancouver

A fiery, internationally renowned sushi master with a celebrity clientele; a down-to-earth motorcycle enthusiast with a fondness for edible flowers; a heavily tattooed butcher with an appreciation for Zen philosophy; the former goalie of Canada’s national field hockey team and close friend of celebrated Olympic gold-medal winning snowboarder Ross Rebagliati. Only in Vancouver could one find such a motley crew of gastronomic daredevils. With the 2010 Vancouver Olympics right around the corner, there’s a palpable feeling of excitement in the air as the contenders battle for chef supremacy – but with late arrivals and logistical nightmares, the stage is set for a most decidedly ‘Left Coast’ evening.

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Episode 5: Edmonton

Emerging epicurean powerhouse Edmonton has long lived in the shadow of glittery Calgary’s thriving culinary landscape. For the contenders at Gold Medal Plates Edmonton, the event is much more than a cooking contest – it’s a full-out grudge match! And they’re willing to go to great lengths to cause a stir and gain the upper hand. Some go to their secret suppliers in search of the perfect ingredients; another plays the “Olympic” card and corrals some big name athlete talent to bask in the golden glow. And still others wing it at the last minute citing creative inspiration.   Which method leads to Gold this time?

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Episode 6: Calgary

It’s a “high-steaks” showdown in the heartland of Alberta. Once considered a meat and potatoes town, the chefs tonight are flying in the face of convention and offering dishes with decidedly different influences. One chef boldly creates a vegetarian dish and another is offering a rarely seen and daring dessert course to separate him self from the group. Which gamble pays off in the showiest City in the country?

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Episode 7: Banff

Banff Alberta is the final destination in the 2008 Gold Medal Plates competition, as the six winning chefs from Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver compete for the ultimate prize – the Canadian Culinary Championship. Over the course of the gruelling two day event, the top chefs will duke it out in three distinct contests: a mystery wine pairing, a black box competition, and a personal choice competition. The pressure is on as the competitors will have limited time and resources to make their masterpieces and attempt to please the throngs of people expected for the event and a demanding group of judges. Who will buckle under the pressure and who will rise to the top and be named Canada’s best chef?

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