The Finale of Gold Medal Plates



The Canadian Culinary Championships is the ultimate celebration of Canadian Excellence in cuisine, wine, the arts and athletic achievement. Celebrated in eleven cities, the regional qualifiers for the Culinary Championships – called Gold Medal Plates – were staged across Canada in the fall of 2015. Gold Medal Plates events feature the premier chefs in each city in a competition to crown a gold, silver and bronze medal culinary team in each city, and subsequently nation-wide at the Canadian Culinary Championships. Founded in 2003, the goal of Gold Medal Plates is to raise substantial funds for Canada’s high performance athletes, while celebrating Canadian excellence. Since 2004, Gold Medal Plates has received tremendous support and accolades all across Canada, and generated a combined net total of nearly $11 million for Canada’s Olympic athletes! Gold Medal Plates is supported by corporate partners including our National Presenting sponsor Deloitte and individuals from across Canada who are committed to Canadian Excellence and supporting Canadian athletes.

The three events at the Canadian Culinary Championships are: Competition I: Friday, February 5th at 6:00 pm – Mystery Wine Pairing at the Delta Grand Okanagan Hotel; Competition II: Saturday, February 6th at 8:00 am – Black Box at the Okanagan College; Competition III: Saturday, February 6th at 6:30 pm – Grand Finale at the Delta Grand Okanagan Hotel. For more information

Canadian Culinary Championships 2016 Goals –

Celebrate Canadian excellence in food, wine, athletic achievement and entertainment.

.1)  Continue to stage regional culinary competition in Canada the fall previous to the competition, feature the best chefs and Canadian wines, beers and spirits in the country and identify one winner from each city.

.2)  Stage a challenging three event competition for the winning chefs from the country and an exciting three event experience for guests from Kelowna and area and across the country. Id.entify a Canadian Culinary Champion for 2016

.3)  Build on the momentum of the Canadian patriotism experienced during the Vancouver 2010, London 2012 and the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.

.4)  Demonstrate to Canadian culinary talent and the incredible wine, beer and spirit industry, that we are committed to showcasing their national and international excellence.

.5)  Demonstrate to our Canadian Olympic athletes that Canadians are committed to their development, passionate about their journey, and proud to have them represent us on the world stage.

. 6)  Raise funds for the Canadian Olympic Foundation to support Canadian Olympic athletes

pastedGraphic.png pastedGraphic_1.png pastedGraphic_2.png


The Five Pillars of Gold Medal Plates – the regional competitions of the Canadian Culinary Championships

Culinary: In February, the top 8-10 chefs from each city or region are selected by a national and regional panel of judges and they then compete in the fall for the honour of being the regional Gold Medal Plates champion. During the Gold Medal Plates project over 100+ competing chefs create their ultimate dish and pair it with a premier Canadian wine, spirit or beer. A team of food and wine critics from each region work with national critics to determine the top three winning creations and then a gold, silver and bronze medal winning chef is crowned. To be invited to compete is a notch in the belt. To win the gold is a major achievement! The gold medal winning chef then goes on to compete at the Gold Medal Plates Finale – The Canadian Culinary Championship – February 5 – 6, 2016 in Kelowna, British Columbia. Only one chef wins and to be crowned the top chef in Canada is a career changer.

Wine, Beer, Spirits: The celebration of Canadian wine, beer and spirits has become an integral part of the success of Gold Medal Plates. The wine, beer and spirits that are presented to the more than 3500 Gold Medal Plates guests gets more comprehensive and more fascinating each year. The generosity of the Canadian industry is impressive and in 2015 a record seventy winemakers, brewers, and distillers donated tens of thousands of dollars worth of their products …and most donated their premium labels! At the VIP, guests get to sample unique product. During the culinary competition, the chefs pair their dish with their chosen wine, beer or spirit. Guests go away educated and impressed with the caliber of Canadian wine, beer and spirits.

Olympic Athletes: At each event, Canadian Olympic athletes host corporate tables and share their remarkable stories and experiences. Gold Medal Plates was founded with the belief that the stories of Canadian Olympic athletes deserve to be heard and that the athletes deserve to know and experience how much Canadians care about their journey. At any Gold Medal Plates event there are from 8-50 athletes. They mingle with the guests, they sit at corporate tables, but more importantly, they get to enjoy a good meal and they get to experience the guests’ emotional and financial support. In 2015, over 230 athletes were in attendance. Athletes in attendance have included Tessa Moir and Scott Virtue (Gold and Silver Medallists in figure skating) Caroline Outlette (Four time Gold Medallist in hockey) Kaylyn Kyle (Olympic Bronze Medallist – Soccer), Andrew Byrnes (Olympic Gold and Silver Medallist in Rowing), Marnie McBean (Olympic Triple Gold and Bronze Medallist) and Curt Harnett (Olympic three time medalist in track cycling and the chef de mission for Pan Am Games in Toronto.

Entertainment: Jim Cuddy, lead singer of Blue Rodeo is the Gold Medal Plates National Entertainment Advisor. He invites incredible Canadian talent to share the stage with him. Gold Medal Plates is known for its intimate and unique combinations of Canadian talent. It’s a rare treat to hear Jim Cuddy and Ed Robertson banter and then sing together on stage or to hear the amazing voices of Barney Bentall and members of Spirit of the West together. Gold Medal Plates entertainment has included Jim Cuddy, Tom Cochrane, Barney Bentall, Ed Robertson, Alan Doyle, Anne Lindsay, Danny Michel and others.

International Auction Trips: Gold Medal Plates incorporates some very unique international experiences that are auctioned off at every event. Guests have the opportunity to travel to a desirable international destination, interact with Canadian Olympic athletes and enjoy amazing Canadian entertainment. Each year over 500 Canadians from across the country embark on travel experiences like they have never experienced before. Gold Medal Plates has gained a reputation of creating week-long adventures that combine great food, wine, entertainment and activity …whether it by cycling in Tuscany, hiking in Scotland, experiencing the culture in South Africa, sailing in the British Virgin Islands or enjoying wine and vistas in Portugal.

Beneficiary – Canadian Olympic Foundation

Net proceeds from Gold Medal Plates are given to the Canadian Olympic Foundation to support high performance programs such as Own the Podium. To date nearly $11 million has been raised.

The Canadian Olympic Foundation is a national charitable organization that generates support to meet the technical, scientific, medical and coaching needs of Canada’s athletes across all Olympic sports. The Foundation’s vision is to inspire Canadians, athletes and other stakeholders to achieve the ultimate podium success at the Olympic Games for Canada and, as a result, create an elevated sense of pride and unity among all Canadians. The funds raised by the Foundation go to programs to help Canadian athletes live, train, and prepare for Olympic competition.



Own the Podium

The Foundation’s highest fundraising priority in 2015 and 2016 is the unprecedented technical initiative called Own the Podium (OTP). OTP is an independent advisory organization which provides technical expertise and advice to Canada’s national sports organizations, prioritizing funding of sports with a higher potential for podium results. This funding has made it possible for sports to hire world-class coaches, technical support staff, and has given our nation’s best athletes access to world-class sport science and sport medicine personnel.

To learn more about the Foundation, please visit


Mystery Wine Pairing – Competition I

Friday, February 5 at 6:00 pm Delta Grand Okanagan Hotel Dress: Casual Chic

Chefs are given a mystery bottle of wine and must create a dish with local ingredients that best complements the mysterious vintage, in a set amount of time and with a set budget. Guests will have the pleasure of sampling these creations on the opening night of the competition in a stand up cocktail reception format. During the event, guests will taste the mystery wine and play ‘judge’ as they vote on the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for the best wine and food pairing. A silent auction of rare wines and other experiences will also be featured. Food and wine included.

The Black Box – Competition II

Saturday, February 6 at 8:00 am – 1:30 pm Okanagan College Culinary Arts Department Dress: Casual

NOTE: this event is ONLY open to guests who purchase the Gold Sponsor, Olympian, Silver, or 3-Event packages. Food is only plated for judges.

One of the most exciting parts to the competition! Chefs will receive only 10 minutes notice, and a black box containing a small array of diverse foods before having to produce and plate two spectacular dishes for the national judges. All in one very short hour! Guests won’t get much closer to watching an Iron Chef type competition than this – you are in the kitchen where all the action is!

The Grand Finale – Competition III

Saturday, February 6 at 6:30 pm Delta Grand Okanagan Hotel Dress: Cocktail

We are excited to announce that we are expanding the venue with a tented and heated terrace, adding 5,000 sq ft to the competition floor! And we will not be selling more tickets. We know the space has been too crowded in the past as the event is just too popular so this year we will enjoy more space and less crowds!

On the final night of competition, anything goes. Chefs create their best dish for guests to sample, paired with a great wine from their regional winery partner. By evening’s end, Canada’s Champion Chef of 2016 will be crowned and a victory celebration will be staged including a show produced by National Entertainment Advisor, Jim Cuddy. Food and wine included.

Leave a Comment