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Kiss-Off Cancer Cook-Off Educates and Delights Diners

By Diana Daghofer

Rossland chefs and community cooks alike rose to the challenge in the first annual Kiss-Off Cancer Cook-Off, held on Sunday, May 1. The 70 guests who attended the event left raving over the excellent food and prizes. Keeping expenses low meant the Cook-Off netted about $4000 for Prevent Cancer Now.

Four celebrity chefs from local restaurants (The Gypsy at Red, Drift Izakaya, The Flying Steamshovel and Gabriella’s) wowed diners and judges with their dishes, crammed with anti-cancer ingredients. Mike Brandt, Rossland native and chef-owner of the Gypsy at Red, took away top honours for his meal, featuring a vegetable samosa appetizer, garam masala-rubbed salmon and halibut “Napolean”, and a yummy dessert of peanut butter nougat topped with a dark chocolate ganache served with fresh berries. The Gypsy also captured the hearts (and stomachs) of guests, receiving the Consumer’s Choice Award for all three courses.

Community cooks entered their anti-cancer dishes in a competition voted on by guests. Jon Turner won the appetizer category for his “Vegetable Sliders”. Anne-Marie Sterpin took away the best main course award, with her Capetown Fruit and Vegetable Curry. Kimberley Pegg’s dark chocolate-covered strawberries, winner of the best dessert award, were a hot item among guests.

The panel of judges took their job of reviewing each of the Celebrity Chef’s dishes and their cancer-preventive ingredients very seriously. According to judge Dawn Manning, of Bear Country Kitchen, who is trained as a dietician, “The dishes were creative and delicious, as well as healthy, so we had a very tough job – never mind the tight waistbands when we finished!” Other judges were Jill Austin, food preparation instructor at Rossland Secondary School; Jon Turner, a Red-Seal Cordon Bleu chef; and Chris Orr, of Kootenay Coop in Nelson.

For details on how to organize your own Kiss-Off Cancer Cook-Off, click here.

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