Restaurant Canada Show 2018 Highlights
Restaurant Canada’s signature event of the year, the RC Show is an opportunity for members of the restaurant industry to taste, learn, and grow their craft. This year, the theme was “Innovation Unleashed!” and TuckShop Kitchen’s own Jake Taylor was asked to unleash his creativity by participating in the inaugural Garland Canada Culinary Competition.
The Garland Canada Culinary Competition was one of the RC Show’s featured live events. Each competitor was required to use a minimum of two ingredients from the black box and allowed to bring up to two special items which could be used for their dish. The black box ingredients were: duck confit; beef tenderloin; ricotta, and quinoa. For his special items, Jake opted to bring preserved Newfoundland pin cherries and our very own TuckShop house-cured and smoked bacon.
Each contestant was given one hour to cook and plate their dish for the judges. There were twelve contestants in the competition, with start times staggered over several hours, and Jake was the final competitor of the day. He had sketched out an idea for his dish and we knew that it was going to involve the duck and the ricotta, but whether he decided to include the quinoa depended on how it turned out during the event.
And there certainly could be surprises during the competition when ingredients or equipment didn’t work out quite as expected. Luckily for both Jake and the judges, things went smoothly for him and the quinoa was highlighted as a particular favourite of the judging panel. Unlike traditional methods of cooking quinoa, Jake’s quinoa was crispy and added great texture to his dish.
With his herb ricotta dressing and pickled onions serving as a tangy counterpoint to the richness of the duck and the earthiness of the roasted broccoli, Jake’s dish felt familiar yet sophisticated. It was definitely a change from TuckShop Kitchen’s burgers and sandwiches! Although he didn’t make it to the finals of the competition, the judges enjoyed the playfulness of Jake’s dish – plus, everyone who tried TuckShop’s bacon exclaimed over how good it was!
After the event, the TuckShop Kitchen team headed out onto the RC Show floor post-competition to check out some exhibits. The event was held in a huge exposition hall in the Enercare Centre, so there was a lot to see.
Highlights from the RC Show
Unsurprisingly for a sandwich shop, the team checked out the bread vendors at the event and wound up running into Boulart, the same bread that was used for TuckShop Kitchen’s award-winning breakfast sandwich. There was also a World Pavillion section of the RC Show that gave everyone exposure to products from around the world, with areas focused on Italy, Jamaica, and Mexico.
The RC Show wasn’t just about food though; there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes at TuckShop Kitchen and the event was a chance to discover new partners to help manage the operational side of the business. With new innovations emerging all the time, checking out equipment vendors can be a surprisingly fun experience.
The event showcased cutting-edge products such as a touchscreen combi-oven where you could select your dish and the device inputted the correct settings while also showing you the recipe and a photo of the final plated dish. In fact, there were several robotic devices at the RC Show, including a machine which made sushi burritos and a device which poured cocktails.
The day was a great mix of work and play for the TuckShop Kitchen team. Thanks to the RCShow organizers, staff and friends who come out in support!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tess Ng is an accountant by day, writer by night, and food lover all the time.