Mark Andrews, development chef at bartlett mitchell, has been named as the highest performing European-based chef at the Garland Canada International Chef Challenge competition, held on Prince Edward Island (PEI), the Canadian province known as Canada’s ‘Food Island’.
The competition, organised as part of PEI International Shellfish Festival, consisted of a head-to-head elimination-style cooking challenge between 12 top chefs from Canada, USA, UK and France – all being given 45 minutes to prepare a shellfish dish using the Island’s produce and seafood as the main ingredient.
Andrews prepared three different shellfish main courses over the three rounds, the first had an Asian influence using lobster prepared in a butter poach, soba noodles dressed with crab, finished with a mussel, soy and ginger dressing.
His second course was poached lobster with a crumbed mussel and almost burnt cream, slow-cooked hens egg, and a lobster, crab and saffron jus.
For the final, Andrews prepared a different take on breakfast, comprising of maple glazed bacon, French toast with crab and chive, butter poached lobster and a clam and tomato ketchup.
Dishes were assessed by a panel of celebrity judges, including Canadian celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford, with the final two battling it out in a cook-off in front of a live audience.
Andrews finished overall runner-up, just losing out to Chef Andrew McLeod, from Bolete Restaurant in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, who took home the $10,000 prize.
The PEI International Shellfish Festival aims to showcase the Island’s seafood to buyers and visitors from North America and Western Europe. Prince Edward Island has recently seen an increase in exports to the United Kingdom. To date, Shellfish exports are seeing an 83% increase from 2015.
Heath MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Prince Edward Island said: “The competition introduced each of these chefs to the fresh, delicious food available here and to the people who produce it, which could lead to more of our products being exported to more restaurants all over the world.”
Andrews said: “The festival and competition was one of the best culinary experiences of my life! It was amazing how quickly 12 chefs from around America, Canada and Europe formed bonds”.
Pete Redman, chef director, bartlett mitchell, added: “Everyone is extremely proud of what Mark achieved in Canada. The whole senior team and lots of chefs were glued to their computers, watching Mark compete in the final on the Sunday night via a live stream.
“He did everyone at bartlett mitchell proud and really set an example for our chefs – showing them all what you can achieve if you willing to put yourself out there and give it all you’ve got”.