Nanaimo chef hopes to cook up a win

Nanaimo chef and restaurant owner Ryan Zuvich invited to compete at Gold Medal Plates in Victoria

Nanaimo chef Ryan Zuvich hopes to serve up a win in a culinary contest that could take him to the national stage.

Zuvich is one of 10 chefs from across B.C. invited to compete in Gold Medal Plates this October, a test of culinary skills in front of up to 600 people expecting an evening of excellence.

Gold Medal Plates is a culinary competition and a fundraising event for the Canadian Olympic Foundation that takes place in cities across the country, celebrating excellence in athletics, food, wine and entertainment, according to co-founder Karen Blair. To date, it’s raised more than $12 million.

In every city, chefs face the test of feeding hundreds of people and impressing judges, who’ll critique for wow factor, taste and texture. Like the Olympics, the top three chefs will medal and head to the finale — the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna.

Winning that final leg can change a chef’s career, according to Blair, who said one chef was picked up by Oliver & Bonacini which created a restaurant around the winner, and all get a BMW.

“This chef must be very good if he’s invited,” said Blair of Zuvich, pointing out there are brilliant chefs in Vancouver and Victoria and elsewhere.

Zuvich already has a sense of what the event is about, helping friend Brian Skinner, then owner of Vancouver restaurant The Acorn, compete in 2013. Skinner took home the gold. This time Zuvich asked Skinner to go with him.

“It’s super cool, for me anyways, that a little bit of validation for years of work and better recognition,” said Zuvich, executive chef and owner of Nanaimo’s La Stella Trattoria and Hilltop Bistro of being invited.

For the competition, Zuvich will create a new dish he hopes will be a culmination of his career so far and one that will shine a light on the mid Island as a culinary destination. He’ll aim to use ingredients from individual growers, to tell their story as much as his own.

“The idea is it takes a village,” he said.

Diners will also be able to help during monthly long-table dinners at Hilltop Bistro, where they will be able to give feedback on versions of top contenders for the competition.

The competition is Oct. 26 in Victoria.

Just Posted

School bus route changes considered in Nanaimo, Ladysmith

First bus route review released by Nanaimo school district

Nanaimo RCMP seek woman who allegedly bought $70 of ice cream in stolen card case

Purchase said to have occurred on Jan. 11 at 2 a.m. at Nicol General Store

City council gives go-ahead for new affordable seniors’ housing

57-unit, four-storey building to be constructed at 20 Prideaux St. in Nanaimo

UPDATE: Hold-and-secure lifted after police locate student who threatened self-harm

Eight schools were under hold-and-secure orders after possible threat Thursday, Jan. 18

Nanaimo RCMP looking for video of fatal shooting scene

RCMP investigators are looking for any video of area where man was shot and killed Jan. 13

Foundation helps Nanaimo teen fulfil tropical getaway dream

Rachael Theriault, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes, headed to Mexico

Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 18

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Nanaimo marches for women’s rights

Nanaimo Women March On happens Saturday, Jan. 20

City of Nanaimo chooses this year’s 11 public art pieces

Rock Dragon, Big Bird, and the Jester are some of the selected proposals for 2018

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Gas plants verdict coming down today; ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

Verdict to be delivered on senior staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty

Most Read