Last month Chef John Horne of Toronto restaurant Canoe took Gold at the Ontario round of Gold Medal Plates–an annual Canadian culinary championship that has to date raised $8.2 million for Canada’s Olympic athletes. Here he breaks down his winning dish: Grandview Farms’ short ribs glazed with tree syrups, served with crispy fried maple leaves.
“Getting the message of this dish across to the guests and judges was always going to be the challenge. I wanted it to be like walking through the woods in the fall. I wanted the sound and texture of the leaves under your feet, and the rustic smells in the air, to come through and to grab you.”
“When you’re working with evergreen, you need to take the time to taste, smell, feel and research the product. You call your foragers, who have knowledge of these products, and then you decide if it’s going to be the focus of the dish or used to highlight other ingredients.”
“The smoked bone was really more difficult than I thought it was going to be. I wanted the bone to smell of campfire and for the taste of light smoke to go with the wine and the other flavours on the plate.”
Perfect pairing: 2012 Iconoclast Syrah VQA from Creekside Estate Winery