Duelling Chefs 4 – Juniper vs Navarra
Ottawa's official "Town Crier" has been the emcee for the 2011 events, and is shown here announcing the winning team. Note: he really does not need that microphone
It was another fun & delicious event on Monday evening, as Navarra’s Rene Rodriguez & team gave Juniper a run for their money in the 4th event of the 2011 Duelling Chefs series. The secret ingredient was Greek-style yogurt, and both teams were really creative in their execution. It was a stark contrast to the last event against Le Baccara, where some of the dishes were oddly similar – these couldn’t have been more different. Juniper took a narrow win, with the 3 judges split (1 for Juniper, 1 for Navarra & 1 undecided), and it was the people’s choice that gave Juniper the win. As usual, I refer to Ron Eade’s Omnivore’s blog for the full write-up, he mentioned on Monday that he has a bit of a “blog-jam” going on, so I’ll blame him for my late-ish post.
Highlights in photos:
Juniper's 1st course - Seared Tuna on homemade taco shell with avocado salsa and Greek-style yogurt sauce.
Navarra's fish course: sea scallop ceviche in agula chili with lime, cilantro, chilis, an apple ball and Greek yogurt creme fraiche.
Smoked and seared sea scallop with truffle yogurt celeriac puree, apple/fennel/bacon hash.
Juniper's Meat course: Hangar steak seared and cooked "sous-vide" in an immersion circulator, with sweet potato chips and horseradish yogurt.
Navarra's meat course - Hangar steak taco with pineapple, burnt onion relish, red chili, yogurt crema, cilantro and Lyon sausage
Juniper's dessert - orange yogurt panna cotta, granola, and chocolate cannoli stuffed with chocolate yogurt mousse
Behind the scenes: Juniper's panna cotta didn't want to release from the ramequins, so Norm & team had to scramble and manually heat every single one individually (over 50) in the middle of plating...for which they're given about 8 minutes. They made it, but I've never seen the team break into a sweat while serving dessert! I was trying to get a slow shutter speed shot of Pete (behind) to illustrate how he was shaking the heck out of the dishes to release the panna cotta, but sadly none of them turned out.