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Red Deer chef wins bronze at Canadian Culinary Championship

JP Dublado, an executive chef at the Red Deer Resort and Casino, won bronze at the Canadian Culinary Championship in Ottawa earlier this month. (Contributed photo)

A Red Deer man proved he was among the best chefs in the country at the Canadian Culinary Championship earlier this month.

JP Dublado, an executive chef at the Red Deer Resort and Casino, won a bronze medal at the national competition, which was held Friday, Feb. 2 to Saturday, Feb. 3 in Ottawa.

“The Canadian Culinary Championship is probably one of the best experiences a chef will have in their career. The friends we made will become life-long connections,” said Dublado, who was competing in the event for the second time.

“It was a super intense competition, but everyone was nice and trying to learn from one another. … I’m very happy to share the stage with all of them and to place third in Canada.”

When it was revealed he won bronze, Dublado said he was initially “a little disappointed” because he thought he performed well enough to come home with gold or silver.

“I’m still very proud. The main goal was to podium,” said Dublado, who earned his spot in the Canadian Culinary Championship by winning the regional Edmonton competition.

The 10 chefs competing in the national event faced three challenges throughout the weekend. The first was the mystery wine pairing challenge on Friday evening. Chefs were given a bottle of wine – after tasting and analyzing it, they were given $550 to purchase the ingredients needed to create a dish for 250 guests, plus eight judges, to match the wine.

Chefs then faced off in a black box competition on Saturday morning. The box contained a small array of diverse foods and chefs were tasked with producing and plating two dishes for the judges within an hour.

The Canadian Culinary Championship competition wrapped up with the grand finale on Saturday evening, where chefs plated any dish they wanted for hundreds of guests, as well as the judges.

Dublado won People’s Choice awards for his dishes in the mystery wine pairing challenge and the grand finale. He said it was important to represent his Filipino culture through the foods he cooked at the competition.

The silver medal went to Rupert Garcia, who won the Calgary regional competition, while the winner of the Vancouver regional competition, Jasper Cruickshank, won gold. Dublado and Garcia have been longtime family friends – at Dublado’s sister’s wedding last year, the two of them correctly predicted the podium would comprise chefs representing Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.

The Red Deer Resort and Casino expressed excitement for Dublado winning a bronze medal in a post on its website.

“The community of Red Deer is proud of Chef Dublado’s achievement and the news of his bronze medal has been spreading around,” the post states.

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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