Top Calgary chefs face… off

By Paul Jarvey

It’s hard to find an excuse to turn down food. Particularly food prepared by a selection of Calgary’s best and most prominent chefs in an Iron Chef-style competition. Feast on the finest cuisine along with wine, spirit and beer tasting, a wearable art fashion show and a unique silent auction.

Presented with unknown pre-selected ingredients, the competitors must create two dishes within a time limit that will have them either vanquished or named Edible Chef 2005. The capable chefs competing include Lesly Holtz of the Siding Cafe, Heather Gould-Hawke formerly of Baha Grill, the renowned Nana Boateng of Bonterra Trattoria and Shawn Greenwood of Rick’s Grill.

The evening has local celebrities Tara McCool of A-Channel and Matt O’Neill of Jack FM slated to host the evening. Ambiance will be courtesy of Mohini Cox and The Chills with their rich fusion of blues, roots and soul. Every appearance they make is an anticipated and unique treat. Calgary’s talented Cox has been acclaimed as one of the city’s foremost soul vocalists by both Calgarians and her contemporaries. She has performed at venues as varied as Afrikadey and Beat Niq, never failing to warm crowds with a voice rapidly her a place in the hearts of music critics.

Local fashion designer Dee Fontans will one-up the chefs with an exhibition both edible and wearable. She presents “Wearable Edibles,” a combination that’s bound to be interesting, if not comfortable. When Fontans isn’t playing socialite fashionista, she teaches jewelry and metals at Alberta College of Art and Design. Four students she selects will exhibit their work as a part of the show, one of whom will win the curious title of Edible Artist 2005.

Dee’s work is widely acclaimed and has been exhibited worldwide from Jamaica to New York. Frequently commenting on the western obsession with an unhealthy body image, her work reflects a distaste for the popular portrayal of the female body, notably the sexualization and idealization of the pre-pubescent body found on the world’s high fashion runways.

The evening also includes a silent auction, featuring a selection of furs from Renfrew Fur, jewelry from local artists and sponsors, various paintings, apparel and a series of gift certificates from an assortment of Calgary venues and restaurants.

All proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society, a community-based organization of volunteers dedicated to preventing cancer and enhancing the lives of those afflicted with the disease.

Brandishing knives, rolling pins and impressive reputations, the invincible men and women of Calgary’s culinary world prepare to face off. Will the evening decay into frenetic cookery? Will the subtitles be hopelessly inappropriate, enough for fans of Iron Chef to soil themselves? Probably not. But it’s safe to count on exceptional food, a unique fashion show and local celebrities dancing to chilled grooves.

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