Expertise Abounds At Cornucopia’s Culinary Stage

October 15, 2015

With such incredible talent stepping up to Cornucopia’s Culinary Stage, it makes picking and choosing events that much harder. Of course, the best case scenario will find you attending the entire series. However, in case this isn’t an option, here’s a brief run-down of a few of the personalities you can see at this year’s Culinary Stage Series.

Campbell River born Derek Dammann is the embodiment of working your way up the ladder. From humble beginnings working as a dishwasher, Dammann worked his way to head chef and co-owner (with non-other than former boss, current friend and celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver) at the popular Maison Publique in Montreal – not a bad resume by any means!

Dammann and Canadian food writer Chris Johns joined forces to produce the True North: Canadian Cuisine from Coast to Coast cookbook. Launching November 3, the cookbook is as rugged and authentic as the land it celebrates. Of Dammann, Jaime Oliver writes,

Damn, that boy can cook.
I really think he’s up there with some of the absolute best chefs in the world.”

When asked what the audience can expect at the True North Culinary Stage, Dammann answers: “Both Chris and myself are proud Canadians, so we’re really trying to showcase the beautiful ingredients this country has to offer through our eyes.” See Dammann and Johns at True Northwhere raw talent meets Canadiana grit.

Robbie Kane, owner of Vancouver hotspot Café Medina, joins the all-star guest list at Cornucopia’s Culinary Stage Series. Kane and Chef Deniz Tarakcioglu take guests behind-the-scenes for a glimpse at what makes the café’s signature Mediterranean-inspired cuisine one of the most in-demand stops on Vancouver’s bustling restaurant circuit. Boasting a number of accolades, including winner of Best Brunch and Best Breakfast at the 2015 Georgia Straight Golden Plate Awards, being named one of the Top 50 Restaurants in Canada 2015 by – catch Café Medina November 8, when it brings its gastronomic genius to Whistler for the Make Mine Mediterranean Culinary Stage Series.

For the sixth year running, Cornucopia’s much-loved Edible Canada takes the Culinary Stage, featuring dishes that pair well with Canadian-inspired cocktails. Edible Canada President, Eric Pateman, and Chef de Cuisine, Alvin Pillay, will prepare three dishes celebrating cultural influences from East, West and Central Canada, paired with expertly-crafted cocktails. As always, the sessions will be filled with discussion and debate around what is Canadian cuisine, can it be defined, and what does the future hold? In true Edible Canada fashion, all dishes will be gluten free and at some point, duck fat will be involved!

From commis to head chef, Dan Hayes, has worked with talented chefs in numerous high-end and Michelin-starred restaurants. Now, Hayes and wife Micayla are the dynamic duo behind The London Chef – Micayla running the business and Dan running the kitchen. Hayes has taught cookery all over the UK, has food-styled with one of Britain’s top food photography companies, and consulted on the development and opening of restaurants in London and the Canary Isles. Secure your seat at this must-see event, when The London Chef takes on Cornucopia’s Culinary Stage.

Alana Peckham, a born and raised Vancouverite, studied at the Dubrulle International Culinary Arts institute. Her culinary talent was recently recognized on the Food Network’s program: Chopped Canada, when she won the three-course mystery ingredient challenge. While her cooking style is grounded in the traditional French culinary techniques adopted at Dubrulle, her cultural heritage as a Chinese Canadian is a definite influence. Known for her longstanding commitment for using only the freshest and best ingredients, Peckham was naturally drawn to work with Alligga, an all-Canadian flaxseed distributor. See the Chopped Canada champion at A Canape Party with Alligga and Chef Alana Peckham.

Dammann, Johns, Kane, Tarakcioglu, Pateman, Pillay, Hayes and Peckham are just a taste of the high-calibre talent on the bill at this year’s Culinary Stage Series. But it doesn’t end there, see the remaining all-stars when they take the stage, including: Pembytopia, Wine and Cheese with the Dairy Farmers of Canada, The Best of Lillooet, Beer and Cheese Workshop with the Dairy Farmers of Canada and Cicerone vs. Sommelier.

Secure your seat when Whistler rolls out the red carpet for the Culinary Stage Series, November 5-15.