WINNIPEG — Darnell Banman, chef at Winnipeg’s St. Charles Golf & Country Club won the gold medal and the Fulgence Charpentier Trophy at the 2018 La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Jeunes Chefs (Young Chefs) Rôtisseurs Competition held in Edmonton earlier this month.
As winner of the Regional Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs competition, Darnell will now go on to represent Canada at the 43rd Annual Concours International des Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs, to be held in Calgary in September 2019.
The national Canadian Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs competition is open to young cooks under the age of 27. Seven contestants from across Canada, chosen through selection competitions held in their respective local areas, were given four hours in which to compose a menu and prepare a three-course meal (an appetizer, main course and dessert) for four persons using ingredients presented in a “black box”. In this year’s black box, the competitors found saddle of rabbit; rack of lamb; rainbow trout; butternut squash; grapefruit; barley; Cacao Barry Zephyr white chocolate; and Cacao Barry Fleur de Cao dark chocolate; along with various other vegetables, fruits, liquors and fresh herbs. Contestants were judged on taste, originality, creativity, presentation, portion size, nutrition, dress, kitchen cleanliness and timing by a team of Canadian professional and nonprofessional judges.
Banman emerged triumphant, receiving the top prize. He was also recognized for having the highest kitchen score, receiving the Chef Paul Mastalir Award for Kitchen Excellence along with a Wüsthof Knife attaché set. The silver medal was presented to Ottawa’s Kathryn Ferries from Stofa Restaurant and the bronze medallist was Halifax’s Jeremy Beeton from Eliot & Vine.
A Winkler, Man. native and graduate of Red River College, Banman began his career is foodservice as a dishwasher at age 15 — a job which ultimately inspired his passion for the industry. Shortly after moving to Winnipeg, he was hired at the St. Charles Golf & Country club where he worked under executive chef Takashi Murakami for more than five years.
Looking forward to the International competition next year, Banman will be training under chef Cameron Huley at the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club, where he recently accepted a position as junior sous chef. He notes he is “also super excited and grateful to have the opportunity to train at various restaurants across Canada. It is going to be a great experience to represent Canada in our own country and I am hoping that I can make everyone proud.”