TORONTO — Melanie Ruga, chef at the Donald Gordon Hotel and Conference Centre in Kingston, Ont., was crowned the Junior Conference Venue Chef of the Year at the International Association of Conference Centres’ (IACC) Copper Skillet culinary competition.
The Canadian leg of the competition was held in early November at the Ivy Spencer Conference Centre in London, Ont. Contestants were challenged to gather ingredients and create a dish in 45 minutes or less.
“It was truly an incredible experience competing against so many talented chefs. I was shocked and excited by the results and am so thankful for all the support I received from my family, friends and co-workers,” says Ruga.
The winning dish was fresh-herb and citrus-poached arctic char on a bed of wilted bok choy and potato-brussels sprout hash, served with honey-blueberry gastrique and topped with Cajun chickpeas. Ruga will advance to the IACC Americas chapter competition, which will be held in Philadelphia in January.