Culinary Award Winners

Gold: Chef Renée Lavallée (The Canteen, Dartmouth)

Silver: Chef Mark Gray (Brooklyn Warehouse, Halifax)

Bronze: Chef Jason Lynch (Le Caveau Restaurant, Grand Pré)


Best of Show Wine Award Winners

Gold: 2013 Vintner’s Reserve Riesling, Domaine de Grand Pré, Nova Scotia

Silver: Tideview Cider Heritage Semidry, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

Bronze: 2013 Jost Tidal Bay, Devonian Coast Wineries, Nova Scotia


Halifax, N.S. –  Chef Renée Lavallée of The Canteen in Dartmouth proved her culinary prowess on October 16, 2014, taking home the gold award at the Gold Medal Plates Halifax competition held at the Cunard Centre. Chef Renée went head-to-head with eight of Nova Scotia’s finest at the prestigious culinary competition and will go on to compete at the Canadian Culinary Championships, the Gold Medal Plates Finale, in Kelowna on February 6 and 7, 2015.
Chef Renée took the gold medal with her Nova Scotia Picnic, a Victoria Co-op snow crab and lobster roll on a Brioche Bun with Grandmère’s potato salad, Acadian sturgeon caviar and assorted Canteen pickles. This was paired with Tideview Cider Heritage Semidry from the Annapolis Valley.


Chef Mark Gray of Brooklyn Warehouse, rose to the occasion as well, taking the silver medal. Chef Mark created Fenugreek and Maple-Braised Lamb Shoulder with kohlrabi purée, arugula gel, toasted quinoa, fermented Swiss chard and maple-lamb bone glacé paired with The Vicar’s Cross Double IPA from Boxing Rock Brewing Co., in Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

Taking the bronze medal was chef Jason Lynch of Le Caveau Restaurant in Grand Pré. His dish was Nova Scotia Red Deer Tartar with quail egg, cornichon, spruce bud hot sauce, Dijon, shallots, bannock crisps and heirloom tomato chutney paired with 2013 Vintner’s Reserve Riesling from Domaine de Grand Pré.


“The champion in Halifax was unanimous…Renée’s dish was creative and interesting and traditional and really Nova Scotian. Every element was perfectly done,” said national judge James Chatto. “Across Canada we encourage chefs to use local ingredients, but Nova Scotia seems to have more to choose from, and the quality is phenomenal – red deer, scallops and seafood that’s really extraordinary in quality.”


In the wine category, the Best of Show Awards went to Domaine de Grand Pré, 2013 Vintner’s Reserve Riesling (Gold), Tideview Cider Heritage Semidry (Silver) and Devonian Coast Wineries’ 2013 Jost Tidal Bay (Bronze).


Music for the evening was provided by Canadian legend Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo and an all-star cast of Canadian entertainers including Barney Bentall and Danny Michel.


The other chefs competing in Halifax were: Ray Bear (Saege Bistro & Scanway Catering, Halifax), Craig Flinn (Chives Canadian Bistro & 2 Doors Down, Halifax), Dave Smart (Front & Central, Wolfville), Jamie Smye (Privet House Restaurant, Wolfville), Terry Vassallo (Café Chianti, Halifax) and Tracy Wallace (Cabot Links Resort, Inverness).

“It’s important to have positive activity in your community,” said Mathew Harris, managing partner at Deloitte and co-chair of Gold Medal Plates Halifax. “It’s important to support events like Gold Medal Plates and the activities and people who add to our communities…to support our athletes as they prepare for their next steps in representing us on the international level.”


Gold Medal Plates is the ultimate celebration of Canadian excellence in food, wine, athletic achievement and entertainment. In addition to the finest food and excellent music, guests had the opportunity to mingle with 23 celebrated Olympians including Jennifer Botterill (ice hockey), Ellie Black (gymnastics), Curt Harnett (cycling), Luke Demetre (bobsleigh) and Karen Furneaux (canoe/kayak).


“In the past, I know athletes who have had to quit their Olympic aspirations purely based on the financial strain,” said Sandra Sassine, a two-time Olympian in fencing. “Gold Medal Plates, and the support from our communities, helps prevent that situation and enables athletes to continue their journey, achieve their dreams and represent Canada proudly without as many financial challenges.”

Proceeds from Gold Medal Plates go to the Canadian Olympic Foundation, supporting programs that further Canadian high performance athletes’ pursuit of excellence on the world stage – programs like Own The Podium and the COC’s Athlete Excellence Fund. Since 2004, Gold Medal Plates has generated over $8.2 million for Canada’s Olympic athletes.
Judges for the Halifax competition were: James Chatto (head judge), Bill Spurr (Nova Scotia senior judge), Alain Bossé, Amy Savoury, Mark DeWolf, Ted Grant as well as 2013 gold winner, Martin Ruiz Salvador. Each dish was judged out of 100 points, based on visual presentation (20%), texture (20%), taste (30%), wine compatibility (10%), originality (10%) and wow factor (10%).

Gold Medal Plates Halifax also featured a silent auction as well as a live auction, with spectacular getaways with Olympians and Canadian entertainers to destinations such as South America, Provence, Scotland, Tuscany, New Zealand and Kelowna for the Canadian Gold Medal Plates finals – the Canadian Culinary Championship.


For more information, visit the Gold Medal Plates website




For further information contact:

Karen Blair                                                                 Christine White

Co-Founder and Media Director                                Media and Communications

Gold Medal Plates  – National                                                Gold Medal Plates – Halifax

416-778-6533                                                            902-880-2180                                      


About Canadian Olympic Foundation – The Beneficiary of Gold Medal Plates
The Canadian Olympic Foundation is a national charitable organization that generates support to meet the technical, scientific, medical and coaching needs of Canada’s athletes across all Olympic sports. Proceeds from Gold Medal Plates are given to the Canadian Olympic Foundation to support high performance programs such as Own the Podium. To learn more about the Foundation and the programs it funds, please visit



Maralyn D. Hill, M.Ed.,  The Epicurean Explorer

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