Expert culinary dueler, Chef Andrew Farrell, took home top honours today at the 2014 Grate Canadian Cheese Cook-Off for his Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese.
The big mac & cheese showdown took place at Dairy Farmers of Canada’s Canadian Cheese Counter at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto in front of a crowd of cheese fans.
Four accomplished chefs and foodies from across Canada took to the stage in an attempt to create the ultimate comfort food using Canadian cheese, pasta and a little imagination. In the end, it was Chef Andrew Farrell from 2 Doors Down in Halifax who emerged victorious.
Chef Farrell’s Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese was voted best overall by a panel of four cheese-loving judges. Chef Farrell’s Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese packs a whole lot of Nova Scotia into one dish, with four cheeses from That Dutchman’s Farm — three Gouda and one Blue — produced in Upper Economy, Nova Scotia. Cheesy noodles are then topped with a kale-broccoli-Brussels sprouts crust and Sriracha hot sauce adds a spicy kick.
“The competition was as sharp as Canadian cheddar,” said Andrew Farrell. “All the dishes looked delectable and the crowd was really engaged. I am so thrilled my Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese, featuring three Goudas and Dragon’s Breath Blue cheese from That Dutchman’s Farm, won the hearts and taste buds of the judges.”
This year’s four fierce competitors included Bal Arneson, Food Network TV host and award-winning author from Vancouver, British Columbia; chef David Bohati, executive chef at MARKET Restaurant in Calgary, Alberta; Kevin Durkee, owner of CHEESEWERKS in Toronto, Ontario; and chef Andrew Farrell, head chef at 2 Doors Down in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The esteemed judging panel consisted of Sue Riedl, journalist, blogger and cheese ambassador; Rita DeMontis, Sun Media food editor; Jason Bangerter, executive chef and 2012 Grate Canadian (Grilled) Cheese Cook-Off champion, as well as Lorie Chater, cheese lover from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the winner of the nation-wide contest for a professional mac & cheese taster.
The Cook-Off was organized by Dairy Farmers of Canada to take Canada’s beloved mac & cheese to a whole new level and showcase the outstanding quality, variety, taste, and versatility of Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian milk.
“I’d like to congratulate all four competitors, and of course the winner, chef Andrew Farrell, for doing an outstanding job today and helping us all celebrate Canadian cheese in all its delicious glory,” said Sandra Da Silva, assistant director, external communications at Dairy Farmers of Canada. “I hope we’ve inspired Canadians to put their own spin on this classic comfort food.”
Cheese lovers across Canada can access these mac & cheese recipes and find tips for making the perfect mac & cheese by visiting allyouneedischeese.ca/cookoff.
About Canadian Cheese
Cheese is a staple food in the Canadian diet, with 98 per cent of Canadians eating cheese regularly. Canadians make world-class cheese that wins awards internationally. With over 1,050 kinds of cheese listed in the Canadian cheese directory, Canadian cheese makers offer an enviable variety of local and international styles.
About Dairy Farmers of Canada
Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) strives to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future. DFC works to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy producers and to promote quality Canadian dairy products made from 100% Canadian milk as part of a healthy balanced diet. DFC is completely funded by dairy farmers.