Chef Playground Challenge

We recently attended an event hosted at Starbelly Open Kitchen & Lounge to raise funds for the Auburn Bay school to build a playground. For a ticket of $125 per person all inclusive we had the chance to watch two of Calgary’s great Chefs compete against each other to see who could create the best meal with wine pairings from Noble Ridge wines from B.C.

The evening started out with the restaurant rocking to a great DJ and a cocktail hour where we had the choice of Peach Cider by Big Rock Brewery or two house wines.We were lucky enough to be sat at a table with a great view of the open kitchen where we could watch the chef and team of cooks prep and serve each course. While we were enjoying our cocktails and the ambiance, one of the owners of Noble Ridge wines located in the lovely Okanagan Valley came around and introduced herself. A boutique winery producing only 5000 bottles of wine a year the winery is owned by a lovely couple that until recently resided right here in Calgary. Their story really is great, they are wonderful people and I would recommend heading west and visiting the winery if you ever have the chance. If not check out some of their amazing wines and support a great canadian winery.

With cocktails done dinner was about to begin. The first course was presented by Chef Rogelio Herrera of Alloy Fine Dining. He gave us a Mango and Marash chilli cured BC salmon which was wonderfully paired with the 2011 “The One” vintage sparkling wine from Noble Ridge. An amazing start to the meal this one would be hard to beat!


Next up was Chef Jonathan Sobol of Starbelly Open Kitchen who presented us with a dish of Roasted Bacon with a pineapple BBQ sauce and apple slaw. This amazing dish was paired with a 2013 Stony Knoll Chardonnay from Noble Ridge. The dish really blew us away with the smoky sweet bacon combination. the Chardnonnay was fabulous and although this dish was nothing short of awesome, somehow this pairing didn’t hit the mark and our points went to Chef Herrera for this pairing.


The next course was headed up again by Chef Herrera and he indulged us with a Braised Waygu Chuck Flat with Truffle Gnocchi and was paired with the 2013 Estate Hermatige from Noble Ridge wines. When the pat of black truffle butter malted into the sauce this dish was buttery, creamy and super flavourful. Again Chef Herrera managed to pick a perfect wine pairing for his dish.


With course four Chef Sobol came to win and presented an Alberta Quail with Foie Gras stuffing. This beautiful dish was paired with a wonderful and full bodied 2011 Pinot Noir from Noble Ridge Wineries. This was really going to be a tough choices for the panel of judges.


With dinner over and the judges cards being tallied we enjoyed our final course of the night, Rhubarb and Tonka Bean Macaroons.


Overall the evening was really well put together the food was amazing, the service was stellar and the wines were a great discovery for us. Big kudos to the Starbelly crew for maintaining the amazing service and great ambiance through out the night. And for those that are wondering the judge declared winner at the end of the night by a small margin was Chef Rogelio Herrera of Alloy.

After being spoiled with these amazing creations I would highly recommend that you head south of downtown Calgary and try out both of these fabulous restaurants and add to your wine tasting list some of the great wines offered by Noble Ridge Wineries. We will definitely be planning many visits to both of these restaurants in the near future!

Enjoying chef challenges across the city, I am Your Everyday Foodie.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s