|Kevin Brauch sabers a bottle of Champagne at the chef-off|
Sue Frause photo
Kevin Brauch of Iron Chef America and The Thirsty Traveler entertained a sold-out ballroom at The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria on Wednesday night. The foodies in the crowd were part of Mission Emp-Possible: Battle of the Chefs that was a partnership between The Empress and Mission Hill Family Estate.
There was plenty of pre-celebrating going on, thanks to Canada's 7-3 victory over Russia in hockey. But the challenge here was between Executive Chef Takashi Ito of The Empress and Mission Hill Executive Winery Chef Matthew Batey.
I was one of five "celebrity judges" for the competition, which featured a five-course tasting menu prepared by each chef, along with five wines selected by Mission Hill's chief winemaker John Simes who explained the wines prior to each course.
It was a close race, but in the end, The Empress' Takashi Ito took the gold. Although he didn't receive a medal, one of the judges placed a wine cork around his neck to commemorate the victory.