The CCFCC Winnipeg Branch celebrated over fifty years of culinary excellence with this years recipients of recognition for their contribution to the vibrant Winnipeg food scene. This year Chef of the year was awarded to Jesse Friesen of Pizzeria Gusto. Associate of the year was awarded to Herman Grauer of Natures Farm. Junior Chef of the year was presented to Christy Barkman.
The February meeting of the CCFCC Winnipeg Branch was An Evening of Chocolate provided by Chefs Helmut Mathae and Don Pattie. The chefs brought almost a century of culinary experience to the group and touched on a number of areas of chocolate art and production. Chef Helmut shared his current work in progress and explained some of the intricacies of chocolate sculpture and provided insight into some of the techniques he has gained from his years on the world stage. Chef Don took us into the modern products and equipment that today’s chocolatier can use to prepare confections to perfection. The chefs provided recipes and ideas for members old and new. Our meeting sponsor was Gordon Food Services who provided a selection of sweets and beverages to compliment the educational session.
Thanks to host Chef Paul Lemire, John G. Stewart School and the River East Transcona School Division for the use of facility and the wonderful evening.
On January tenth the new year kicked of for the Winnipeg branch with a tour and tasting at The Little Brown Jug brewing company in the historic exchange district. We had the unique opportunity to meet the brew master, see his work and share a pint with the creator.
Housed in Winnipeg’s historical exchange district, the brewery markets directly to consumers with growlers of beer sold in unique package presentation. Needless to say the brewery hosts a tasting area suitable for a sociable and an opportunity to pick up Winnipeg’s most popular brew, fresh from the vats.
While the brew house has prepared a variety of products, on the night we visited the full production was to become Winnipeg’s current most popular beer, “1919”. The beer is made using the traditional German kräusening, or double-fermentation technique, which cleans up beer flavors, naturally carbonates the beer, and gives it better head retention. “1919” is made with premium Canadian malts and specialty Franco-Belges malts to give it unique characteristics, Malts developed in 1919. The beers name is also a homage to the Winnipeg General Strike.
The Little Brown Jug’s Brew master, Bernhard Wieland has worked actively with the engineers, from the early days of their first brew, to build a quality brewing system from the ground up. Bernhard spent some time sharing the process and the unique qualities of their operation with the chefs. The brew house is Canadian-made and engineered and suitably equipped to offer a consistent and quality product. Many of the technologies employed at Little Brown Jug are often found in larger operations, but have been scaled to the 20 hectoliter production with plans to grow into the space and increase production by double and more.
Working together with the building owners, the brewery has developed a modern brewery with unique local flavor and a dedication to doing it right. The roof has been insulated from the outside to allow for the revealed timbers inside. The energy used to boil the beer wort is recaptured to heat city water for the next brew to reduce energy use. The brew house does not vent outside. The Little Brown Jug setup uses a system of louvers to vent heat from the glycol chiller and air compressor outside in the summertime, but direct it inside all winter long. Back up heating runs off of the process boiler for the brew house making for a more sustainable heating system. They seem to be doing it all right.
Most importantly they are making great beer. We sampled an easy drinking Belgian Pale Ale, which would be an excellent accompaniment to almost any food. The event was Sponsored by Mariner Neptune and we had John Alexander introduce a new locally produced chicken wings by “ Little Bones Wings” an operation that has grow from food truck to stand alone restaurant now to frozen prepared wings ready to cook. The “Little Bones “ wings provided an excellent accompaniment to the beer.
The evening had a great turnout consisting of our best new comers as well as some of our industry leaders. Special thanks to Elissa Polkowski , who was the 2017 Provincial Skills Champion for Manitoba who made the long drive to join us from Gull Harbor. We were also joined by longtime member and Order of Canada Recipient, Chef Takashi Murikami, who is soon to retire after a long career at the St. Charles Country Club. Special thanks to Little Brown Jug, Little Wings, and Mariner Neptune for their help in making this event a success.
The Holiday Brunch was held on December 3 at the Holiday Inn South hosted by Chef Eldon Brink. A fine buffet and holiday gifts for the children was the highlight of the event. A great turnout for our annual family event.
The November meeting of the CCFCC Winnipeg Branch was held on November 8 hosted by Chef Gerry Tummillo. We were treated to a fine buffet featuring a variety of fantastic hot entrees and a cheese table by Saputo. The association welcomed Vien Salimbacod as a new member. Thank-you to Chef Gerry, Executive member Jared Lavallee and the staff at at Assiniboia Downs for a fine night.
Red River College’s Alumni included the elite of the Winnipeg culinary scene. It was a fantastic dinner to celebrate one great college.
Chef Don Pattie guided junior chefs through the basics of sugar artwork. Chef Don shared his decades of experience in this specialized culinary form. Winnipeg Junior CCFCC Members participated in this workshop.
At the 2017 CCFCC Conference in Calgary, Helmut Mathae was accepted into the CCFCC Honor Society. Helmut earned his journeyman papers for Pastry & Baking in Austria in 1946. He joined the Winnipeg branch of the Canadian Culinary Federation in 1981 and became a local branch director. He has held positions the Fairmont Hotel, the Northstar Hotel and the Winnipeg Convention Centre. Helmuts accomplishments include wining Silver Medals in Frankfurt Culinary Olympics in 1984 & 1988 and Won Gold medal in 1992 in Frankfurt. In 1987, Vancouver, B.C. Helmut was awarded by the International Judging Committee Professional judging status. In 2002 he judged the Baking Contest for Skills Manitoba Competition. In 2002 at the Manitoba Legislative building, he coordinated pastry for a Manitoba menu for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew. He has been a director of the Winnipeg branch for many years, has participated in Western and National Conventions and was involved with fundraising for the Olympic teams and many fundraising events.
In 2004 Helmut received his diploma in vocational industrial teacher education and started his new career as a culinary arts teacher. He has a passion to teach the future generations of up and coming young chefs. As an instructor, he was always involved with local culinary competitions and instructed many students to win medals. In 2010 Helmut was acknowledged as Chef of the year 2010 for the Winnipeg Branch. Upon his retirement in 2013 the CCFCC awarded Helmut with Life Membership.
Helmut is retired from the Riel school division but still finds the time to substitute at various schools as a culinary instructor, giving back what he has learned to the Chefs of the future.
Chef Christy Barkman received a bronze medal in the Americas Regional Global Young Chefs Challenge for chefs 25 and under that was held on July 8, 2017 at Florida Technical College, Kissimmee, Florida. She participated as Canada’s participant in the World Association of Chefs Societies, Worldchefs Americas Continental Regional Tryouts.
This follows her second place finish at the Saputo Junior Challenge in Calgary in May and her win in the Manitoba Saputo Junior Challenge.
Congratulations Chef Christy.
Chefs Hans Schweitzer, Ron Dobrinsky, John Reimers and Helmut Mathae came out to support our hotel associates.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the MHA Annual Golf Tournament on June 21st! The weather may not have been quite what we wanted, but everyone was in good spirits and had a fun day of golf and networking.
We kicked off the tournament with a delicious lunch sponsored by Pratts Food Service and prepared by chefs from the Canadian Culinary Federation, Winnipeg Branch. Then our golfers braved the elements to enjoy the great contests and giveaways on each hole provided by our sponsors. The day wrapped up with incredible Certified Angus Beef steaks provided by dinner sponsor To-Le-Do Foodservice and fantastic prizes donated by our many sponsors.