Foodie gala raises funds for youth arts

Colour Your Palate raises funds for artsREACH program

Royal Victoria Yacht Club Chef Andrew Dickinson (left) displays his beetroot Bao buns

While a pair of Oak Bay chefs finished out of the running at this year’s Colour Your Palate, the pair enjoyed a little play on food.

The ninth annual Colour Your Palate fundraising event for the artsREACH Society pitted Victoria’s culinary finest against each other in an appetizer competition May 11 at UVic’s University Club. Each chef presented a canapé that incorporated the colour they drew one month ago.

Royal Victoria Yacht Club Chef Andrew Dickinson played with the colour purple, building on beetroot Bao buns, with blueberry glazed pork belly, pickled purple slaw and Hoi Sin.

Chef Mark Davie of the University Club pulled the colour red and created “Heart of Pom” a raspberry lemon cheesecake with pomegranate almond shortbread crust, pomegranate pearls and strawberry Swiss meringue.

“We had lots of fun,” said Davie, chef at the host venue. “All the chiefs there had lots of fun. The food looked great – everybody stuck to their colour.”

Pork belly, crab, meringue and cheesecake all made an appearance and “everything tasted great,” he said.

Judges included Denise Marchessault, author of British Columbia From Scratch, David Mincey, owner of The Chocolate Project, former owner of Camille’s Fine Dining and recipient of EAT Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and Noreen Dennis a chef/foodie. They sampled each of the entries and awarded Most Colourful and Best Tasting to Chef Nick Waters of Toque Catering who created an orange canapé of gin and juniper cured Arctic char, carrot papaya gazpacho and smoked orange.

“That was the one I didn’t get to eat,” Davie said. “It was a shooter, everybody liked the colour and the taste.”

Colour Your Palate attendees awarded the People’s Choice trophy to Chef Morgan Milward of Brentwood College School. His purple canapé was a crispy pork belly with opal basil coconut crust.

The event raised about $20,000 for the artsREACH Society, a Victoria-based charity which aims to ensure all children have the opportunity to develop life skills by exploring their potential through arts experiences. The organization provides all materials and instruction in workshops at no charge in Capital Region public elementary schools and community centres. ArtsREACH provides drawing, painting, printmaking, theatre, dance and film workshops. Since 2005, more than 22,000 children have participated in one of over 1,500 workshops.