Victoria pizza man vies in colourful canape competition

First competition one of philanthropy for Victoria pizza chef

Crazy busy Fridays have Aaron Hubley well prepped for his first foray into competition, the Colour Your Palate fundraiser for ArtsREACH.

“I’ve never done much in the way of competition,” says Hubley, the chef at Pizzeria Prima Strada at Fort and Foul Bay.

His first competition is one of creativity and philanthropy. Colour Your Palate is a competition that pits chefs against each other in a challenge to use colour creatively. The competition is held annually to raise funds for the artsREACH Society, which delivers free arts workshops in Greater Victoria public elementary schools.

“It’s a good fundraiser of kids’ art. I was involved in all kinds of art, as were my brothers, growing up and we turned out fairly artistic,” he said.

Hubley was moved by the children painting at Cloverdale Traditional School during the launch of Colour Your Palate last month.

“I think it’s important for kids to get in touch with that creative side,” he said. “The kids were nervous at first, but with positive reinforcement they were into it.”

Chefs drew a top-secret colour – red, yellow, green, purple, or orange – during the launch in Saanich. They present their creations on Tuesday, April 11 at the Victoria Conference Centre during the 10th annual fundraiser, Colour Your Palate.

The colours drawn during the launch are a secret, but he’s already planning.

“I know it needs to be easy to assemble as I need to do 500 and have one person helping me,” he said. “I know I can make something great tasting.”

The adventure of doing something new isn’t an unknown for Hubley. He came west on a whim landing in Burnaby where he started working in certified Verace Pizza Napoletana which translates to Real Neapolitan Pizza. Then on a visit to Victoria discovered the true West Coast life he was seeking and landed at the Cook Street pizzeria, starting at Fort and Foul Bay when it opened just over a year ago.

The launch also afforded an opportunity to meet more than a dozen chefs who’s eateries he’s visited in his four years in the region.

“I’ve heard about their places, and I’ve been there, but didn’t know any of them,” Hubley said. “I’m just going to do what I do, if I’m happy with it that’s enough. I’m really excited to see what other people do.”

During the April 11 gala, the colourful canapés are judged blind by industry experts and eligible for awards including Best Tasting Savoury Creation, Best Tasting Sweet Creation and Most Colourful Creation. Attendees sample each of the entries and vote for the People’s Choice.

Tickets are $95 in advance and can be purchased online at artsreach.ca/colour-your-palate.

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

Aaron Hubley, chef at Pizzeria Prima Strada at the junction of Fort and Foul Bay, competes in his first Colour Your Palate gala appetizer competition to raise funds for ArtsREACH on April 11. Read the full story on page A8. Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News

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