Chefs joining province’s best in Saskatoon

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Tyler Clarke
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A pair of Prince Albert’s top chefs will be in Saskatoon on Saturday, competing among the best of the province in the Gold Medal Plates competition. 

Amy’s on Second chef Klarke Dergousoff is seen in the restaurant on Friday before leaving for this weekend’s Gold Medal Plates competition in Saskatoon. 

A pair of Prince Albert’s top chefs will be in Saskatoon on Saturday, competing among the best of the province in the Gold Medal Plates competition. 

Klarke Dergousoff, from Amy’s on Second, and Kevin Dahlsjo, from Two by Dahlsjo, will serve 500 patrons at Saskatoon’s Prairieland Park alongside eight other chefs from throughout the province.

A panel of six judges with various culinary credentials will judge the 10 chefs.

This will be the first competition for Dergousoff, who has worked as a chef in Prince Albert for more than seven years.

“I found out in February about it, and now tomorrow’s the day,” he said, excited to compete among the province’s best. “I’m going in just happy that I’m there.”

Dergousoff’s career in food preparation began within days of graduating from Stratford Chef’s School in Ontario, when he moved with his wife to Prince Albert and took a job at Amy’s on Second.

The restaurant has a casual fine dining theme, which Dergousoff said, is exactly what he trained for. The freedom the restaurant offers him has also allowed Dergousoff plenty of time to hone his skills.

“On any given night, the person at that table might have a dish that’s put together a little different than somebody at this table,” he said. “Same dish, same flavours, but it might be just a little subtle difference.

“After seven and a half years, I feel I’ve got a good finger on the pulse of what people expect and what they want to eat.”

Although he won’t say what dish he’s preparing for the Gold Medal Plates competition until afterwards, he said that it’s what he considers his best.

“I’m not a guy that really likes the molecular gastronomy that goes on,” he said, referencing the act of using science to create visually appealing dishes. “It’s too flashy and I see it as a distraction from your plate.”

Hopefully, the panel of judges find his dish as delicious as Dergousoff anticipates they do, he said.

“All I can tell you is, it’s a northern dish. It’s northern, it’s Saskatchewan and it’s warm.”

For Dahlsjo, this year’s Gold Medal Plates competition is old hat, with this his third year competing in the annual fundraiser.

“It’s an honour to be invited again,” he said. “I like associating with all of the different chefs. A lot of them are good friends of mine.”

His dish will be a very specific one, with very specific and unique ingredients, which is a tip of the hat to the boundary-pushing dishes he serves at Two by Dahlsjo, where he said that he likes to push boundaries.

Saturday’s competition serves as a fundraiser for the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

The Daily Herald will follow up with both local chefs for Monday’s print edition, complete with more information about the unique dishes they prepare. 

Organizations: Prince Albert, School in Ontario, Canadian Olympic Foundation Daily Herald

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Prairieland Park, Stratford Chef Saskatchewan

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