Eating & Drinking

EVENT PREVIEW: Ottawa’s Foodie Challenge is back! Sign up now for June 1 event

Foodie alert! If you are always looking for the next great meal, obsess about seasonal veggies, and swoon at the sight of Instagram meals, you might be a foodie, and the Ottawa Foodie Challenge is coming up — so mark your calendars!

pelican grill
Challenge participant Madison O’Connor at Pelican Fishery & Grill during a challenge clue. Photo by Carolynn Lacasse

The Foodie Challenge takes place on  Sunday, June 1st. For the admission price of $50 per person, it’s a full day of palate-experimentation that’s sure to get your taste buds tingling.

It all starts at 9 a.m. at Shopify (126 York St.) with a breakfast provided by Lunch. After that, expect the unexpected.

The Foodie Challenge scavenger lists will be given to every team of two entered. Teams have until 4 p.m. to complete as many challenges on the list as possible. We talked to event organizer Carolynn Lacasse about what participants can expect this year.

“Nitrogen cold brewed coffee, knife skill workshops, and cheese tasting are some hints of check points on this year’s clue list,” says Lacasse. “A special component of the challenge is connecting our city’s food fanatics with restauranteurs, chefs, and owners they might not normally meet on a regular visit.”

Lacasse adds that she and event co-organizer Laurence De Montigny St-Onge wanted to bring foodies and industry professional together to shine the spotlight on hunger in the region.

No cheating! All challenges must be photographed and submitted at the end of the day, at which time points will be totalled to determine the winning team.

The victors will rejoice their foodie feat when announcements are made at the closing ceremonies, which will be held at The Albion Rooms (33 Nicholas St). Expect fresh salads, delectable bites and some sweet treats from Chef Stephen La Salle as well as refreshing drinks from Nickelbrook Brewery and Norman Hardie winery.

This year, challenge organizers have announced their grand prize in advance and are awarding the winning team two sets of WÜSTHOF’s 200th Anniversary Block Set ($711 value each) which includes peeling knife, paring knife, bread knife, utility knife, cook’s knife, sharpener, kitchen sheers and knife block. The winning team will also have the chance to participate in a La Bottega cooking class.

Ottawa Magazine Eating and Drinking Guide
The 2013 Edition of the Eating & Drinking guide being passed on to challenge participants at last year’s event. Pat Bolduc Photographer

And if all of that intrigue, competition, and glory doesn’t spark your interest enough to get out there and taste the deliciousness that abounds in this city, know that all proceeds go to the Ottawa Food Bank. (Oh, and participants also receive Ottawa Magazine’s Eating & Drinking Guide!)