Top Chef Stowe serves locally-inspired lunch to MLAs

Matthew Stowe took over the kitchen at the B.C. Legislature recently, serving up a three-course lunch with local ingredients.

English pea ravioli with grown-in-B.C. ingredients.

Cloverdale – and Canada’s – Top Chef made a recent road trip to Victoria, where he prepared lunch created with all local ingredients for B.C.’s MLAs.

Both Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Stephanie Cadieux and Surrey City councillor and newly-elected MLA for Surrey-Panorama Marvin Hunt were on hand for the luncheon, helmed by Lord Tweedsmuir grad Matthew Stowe, crowned Canada’s Top Chef this past June.

Stowe took over the kitchen at the B.C. Legislature, and using local ingredients, he served a three-course meal for MLAs gathered in the historic dining room.

“He’s cooked on a tarmac and at the zoo, but how will he fare in the B.C. Legislature’s dining room?” the voiceover wonders in a B.C. government caucus video that captured the event.

The meal was aimed at highlighting the benefits of buying local.

“We want to see this industry grow, we want to see the local producers do better and create jobs in their sector,” said agriculture minister Pat Pimm. “It’s certainly great that our local chefs are utilizing those products.”

As a main course, Stowe served up an English Pea Ravioli that included peas  and carrots from Saanich, along with baby leeks and fava beans from the Lower Mainland.

“He actually brought them over from Hazelmere Farms in South Surrey, which he’s very familiar with and very familiar with their methods and their produce,” remarked newbie Surrey-Panorama MLA Marvin Hunt. “Yeah, (he’s) really into the awesome organics which is absolutely, awesomely delicious.”

Dessert featured Agassiz hazelnuts and Okanagan cherries.

Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Stephanie Cadieux was also at the luncheon, describing what it had been like to watch Stowe’s progress on the Food Network reality series.

“It’s really great to see. It was really exciting to watch the show episode by episode,” she said.

The variety and bounty of  local B.C. produce breeds creativity among chefs, she added.

“When you have beautiful local products in your own backyard, you can’t help but be inspired.”

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