RAW! The Great Toronto Tartare-Off Winners

RAW! The Great Toronto Tartare-Off, March 29th, The Imperial York. A fund raiser to construct a high school in Basico, Guatemala.

(Our thanks to all the chefs and judges)

The winners:

  • Professional category: Lorenzo LosetoGeorge Restaurant
  • Amateur category: Paul PenderTawse Winery

The contestants:


  • Brook Cavanagh – La Palette
  • Mark Cutrara – Cowbell
  • Jason Bangeter – Luma
  • Jamie Kennedy – Gilead
  • Didier Leroy – Didier
  • Lorenzo Loseto – George
  • Patrick McMurray – Starfish
  • Tim Palmer – Fairmont Royal York
  • Albert Ponzo – Le Select Bistro
  • Luke Wood - Thornton’s Wine and Tapas Room, Yellowknife


  • Martin Malivoire – Malivoire Wines
  • Paul Pender – Tawse Estate Wines
  • Sue Ann Staff – Staff Wines
  • Harald Thiell – Hidden Bench

The judges:

  • Chef John Higgins
  • Geddy Lee (Director, Grapes for Humanity)
  • Josh Josephson
  • Amy Rosen (National Post)
  • Corey Mintz (Toronto Star)

One hundred and seventy people tasted the Asian.

Hors d’oeuvres prepared by students of Humber College under the leadership of Chef Leo Chan,French fries prepared fresh in the kitchen, as well as all the 10 chefs’ tartares and a sweet table. Plus lashing of wines provided by the four Ontario wineries, Winery Direct and importing agents, Profile Wine Group. The judges voted Lorenzo Loseto of George Restaurant as the best tartare. The amateur prize went to Paul Pender, winemaker at Tawse Winery.

Sommeliers Zoltan Szabo and Jamie Drummond tasted all the donated wines with the tartares and proclaimed the best match to be Rosewood Estate Pinot Noir 2010 with La Palette Chef Brook Kavanagh’s venison tartare.

A great evening, beautifully organized by Chair Doris Miculan Bradley and her committee of Jimson Bienenstock, Malcolm Jolley, Zoltan Szabo, Jamie Drummond, Sheila Swerling Puritt, Megan and Lindsay Groves. A special thanks to Steve Alexander of Cumbrae’s who supplied all the meat. The proceeds from the event will go to building a high school in Basico, Guatemala. It was so successful we’re thinking of a reprise next year.