Young Guns Spice Challenge 2019 Top Flavour Learnings

December 10 2019

This year marked Club House’s® second annual Young Guns Spice Challenge. The competition was fierce as George Brown College’s top culinary students went behind-the-line of the school’s café to create one signature dish featuring Club House® spices for culinary supremacy and cash prizes.

We caught up with the participants following the competition to find out what they learned about flavour during the Young Guns Spice Challenge.

Team 1:
“By combining an array of Club House® spices and herbs, I was able to experience a whole new taste. For example, the fresh herbs added an aromatic flavour, creating a fantastic fusion dish” – Nicholas Hane.

“I learned that flavours and spices could extend and cross boundaries” – Aquib Ali.

“Through trial and error, I learned how using a combination of various ingredients can create a unique and beautiful flavour that pairs perfectly with many dishes” – Dina Elmahmoud.

“During this competition, I found that a few simple adjustments can uplift a dish and completely change the flavour profile” – Matthew To. 

Team 2:

“I discovered that the amount of spice, and the way it’s made, could create a lot of change in flavour. I also learned how to make playful matches with other spices” – Kristelle Anne Gerardo.

“There were a lot of spices that I was unfamiliar with when I started this competition; thus, it’s worth taking the time to learn about the many different types of spices, especially Piri Piri” - Jaeho Kim.

“I usually use spices that are similar in taste such as, chilli powder and garlic powder. Through the Young Guns Spice Challenge, I learned about a very large range of spices and from them, I expanded my spice pantry to include Piri Piri and Ancho Chili Spice” – Mihyun Kim. 

“I’ve learned that the flavour and aroma of spices need to be highlighted when making a dish” – Minkyung Koo.

Team 3:
“I uncovered the flavour differences between Pink Peppercorns and Black Peppercorns. For example, Pink Peppercorns offer a surprising floral flavour” – Bill Allison. 

“I had never used Cardamom before and discovered that it has very strong citrus notes and an intense, almost floral-like smell and taste” – Chia-nan Chien. 

“I found that different cooking methods help to improve a dish by adding elements of taste and texture” – Rehma Alam. 

“My biggest learning was that when using spices with sodium you need to balance the dish with acidity” – Devin Budhram. 

Team 4:

“Through testing the spices, I learned that all of these different flavours have the power to balance each other, which is crucial in recipe development” – Sanat Kapila. 

“When preparing our dish, I found that by using a variety of techniques – sous vide, cold smoking and braising - to prepare our protein, the flavours of Club House® spices evolved” – Seth Feller. 

“The big thing I learned while developing our beef recipe is that although you may have two or more spices that taste similar, combining them helps you create a deeper, more complex flavour” – Samuel Mceachran.

“I learned that using too many flavours and spices could actually hurt the end product” – Yaniv Kantorov.