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Cooking for (Crash Test) Dummies

Wednesday, October 11, 2006   by: Mr. EdNEWS RELEASE

CANADIAN LIVING

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Award-Winning rock 'n' roller Dan Roberts is named Canadian Living Magazine Cook of the Year

TORONTO, ONTARIO - (Oct. 10, 2006) - Proving that you can do many things superbly, Crash Test Dummies bassist Dan Roberts has won the 2006 Canadian Living Jenn-Air Cook of the Year award.

The contest was limited to non-professional cooks and Roberts won a cook-off in the Canadian Living kitchens against three other finalists from across Canada June 23 to earn the Cook of the Year prize.

Winning the contest was an achievement for Roberts, who didn't reveal his identity as a member of the award-winning group to the surprised Canadian Living staff until the night before the final cook-off.

The recipe parameters for the Cook of the Year were strict.

Entrants had to create an original main-course recipe for six, suitable for casual entertaining and it had to contain ingredients from a pre-determined set of food categories.

He won with a recipe for stuffed beef tenderloin with rosti potatoes. "I'm basically a meat-and-potatoes kind of person," Roberts said. "I wanted my recipe to be a gourmet meat and potatoes dish."

You can find the winning recipe in the November issue of Canadian Living magazine and on the Canadian Living website at CanadianLiving.com.

The Cook of the Year contest was conceived, according to Canadian Living Editor-in-Chief Susan Antonacci, to "celebrate the role that food plays in our readers' lives and to celebrate the role that Canadian Living has played in our readers' kitchens for three decades." The magazine celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2005.

The Cook of the Year contest certainly touched a chord with its five million readers: the magazine received an unprecedented number of entries.

Canadian Living Food Editor Elizabeth Baird explained why the contest was restricted to non-professional, home cooks: "At our magazine we believe that everyday dinners, family get-togethers and meals made with love are what people remember most. That's the kind of cooking that creates a culinary heritage. It binds families and communities together and it's a healthy way to eat."

The contest was so successful Baird says there will definitely be a 2007 Cook of the Year contest.

Look for details in the magazine's March issue and on the Canadian Living Web site, CanadianLiving.com.

The bassist for the Juno Award winning Crash Test Dummies tends towards personal modesty.

When asked for his reaction to winning, Roberts - who has been an enthusiastic amateur chef for about a decade - grinned and said, "The pressure's on now. Everywhere I go it's going to be 'Make us something good.'"

The finalists cooking shoulder-to-shoulder with Roberts were:

- Judy Simpson of Maple Ridge, B.C. who presented a recipe for chicken breasts stuffed with prosciutto, swiss cheese and baby spinach

- Diane Ward of Calgary, Alta., whose recipe was grilled chicken and caramelized vegetable strudels

- Kristeen Deyell of Lindsay, Ont., who prepared gourmet chicken burgers with caramelized onion focaccia buns

Preparing their recipes in the Canadian Living test kitchen was a thrilling and somewhat daunting experience, as was meeting the judges.

On completion, the finalists' dishes were presented to a judge's panel including TV host and cookbook author Christine Cushing, veteran Canadian Press food journalist Judy Creighton, and gourmet food expert Yves Farges, president of Qualifirst Inc., which owns Epicureal.com, a web site devoted to specialty foods.

All of the recipes received high praise.

The judges agreed that selecting the winner was challenging given the quality of the recipes and the dishes they created.

Roberts won, Cushing said, because his recipe was "a great balance of all the elements, which I really feel is the best part of cooking - balancing - when nothing really fights the other thing."

For being named 2006 Canadian Living Jenn-Air Cook of the Year, Roberts receives a $10,000-plus kitchen from Jenn-Air.

Sixteen semi-finalists received a $300 gift basket of gourmet cooking ingredients and specialty products from Epicure.com, plus a Breville Juice Fountain juicer.

As well as that, the four finalists also received a Jenn-Air 30-inch electric radiant smooth cooktop.

For details on the contest visit the Canadian Living web site at CanadianLiving.com.

Stay in touch with the website and check the magazine for details of the 2007 Cook of the Year contest.

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