Thursday, February 25, 2016

Marmalade Love: Captured in Jars & Pastries at Redpath Marmalade Competition #M4M2016

The Blue Barracks Room, all set and ready for #M4M2016 Judges and participants!
Thanks Bernardin for continued sponsorship! 
Sneak peak of Judges' ribbons in
Redpath Marmalade Competition Judging Room
Wondering what it’s like to be held captive for two solid hours
in a small room with
eight Marmalade Competition judges,
plus thirty jars of jelly, jam, and marmalade, and
nine pastries baked with marmalade? 

On Saturday February 20, 2016 that was case at the Mad For Marmalade Competition, which was renamed as the Redpath Marmalade Competition. The Marmalade Competition Judging Room was  buzzing with Marmalade Love. This event was a part of the 9th annual Mad For Marmalade, Crazy For Citrus! presented by Culinary Historians of Canada (CHC) in partnership with Fort York - National Historic Site and the Aga Khan Museum. The 2016 theme was Citrus in the Persian Kitchen! 

I have grown up with an appreciation for marmalade thanks to both parents working at different Canadian/Chinese diners  in Toronto in the early 1950s, as their respective diners served homemade marmalades with toast. That love for all things marmalade turned into leading hands-on Marmalades With Asian Twists workshops at the Mad For Marmalade, Crazy For Citrus! in 2008 and 2009. Over the years, I turned my marmalade love to appreciating the different flavours of Persian culture, and was excited upon joining the planning committee in June 2015 with CHC and Fort York to work on this event.

Volunteering as the 2016 Redpath Marmalade Competition Chair includes long hours of meetings, going behind the scene and more. But it can be totally fun and rewarding when the big event finally arrives! There's nothing like standing in the hallway with all eight judges, and hearing them chat. The energy! The excitement! You should see the loads of hugs and warm greetings when we spy the much beloved Elizabeth Baird, as she arrives early for her workshop. Then it's Naomi Duguid, our Keynote Speaker who arrives. 

Yvonne Tremblay & Christine Manning
Once we get the signal that it's time to go through the Main Lobby and head through the doorway into the Judging Room, all the judges stop chatting. It's serious business from here on. All the while, I feel like a “fly on the wall” while witnessing up-close eight amazing Canadian professionals in their own fields, go into the “Marmalade Zone” once it was time to march into the Marmalade Competition Judging Room from the little hallway adjoining the cloak room.  

The room went into a hush at first, then we started to hear murmurs as  each judge begins to concur with their judging partner about the colour of the jars, the texture, the headspace, and more. The energy shifted as they slip into using different sensory modes to judge their chosen category. I wish there was an App for the heady aromas of the various jams, jellies and marmalades as we all started hearing the distinctive pop of the perfectly processed jars open. Immediate olfactory responses of sighs and swooning were witnessed. What a rich experience to see the varying facial reactions as each jar popped open. Each of the below listed jury members were amazing. What a memorable experience of tutored tasting with all of the senses coming alive! Each judge took their time in writing down thoughtful and helpful tips for many entrants and even graciously shared some more tips during the Awards segment of the event. 
Kyla Eaglesham & MaryCatherine Anderson

Once each pair of judges were done with their category, we saw the top three jars (or cakes) in ranking ordering for the other jury members to judge. Once the jury panel concurred on the top three of each category, then first place winners of category were selected. 

Emily Richards & Daphna Rabinovitch
Moving the three top jars to the designated table by a window, allowed all the judges to marvel at the gem-like quality of the jars as sunshine shined though the window. We witnessed a brilliant way to test the top three finalists:  a spoonful of each jar on a small vintage plate. This permitted a much closer side-by-side scrutiny of the depth of colour, the texture, the finesse in cutting, etc. Of course, more tasting takes place plus a Marmalade Competition Judge group selfies after being pumped with so much sugar.  

Alison Fryer with plate of 1st Place winners
just before Judges' Choice is made

Bravo to each of these busy professionals willing to volunteer their precious time on a Saturday! A heartfelt thank goes to Daphna Rabinovitch for saving the day with the unforeseen last minute cancellation of another judge just the night before the big day. Fans of Canadian Living Cooks loved having her back during the Awards ceremony. Here’s the jury panel that helped judge the fabulous 39 entries. 

2016 Redpath Marmalade Competition Judges

Category 1: Pure Seville Orange Marmalade
* Christine Manning a returning judge and proud owner of Manning Canning. 
* Yvonne Tremblay, five-time Grand Champion Jam & Jelly Maker (The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair) and author of Prizewinning Preserves, 250 Home Preserving Favorites and Thyme in the Kitchen. 

Category 2: Citrus Marmalade
* Daphna Rabinovitch, Freelance Food Consultant, Food Writer/Editor/Recipe Developer.   
* Emily Richards is a highly experienced and well-regarded Professional Home Economist. Her newest cookbook, shares her family’s Italian culture.  

Category 3: Preserves with Citrus (formerly Citrus Preserves)
* Alison Fryer was a fixture at the helm of the seminal The Cookbook Store for over thirty years. Since the store’s closure in 2014, Alison has been teaching at culinary schools, on the lookout for the next wave of culinary talent. A longtime judge of major international cookbook awards. 
* Robert Henderson is the 2015 Grand Champion Jam & Jelly Maker and First Place winner in Heritage Jams (The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair). Owner of Henderson Farms, on Wolfe Island, he has been making and selling 50 different flavours for 30 years.He sells at the Kingston Farmers Market 3 days a week for over 25 years and do juried craft shows in Ontario, One of a Kind; Quebec, Salon des metiers d’art; and Vancouver, One of a Kind. 

Category 4: Baking with Marmalade
* Pastry Chef Kyla Eaglesham is owner of Madeleine (a Bespoke Pastry Production Kitchen in Toronto). 
* Mary Catherine Anderson is a culinary instructor and freelance chef in Toronto. She has been teaching preserving, as well as other courses at St. Lawrence Market, for Aphrodite Cooks, Nella Cucina, the LCBO and the TDSB. 

In 2015, the competition had 29 entrants and in 2016, we witness an increase to 39 entrants. Here’s a little Stats:

Pure Seville Orange Marmalade:    2015 (5 entries) 2016 (9 entries)
Citrus Marmalade:   2015 (10 entries) 2016 (14 entries) 
Preserves with Citrus:  2015 (8 entries) 2016 (7 entries) 
Baking with Marmalade:  2015  (6 entries)  2016 (9 entries)

Genevieve Shave: Judges' Choice and 1st Prize winner of Citrus Marmalade 
Image with Permission by Genevieve Shave 
Congratulations to  Genevieve Shave, who once again entered this year, and this time she wins the Judges’ Choice  and 1st Prize in the Citrus Marmalade category for her Scotch Marmalade! 

We all loved the food history she shared about her heirloom recipe from her great-grandmother, Florence Watson. With permission, here’s what Genevieve C. M. Shave shared with us at Redpath Marmalade Competition: 

Scotch Marmalade 
  • Florence Watson (referred to as “Great-Grandmother”)

Made from my Great-Grandmother’s recipe. As many from her generation, she found recipes and wrote them down in her own cook-book. She never mentioned where she found the inspiration for this recipe. She used to make and give this marmalade every year at Christmas for decades of her life. Since she passed away over a 10 years ago, my Grandmother found her recipe, attempted it a few times, and gave it to my Mother who carried the tradition for a few the years as well. Ever since I was old enough to safely make it in 2005, I have been keeping the annual tradition alive. 

My Great-Grandmother didn’t drink whiskey, so the only whiskey she had in her house was a single bottle that she would use for this recipe, so she didn’t experiment much with types of whiskey, and how it may strongly affect the marmalade outcome. I have experimented, and O have found a particular Blended Scotch Whiskey that seems to carry a subtle, but incredible flavour to the marmalade.   

Yvonne Tremblay & Christine Manning
Jars of Pure Seville Orange Marmalade

Redpath Marmalade Competition, February 20, 2016

I would like to congratulate everyone who entered as every single entry was a worthy one. 
The complete standings are listed below. Lest anyone felt downhearted about their results, we had one entrant who placed 1st in one category and then much lower in another category!  

Judges’ Choice
  • Genevieve Shave (Scotch Marmalade)

Pure Seville Orange Marmalade (9 entries) 
  • 1st Prize: Muriel Thompson (Pure Seville Orange Marmalade)  Recipe source: Mary Norwak Cookbook 
  • 2nd Prize: Roshi Ebrahim (My Dad’s Marmalade) Recipe source: Family 
  • 3rd Prize: Mary Mucio (Classic Seville Orange Marmalade) Recipe source: Canadian Living                            
  •  4. Susanne Tabur (Oxford Marmalade) recipe: Caroline Conran: British Cooking) 
  • 5. Sarah B Hood (Seville Orange Marmalade) recipe: original 
  • 6. Patrick Forbes (Pure Seville Orange) recipe: n/a  
  • 7. Stephen Ferguson (Ferguson’s Finest) recipe: Radio, experimentation 
  • 8. Julien Sleath (Pure Seville Marmalade) recipe: traditional  
  • 9. Mark Whitcombe  (Seville Orange Marmalade)  

Citrus Marmalade (14 entries) 
  • 1st Prize: Genevieve Shave (Scotch Marmalade) Great-grandma’s recipe 
  • 2nd Prize: Susanne Tabur (Clear Marmalade) Recipe source: New Dishes from the Daily Telegraph 1953   
  • 3rd Prize: Mary Mucio (Grapefruit & Lemon Marmalade)  Recipe source: Bridget Wranich, Fort York    
4. Veda Karlo (Lemon w/ Honey & Cardamom) recipe: personal & original  
Fathiya Rahim proudly wears
2nd Prize ribbon: Baking with Marmalade
Places 8th in Citrus Marmalade
(image with permission)
5. Sandra Boyes (Rustic 3-Citrus Brandy Marmalade) recipe: Bernardin  
6. Mary-Louise Graven (Meyer Lemon/Blood Orange Demerrara Sugar) 
7. Julien Sleath (4 Fruit Marmalade) recipe: popular methods-cookbook/internet 
8. Fathiya A Rahim (Lemon Saffron Marmalade) recipe: personal & books 
9. Pam Edmonds (Five Fruit Marmalade) 
10. Muriel Thompson (Costco Magazine Marmalade)
11. Moira Sanders (Sky Valley Heirloom Navel Orange & Ginger Marmalade  
12. Jean Sterritt (Meyer Lemon & Clementine Marmalade)  
13. Mark D’Aguilar (Seville Orange Marmalade w/ Quince Juice & Saffron) 
14. Mike Layton (Grapefruit Compari Marmalade) recipe:   

Congrats Donna Pitcher!
1st Prize: Bake with Marmalade (see below)
2nd Prize: Preserves with Citrus
Photo Credit: Donna Pitcher 
Preserves with Citrus {formerly Citrus Preserves} (7 entries)
  • 1st Prize: Pam Edmonds (Apricot Orange Cardamom Marmalade) Recipe source: adapted from blog by Margaret M. Tripp   
  • 2nd Prize:Donna Pitcher (Ruby-Red Grapefruit Cardamom & Orange Flower Jelly)  Recipe source: inspired by BH & G Blood Orange-Vanilla Bean Jelly 
  • 3rd Prize: Lisette Maillette (Orange and carrot jam) 
  • 4. Sarah B Hood (Lemon, Fig & Lavender Marmalade)  
  • 5. Veda Karlo (Blood Orange w/ Raspberry & Chambord)  recipe: personal  
  • 6. Grace Bellamy (Jaffa Mandarin, Lime Marmalade) recipe: internet 
  • 7. Mike Layton (Pomegranate Orange Marmalade)  

Congrats Donna Pitcher!
1st Prize - Baking with Marmalade
Spiced Orange Marmalade Cake with Orange 
Marmalade & Date Filling. 
Topped with Honey, 
Marmalade Cream Cheese Buttercream.
Image with permission granted.
Baking With Marmalade (10 entries) 
  • 1st Prize: Donna Pitcher (Spiced Orange Marmalade cake with Orange Marmalade & Date Filling. Topped with Honey, Marmalade Cream Cheese Buttercream)   Recipe source: personal; “A World of Cake” cookbook;  
  • 2nd Prize: Fathiya Rahim (Sourdough Marmalade Breakfast Rolls) Recipe source: personal, books & inspiration  
  • 3rd Prize: Mark D’Aguilar (Orange Marmalade, Quince & Saffron Cheesecake with Pistachio crust)  Recipe source: personal, original  
  • 4. Aaron Caplan (Orange Marmalade Cake) recipe: NYT Cooking Recipe Box  
  • 5. Moira Sanders (Orange Pistachio Baklava)  recipe: original   
  • 6. Sherry Murphy (Festive Fruit Wreath)  recipe: Canadian Living Christmas Book  
  • 7. Inese Grava-Gubins (Honey Meyer Lemon Cidonijas Platsmaize: sheet cake) 
  • 8. Melanie Garrison (Chocolate Marmalade Pie)  recipe: cookbook  
  • Judges Kyla Eaglesham & MCAnderson
    Fathiya Rahim's 2nd Prize winning
    Baking with Marmalade:
    Sourdough Marmalade Breakfast Rolls
  • 9. Diane C. Vachon (Orange Marmalade Cake) 
  • 10. Mark Whitcombe (Seville Marmalade Almond Date Squares) Recipe: Mark's blog 

I don’t know about you, but I am feeling inspired to make some more marmalade or even try baking with marmalade I have already made in the last few weeks. The Weather Network is predicting that another snow storm is headed for southern Ontario. Perhaps, another chance to test a jam, jelly or marmalade recipe and then share the Marmalade Love with loved ones? 

Mark the date! The 10th annual Mad For Marmalade, Crazy For Citrus! 

Saturday February 18th, 2017... See you there! 

#M4M2016 #MadForMarmalade #RedpathMarmaladeCompetition #MarmaladeLove
#CHCFoodHistory #Jelly #Jam #Marmalade #MarmaladeCompetition 
#ThrowbackThursday #PhotoFriday