The kitchen is set and it’s time to drape the Maple Leaf in the bleachers directly in front of Ryan’s kitchen and lay posters on the seats to reserve for his fans.
Photographers scurry about as teams do a final clean-upof any debris in their kitchens, event staff set the tables for the jury and do sound checks. Chef Regis Marcon the ‘colour analyst’ on the broadcast visits to get some informationabout Ryan’s dishes, temperatures, cooking method, etcand some details on the regional product being used, specifically the British Columbia birch syrup.
Amid the frenzy of activity a moment is taken to reflect on the past two years and what it took to get into this room and the people that helped make it happen; the dozens of chefs and volunteers who donated their time at fundraising events, the sponsors, the designers.
Things are happening quickly now, the inspection committee arriveto make sure no illegal items were brought in. A problem - Ryan has a cooked ham hock. Is it edible? Do you have to cook it more before you eat it? Discussion switched between French and English for several minutes, at last a decision was made and the hock was allowed. Another group of chefs come in to measure the platter. Now time to pick up the monkfish, scampi, crab, and lamb and take back to the kitchen. There was nothing to do now….but wait. To the left, air horns blast and fans cheer. Sweden,the first team of the day has started. Right next to us the chants and drumming erupt,they’re loud, really loud. There’s a lot of them. Denmarkstarts. Ten minutes to go. Stay tuned for the conclusion of Ryan's journey, coming soon.