Chefs prepare their dishes at last year’s Colour Your Palate fundraiser. artsREACH program photo

Chefs prepare their dishes at last year’s Colour Your Palate fundraiser. artsREACH program photo

Culinary competition raises funds for Victoria arts program

Colour Your Palate kicks off next week

Years ago, Marilyn Sing came up with a unique idea to beat the February blues.

She decided to host a party for friends and family, where everything was blue. The food Sing served was blue including taco chips, blueberries, jello and blue cheese and squash pizza. Many of her guests got into the spirit and created dishes with blue cheese as well.

The event became so popular amongst her friends that Sing continued the February blues party for the next eight years. That tradition eventually gave way to Colour Your Palate, a fundraiser for the artsREACH program.

As part of the 10th annual event, local chefs are pitted against each other to create a colour-inspired canapé, using a number of colours, including yellow, orange, green, purple and red. During the event, professional judges blind-taste and vote for winners in three categories: best tasting savoury creation, best tasting sweet creation and most colourful creation. Guests will be able to visit each chef’s station, sample each canapé and vote for their favourite.

“The great thing is you can actually meet the chef. Typically when you go to a restaurant, you never get to meet the chef, you don’t know who is behind the food. This presents a unique opportunity to do that,” said Sing, who founded the artsREACH society. “People are really engaged in the process, trying to figure out whether their taste buds are comparable to what the judges’ are as well … it’s a way for people to test their palates.”

In the past, the event was held at the University Club of Victoria, however,

This year, organizers have expanded to include 19 wineries from the Naramata Bench Wineries Association, which will be available for tasting as well.

Sing hope to raise $25,000, funds to go towards artsREACH programming.

Colour Your Palate takes place Tuesday, April 11 at the Victoria Conference Centre. Tickets can be purchased at