Top Chef Canada: Episode 4 Recap

by byn on May 2, 2011

in Top Chef Canada

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Photo from Top Chef Canada's Facebook Page

Hi friends! Here we go for Episode 4! I promise to keep an open mind about Dale!
Off the top, we see you-know-who questioning why he was in the bottom last week (of course). Dustin is sad to see Steve go (me too!) and wants to get back to what he knows. Derek is a little frustrated because he’s in the middle of the pack, but he has the fighting spirit and he’s ready for the next challenge. 
Mark is absent for the Quickfire this week, but in his place: SUSUR! Susur’s ponytail is so bouncy and shiny and I’m kind of jealous. He shouts out Dustin because “Dusty Gallagher” used to work for him, but confirms that it’s going to be a fair fight. There are piles and piles of veg in the kitchen, and Susur starts talking about one of his signature dishes, Singapore Slaw, which I’ve totally had at Lee when I went there a couple of years ago. The cheftestants have 30 minutes to make their own signature salad.
Dustin wants to show Susur that his training has paid off. Jamie Darryl (thanks K) rips off his girlfriend’s recipe for grilled corn salad. Rob is nervous because his salad has no focal point. Todd is using some sketchy dried fish from Newfoundland. Chris lets us know that when he applied for a job at Lee, he was told he had too much experience. He’s the new Dale!
The worst salads were Francois’ which was too heavy, Todd’s with mismatched textures, and the worst of all Rob’s (!) because it was boring. The most impressive salads were Darryl’s which was simple with good seasoning, Andrea’s well thought out slaw with lots of ingredients that were balanced and combined well, and Dustin’s with a great presentation and a balanced acidity. Dustin is the winner and gets immunity! I’m surprised you-know-who does not call conspiracy. Moving on.
For the Elimination Challenge this week, chefs will work in partners to create a meal from various countries; one chef will make a hot dish, the other a cold dish, and the teams are:
Team Mexico – Dustin & Derek
Team Japan – Andrea & Rob
Team Jamaica – Patrick & Francois
Team Korea – Chris & Darryl
Team Ethiopia – Connie & Todd
Team Portugal – Dale & Jamie
Half the cheftestants go to Loblaws and their partners go to ethnic stores to buy ingredients. Connie’s little segment is the best; since she doesn’t know much about Ethiopian food, she finds someone who works in the store and asks lots of smart questions such what is used to balance out the spice in an Ethiopean meal. 
Back in the kitchen, Dale talks about giving Jamie some respect. Good for you, Dale! Maybe you’re not a total jerk after all.  Rob’s upset he lost the Quickfire, but he’s now motivated to do well. His partner, Andrea is stressed about cooking asian food for an asian chef. Oops, spoke too soon – Dale’s back talking about how he’s not going to do a traditional Portuguese dish. He came to do his food, in his style. Derek taught himself to cook, and out to prove it’s not about your formal training.
Our judges this week are our regulars, plus Susur. Let’s go:
Team Korea: Chris & Darryl. Darryl’s cold dish was a hamachi tuna ceviche, and Chris’ hot dish is a traditional Korean bibimbap with fish, chicken, pork and veg. Mark likes Darryl’s dish and says it has vivid flavour, and Susur likes the use of fish sauce. Chris’ dish was well presented, with good flavour, and Susur finds it comforting.
Team Jamaica: Francois & Patrick. Francois did the hot dish and has some type of lobster dish that I missed, while Patrick did a ginger beer marinated white fish with rice & peas. The judges thought Francois’ preparation was very European and he over complicated a simple dish. Patrick’s basic flavour was better, but Shereen is offended that neither dish had any heat!
Team Japan: Rob & Andrea. Rob had the cold dish and prepared hamachi sashimi, and Andrea’s hot dish was kobe beef with soba noodles in a miso broth. The judges are concerned that Rob’s sashimi wasn’t cold enough, and Thea says Andrea’s noodles taste like something out of a box. They were overcooked, mushy, and the flavour fell flat.
Team Mexico: Dustin & Derek. Dustin’s cold dish is a mango roll with jicama, as well as an avocado lime mousse. Derek’s hot dish is beer braised ribs with chocolate barbecue sauce. Susur says ribs should be succulent, while Derek’s taste like bad backyard barbecue. Dustin’s mousse is unnecessary.
Team Portugal: Dale & Jamie. Jamie made a cold dish with poached squid and prawns, while Dale’s hot dish was hake with salt cod mousse. Susur loves Dale’s dish, and says it’s elegant and nicely cooked. Mark calls it Dale’s best dish so far. Jamie’s dish is not well thought out, and seems to be echoing Dale’s flavours too heavily.
Team Ethiopia: Connie & Todd. Todd prepared a few little cold salads, one with lentils and one with cucumber, as well as the homemade bread. Connie’s dish is a traditional curry with lamb and beef. You can definitely tell their meal is the most cohesive; it’s served on one plate and all the elements are made to compliment each other. Mark says Connie’s stew is delicious, moist, tasty and tender. Todd’s bread works well, and the salads are amazing. They mixed modern with tradition and you can tell they communicated well. Also, Shereen loves to eat with her hands.
Cheftestants are in their supply closet, and Thea comes in to call Team Portugal (Jamie & Dale) and Team Ethiopia (Connie & Todd). They are the best! Susur could see the intensity of Connie & Todd trying to capture the culture of their country. Dale’s dish was complicated, but perfectly executed, and Shereen thought it was beautiful and basically wanted to lick the plate. Mark felt Jamie’s overall performance was exceptional, however it was a bit disjointed in taste.
The winning team: Connie & Todd!
Back in the closet, they call Team Mexico (Dustin & Derek) and Team Japan (Rob & Andrea). They are the worst. Dustin’s mango roll was alright, but everyone hated the avocado mousse. Susur said he took away the beauty of nature by messing with the avocado too much. Susur also didn’t even want to pick up Derek’s ribs, and they were quite bland. Mark said he completely missed the boat as the ribs were dry and the sauce was just gooped on. The judges reinforce Rob’s temperature issues, and ask if he considered serving it on ice (nope). Mark says Andrea could not execute basic elements in her dish, referring to her mushy soba noodles. Overall, the judges are shocked by Rob & Andrea’s lack of execution, and question why Derek would braise something when he knew he wouldn’t have enough time.
Going home: Derek
Next time: Butchery! (Connie will be all over this, remember she can de-bone a pig’s head in 4 minutes)
So what did you think of this episode? I tried to be nice to Dale, but they kept showing all his snarky comments! I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and blame this on editing. Were you surprised to see Andrea and Rob free-fall to the bottom after being in the top last week?  My early predictions for final five are: Connie, Dale, Andrea, Rob & Dustin. What are yours? And what kind of shampoo does Susur use?
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle May 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm

I finally got around to watching episode 4. I’m glad you’re trying to accept Dale! He’s still one of my favorites! I can’t wait to see Connie rip apart the pig! And I checked out the menu at Charcut, it looks delicious!! Can’t wait to go this summer!


Leianne @ yummy belly May 4, 2011 at 12:37 am

Agree with Ate on the lack of jerk and plantains! And have been wondering about Susur’s shampoo for awhile… it’s so Pantene Pro-V!


Kristine May 3, 2011 at 10:15 am

I don’t think it’s fair that Jamie got to be on top yesterday when he was just riding Dale’s coat tails… and while i’m complaining… hello! Jamaica, and no jerk chicken or plantains? wtf?
My faves to win are still the same… although i’m starting to think Francois is not as great as I thought he was. Also, I might have spoken too soon when I picked Andrea over Connie. (Especially when next weeks episode is all about butchering a pig!)

p.s. I’m also jealous of Susur’s shiny hair.


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