Top Chef Canada Season 2: Episode 5 Recap

by byn on April 10, 2012

in Top Chef Canada

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Photo from Food Network Website

Lisa Ray was a hot topic around our Easter dinner table this weekend.  My family has some strong opinions about her non-Padma-ness, but the consensus was that she’s just trying way too hard. I mean, some of it isn’t her problem though. Someone’s writing these horrible puns she has to say at the end of the Quickfires (i.e. WHOSE dish is being sent back to the minors? / WHOSE dish is your MVP?).

In the TCC kitchen, Lisa introduces a guest judge who is some Leaf I could care less about. The Quickfire is a sponsored challenge where the cheftestants have to use Tostitos to create a game snack worthy of a Top Chef. The only suspense from this challenge comes from wondering if Lisa’s boobs are going to explode out of her dress. The winner ends up being Xavier because he caramelized some Tostitos or something. He gets immunity.

The elimination challenge for this week is to create a canape based on a past decade, and serve it at a cocktail party for 100 guests. (Fact: One of the story editors for the show has a food blog and I follow her on Twitter. You better believe I tried to get invited to one of these parties when they were filming the season. Unfortch I was too late, and she said not even she got to attend. Outrageous!). 

There’s a bit of drama in the prep kitchen, as Elizabeth seems to be adding herself to everyone’s shit list, after she pissed off Trista last week, pissed off Trevor in the Quickfire when she dumped her food in his deep fryer, pissed off Jimmy because she wouldn’t share her oven with him, and finally pissed off Gabriell  when they were trying to set up their dishes at the venue. Of course, all the guys call her a bitch. Would they get as testy if it was a guy doing all this?

The judges arrive, and the guest judge is “pop culture icon” Alan Thicke. Really? I wouldn’t go that far. Quick! Name one thing he’s done since playing Dr. Seaver on Growing Pains! Exactly. I would argue his greatest contribution to pop culture is actually his son. Shout outs to Kristine; she loves some Robin Thicke! We saw him open for Beyonce in ’07; he was a hot, sweaty mess, but awesome. Jason Ross is also there, he’s the Executive Chef for a restaurant in the Distillery District that I missed. Here we go.


Liz – eggplant caponata + escargot on puff pastry – it’s perfect food for a cocktail party

Gabriell – salmon rilette tea sandwich + compressed fruits with cardamon jelly – it’s a little clunky


Xavier – chicken liver mousse profiterole – it’s perfect, the filling is dynamic


Curtis – ginger spiced shortbread with lemon curd and ginger ale meringue – judges love it


Carl – beef and foie gras slider – it’s delicious

Joel – glazed ham with pineapple and marachino cherry – it’s messy, too pedestrian for Top Chef (Chef Rosso says even his family members could make it. Oh snap! Jason you are  now banned from Christmas dinner.)


Jonathan – psychadelic beef wellington with wild mushrooms – judges like it

Jimmy – phyllo almond cookie with fancy spray cheese – it’s a DISASTER!


Ryan – salmon melt sandwich – he should have used tuna

Trista – beet juice meringue with lemon curd and fruit – they like it.


David – veal blanquette with grapes and carrot butter – it’s pretty and bland

Trevor – salmon terrine with truffle potato, spinach and creme fraiche – it’s about as tasty as it could be

Lisa calls in Xavier, Carl, Curtis, Trista – they are the best. Xavier’s dish is elegant with lots of flavour. Carl’s slider was perfect. Curtis’ lemon meringue tart was just adorable – they loved it. Trista’s meringue was cute and kitschy, but still showed lots of skill.

The winner: Carl!

He calls in Gabriell, Ryan, Joel and Jimmy.

Gabriell’s fruit cup was confusing and his tea sandwich was underwhelming. He blames it on forgetting his bread, and Mark tells him he needs to be organized. Ryan should have stuck to tuna for his melt, not switched it up to salmon. Joel’s dish was very weak, and Shereen says this isn’t going to win Top Chef Canada. Jimmy took a risk, but Shereen says you should take chances with food, not equipment (she has something insightful to say for once!).

Going home: Joel 

Next week: Restaurant Wars. Already? Guest judge: SUSUR and the shiniest, bounciest ponytail of the culinary world.

Seriously, I am losing interest in this show. The cheftestants are so boring, and I can’t believe it, but it’s made me appreciate Dale so much from last season. There hasn’t really been anyone in the top consistently, so this prediction for Final 5 is based on pure speculation: David, Trista, Jonathan, Xavier, Elizabeth. We’ll see how this shakes out. Post your Final 5 predictions below!

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