Top Chef Canada Season 2: Episode 9 Recap

by byn on May 7, 2012

in Top Chef Canada

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Photo from Food Network Website

I watched last week’s episode wrapped in a blanket on the couch and didn’t take notes, but this week I’m sitting upright, laptop in place, let’s go! Also, my friend Katie was in Ottawa last week and was raving about Jonathan’s restaurant Side Door…I totally think he’s going to win.

First of all we have a small glimpse into the chefs at the condo, and it must be said, Trista has those freaky Angelina Jolie arms. As I ripped off someone from Twitter after the Oscars, “when your elbows are wider than your biceps it’s time for a sandwich”. Jonathan and Trevor are doing some yoga on the balcony, while Xavier blows smoke over them, kind of defeating the purpose.

There’s only seven chefs left, and the Quickfire this week is a vending machine challenge. Chefs have to use products from the vending machine to create a sweet and savoury snack. There’s regular vending machine fare like pretzels, nuts, hickory sticks, and ketchup chips, but also wasabi peas, nori, and indian snack mix.

The guest judge is evidently a comedian, but since I don’t know who he is, and nothing he says is funny, we’ll just skip him. After an annoying comment from Carl, who states that he just doesn’t have the palate for processed food (okay, princess) Trevor wins the Quickfire for his pork-rind crusted chicken wings with pretzel mayo for dipping! He gets an advantage in the Elimination Challenge.

This week, the chefs are heading into the great outdoors, and everyone’s going camping. Jonathan loves it, Ryan’s not so sure. Chefs each choose a backpack and will get a secret ingredient to cook with and create a dish for a “wild brunch” featuring their secret ingredient. Guest judge for this challenge is Roger Mooking, and as I said last year, I have no use for a chef that sings his own theme song.

Trevor’s advantage is a pimped out tent with a bed, carpet, light and booze. Everyone else has to build their own tents, in the rain mind you, and this is essentially my idea of a nightmare.

After a rough night, everyone gets to the outdoor kitchen and reveals their secret “wild” ingredient:

David – quail

Ryan – rabbit

Trevor – pheasant

Xavier – partridge

Trista – squab

Jonathan – guinea hens

Carl – duck

Quote of the night comes from Ryan on Jonathan: “He’s McGuyvering the shit out of this place”.

Chefs get ready, and this is how it goes down:

Jonathan – guinea hen rotisserie with wild rice pancake and roasted tomato jam

Judges say: meat is very tender, ingenious way to cook the bird

Trevor – ragout of pheasant leg, corn and mushrooms and tomato jam

Judges say: surprised he didn’t incorporate the breast meat, everyone likes the smokiness and the tomato jam on the side

Carl – duck two ways with romano beans, sauteed kate and poached egg

Judges say: smells great, delicious

Ryan – rabbit duo with wild mushroom ragout, fingerling potatoes

Judges say: very rich, little bit too salty, huge portion

Xavier – roast partridge breast and foie gras

Judges say: lunch or dinner item, not really brunch, but well orchestrated, could use some more greens or freshness

Trista – smorgasbord squab with pain perdu, dandelion greens

Judges say: beautiful plate, breast is cooked well, dandelion cut the richness, Mark loves it

David – trumpet mushroom stuffed quail

Judges say: quail isn’t cooked enough, Roger’s is raw

Back in the TCC Kitchen, Lisa calls in Jonathan, Carl, Trevor and Trista. They are the best! Trevor: Mark cleaned his plate, Roger dived into the tomato jam. Trista: Mark thought it was her best plate yet, Roger though her dish was unified. Carl: Mark thought his bean ragout was full of flavour, Shereen loved the presentation. Jonathan: Mark’s guinea hen did not disappoint, Roger loved the passion.

The winner: Trista! She’s so excited! She won a Weber barbecue.

David, Ryan and Xavier head in to see the judges. Ryan: Mark said his plate was harsh in flavour and was too heavy. David: Mark’s quail was raw and that’s a big problem, Roger loved the vision and theatrics, but he failed on the protein. Xavier: Roger was eating a dinner main, not a brunch, Mark says he needs to balance his dishes, they can’t be heavy from beginning to end.

Going home: Ryan

Next time: F*** yeah, Dale’s BACK! (and Marcus Samuelsson as well!)

Were you guys surprised that Ryan was eliminated? I thought David was a goner for sure…I mean, how can you serve the judges raw quail? How many of those wild proteins have you eaten? 0/7 for me! Do you like your squab with a side of claw?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle May 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I am surprisingly 1/7 on the wild protein challenge. I can’t wait for Dale to be back!! I’m with Joel, they are keeping David around because he brings the crazy to the show. My money is on Jonathan for the win.

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Joel May 9, 2012 at 6:23 am

This is the kind of elimination that the producers trump the judges. David is more entertaining to watch than Ryan, so for the good of the show Ryan has to go home. Not that it’s going to help much.

The comedian was Spenny from Kenny vs. Spenny fame. I can’t explain the show to you, but if you want I can give you the first 2 seasons on DVD to watch (probably the only DVDs I’ve bought in the past 5 years that aren’t Mighty Machines or dog movies).

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