Top Chef Canada Season 2: Episode 11 Recap

by byn on May 22, 2012

in Top Chef Canada

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Photo from Food Network Website

Back-back-back up, reverse-reverse
Cause I – I liked you the way you were

Keisha Chante in the house! Drake’s ex-girlfriend is here because she loves mac and cheese and today’s Quickfire Challenge is cooking with Kraft Dinner. Seriously. I’ll never understand why they save these sponsored challenges for the end of the show. Why are you going to give the five best chefs of the season KD?
Anyway, cheftestants must use the two signature ingredients of KD (cheese powder and macaroni) to make two signature dishes; one dish a refined version of KD, the other an everyday take on this “Canadian classic”. I don’t get much more white you guys, but Kraft Dinner is not something we ever ate in our house growing up. I was shocked, SHOCKED, I say, at the amount of KD consumed by various roommates in university.
Oh snap, is this really a high stakes Quickfire on Kraft Dinner? Nope, psych, it’s high stakes because the winner gets $10,000. Seriously, for macaroni and cheese.
So David ends up winning for a grilled cheese stuffed with KD for his everyday dish, and then bacon-wrapped KD with a seared scallop for his refined dish. These sponsored challenges are the worst. 
Moving on, the Elimination Challenge this week is to create a six course traditional Italian feast, to be judged by Lidia Bastianich. Chefs draw knives to determine what they’ll make.
David – pesce – fish
Xavier – primi – pasta
Carl – secondi – meat
Trevor – dolce – dessert
Jonathan – zuppa – soup
+ as as a team, they’ll create the antipasti course
Dinner’s at Mark’s restaurant Fabrica in the Shoppes at Don Mills, and besides the regulars and Lidia, for some unknown reason RICK THE TEMP is also there. Dude, to a specific segment of thirty-somethings who grew up in Canada, you’ll never be anything other than RICK THE TEMP. Everyone likes the antipasti, and then the courses start to flow:
Jonathan: Zuppa (Soup) – deconstructed stracciatella with poached egg and parmesan in charred tomato chicken broth
Judges say: raw egg adds a richness, they like the acidity of the lemon, Lidia says it’s elegant, full of flavour, great dish
Xavier: Primi (Pasta) – braised veal breast with pappardelle, aged pecorino and sauteed radicchio
Judges say: little too al dente, veal is too salty, masking the other flavours
David: Pesce (Fish) – oven-roasted eurpean sea bass and sea bream with fennel and radish (he roasted the fish whole in the wood burning oven)
Judges say: Lidia likes how he used the wood burning oven, Mark loves the fennel and radish, Lidia loves the contrasting textures
Carl: Secondi (Meat) – roasted leg of lamb stuffed with garlic and herbs + fennel and chili stuffed pork sausage, caramelized onions and arugula salad
Judges say: Mark hates the texture and flavour of the sausage
Trevor: lemon granita with campari, family style tiramisu
Judges say: granita is excellent, tiramisu doesn’t wow you, underwhelmed with the presentation, safe choice.
(Note: Trevor! At least mix it up by making a Tiramisu Cupcake!) 
Back in the supply clost, Lisa calls in David & Jonathan. They are the best! Mark thought David’s fish had beautiful flavour and presentation. Lidia said he captured the essence of Italian cuisine. Jonathan took a crazy risk, but Lidia thought it was a great combination of flavours, traditional dish with an innovative twist.
The winner is: Jonathan! Yay! He wins a trip to NYC! David’s dish gets a slot on the menu at my favourite restaurant Milestones, plus more cash.
Trevor, Xavier and Carl face the judges. They are obviously the worst. Carl’s sausage was overprocessed and Italians don’t use leg of lamb. Xavier’s pasta was one-dimenstional, and was too salty, and pasta was undercooked. Trevor’s choice was mundane, and the judges expected more, Lidia said he should have responded to the seasons. Something with fruit, Trev!
Going home: Xavier
Next time: Francois! Rob!! DUSTY!!! CONNIE!!!!!! Season 1 cheftestants are back as sous chefs as the Final Four battle for the finals!
Poor Trevor forced to make dessert again, womp womp. I was hoping he’d make cannoli or something, but for some reason the judges kept him for sub-par tiramisu over Xavier’s salty pasta. I feel like Trev’s going next week, to set up the final three of Jonathan, David and Carl. Super excited to see Dustin & Connie back next week!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Danielle May 27, 2012 at 11:00 pm

My first thought when they were introducing the judges was the same as yours. Really? Rick the Temp? I know he’s Italian but does that qualify him to judge? Can’t wait for next week, I hope Connie makes some preserves, we know how proud she is of them!!


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