Top Chef Canada

Last night on Top Chef Canada season 2, episode 9:

The remaining seven chefs do a little shopping in this Quickfire Challenge. Guest judge Spencer Rice (Kenny vs. Spenny) challenges the chefs to create a snack using products stacked in a special Top Chef Canada vending machine.

With a budget of $10, the chefs must re-invent their chosen ingredients into a new, unique dish. David and Carl come up short with their vending machine creations, while Trevor and Trista are successful at turning their unusual ingredients into tasty plates. It’s Trevor who has the best dish with his pork rind-coated chicken wings with pretzel mayonnaise.

The chefs get out of the kitchen and into the great outdoors in an Elimination Challenge where they must create a dish for a wild brunch featuring a secret ingredient. But first, the chefs must be at one with nature when they spend the night camping outdoors at the site of the challenge. As winner of the Quickfire Challenge, Trevor earns a luxury accommodation for the night with a pre-built tent, comfortable bed, and a few more perks to ensure a restful night’s sleep – and an edge over his competitors.

Chef and Food Network host Roger Mooking joins as guest judge for the challenge, and the chefs now have a new contender to worry about in this outdoor challenge – Mother Nature. Carl, Trevor, Trista and Jonathan prove they can cut it in the great outdoors with their wild brunch dishes, and it’s Trista who wins top dish with her ‘smorgasbord squab’ with pain perdu, dandelion, corn, potatoes and berry jus. Ryan, David and Xavier don’t measure up, and Ryan is sent packing for his rabbit duo with wild mushroom ragout, fingerling potatoes, morels and braised leeks.

If you missed last night’s drama, check back at www.foodnetwork.ca/topchefcanada/video/index.html later today to watch the full episode.

Last night on Top Chef Canada season 2, episode 8:

The competition gets fierce in a four-round Quickfire Challenge where immunity is no longer on the table. Head Judge Mark McEwan puts the chefs’ skills to the test in a challenge of speed and accuracy where they must display their finest dicing, butchering and peeling techniques.

Xavier and Carl are the last competitors standing in the final round, where they must prepare a dish using all the ingredients they just prepped. Carl comes out on top with his grilled lamb with shallot puree, sautéed spinach, lamb jus and black truffles.

In the Elimination Challenge, the chefs must cater a buffet lunch to the hungry cast and crew of the hit Showcase TV series Lost Girl during lunch hour on set. Renowned chef Michael Blackie from the National Arts Centre in Ottawa joins as guest judge for the challenge.

Carl, Jonathan, David and Trevor surpass the standards of the hungry group, and it’s Jonathan who hits the mark with his pulled pork or tofu lettuce wrap with chorizo, pickled carrots and fennel. Jimmy, Trista, Ryan and Xavier fail to deliver with their dishes, and in the end it’s Jimmy who is sent home for his leafy green salad with cucumbers, tomato and shaved fennel and his green minestrone with porcini, lemon juice and truffle oil.

If you missed last night’s drama, check back at www.foodnetwork.ca/topchefcanada/video/index.html later today to watch the full episode.

Last night on “Top Chef Canada” season 2, episode 7:

Confusion abounds when mystery ingredients are the star of the Quickfire Challenge and the chefs must showcase their creativity.

Chef Richard Blais, winner of Top Chef All Stars, joins Lisa in the GE Monogram Kitchen where the chefs are asked to create a gourmet dish using at least three canned goods. But this wouldn’t be a Top Chef-worthy challenge without a twist – the ingredients in each can remain a mystery until after they have been opened.

David, Jonathan and Carl can’t make the most of their mystery ingredients and end up at the bottom. Ryan, Curtis and Trevor have the three best dishes, and it’s Ryan who wins immunity for the Elimination Challenge with his grilled mackerel with romesco sauce.

In the Elimination Challenge, Chef Blais sticks around to issue a challenge where it’s okay to play with your food.

The chefs head to TOCA Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Toronto where they must take a series of traditional mains and deconstruct them into a brand new dish.

David, Trevor and Xavier have the most success in capturing the essence of their original dishes, and it’s Xavier who wins the challenge with his Quiche Lorraine, made using shortbread and bacon cylinders with scrambled egg mousse and caramelized onions.

Curtis, Jimmy and Jonathan produce dishes that are destructions rather than deconstructions, and it’s Curtis who is sent home for his deconstructed tuna casserole, made with tuna cannelloni and hot tuna salad with milk crouton.

Last night on “Top Chef Canada” season 2, episode 6:

It’s do or die in this High Stakes Quickfire Challenge that promises to send the chef with the worst dish home. The chefs are asked to prepare a soup and sandwich combination that really showcases their talents.

The chefs with the best bread and broth are Jonathan, Ryan and Carl and it’s Jonathan’s Chinese-style BBQ chicken consommé and Vietnamese sub that comes out on top. While Carl doesn’t win the challenge, he does win a $3,000 cash prize courtesy of Milestones Grill and Bar.

For an even sweeter prize, his tomato gazpacho and bacon, cucumber and tomato sandwich will be featured at Milestones as part of a special Top Chef Canada menu. Gabriell, Curtis and Trista fail to offer the perfect comfort food combination, and Gabriell is sent home for his butter-toasted bread with rosemary soup and prosciutto with truffle sandwich.

In the Elimination Challenge, Chef Susur Lee joins as guest judge for a classic Top Chef tradition – Restaurant Wars! The chefs are split into two teams that go head-to-head in a battle of the best restaurant.

As winner of the Quickfire Challenge, Jonathan is chosen as captain of one team and picks Elizabeth to lead the opposing team. Jonathan is joined by Carl, Curtis, Trevor and David at Team Fable, while Team True North is made up of captain Elizabeth, Ryan, Jimmy, Xavier and Trista. Tensions are high throughout the challenge, but it’s Team Fable that wins the battle with their rustic and refined menu.

Carl has the best meal of the night with his roasted beef striploin with brown butter hollandaise, baby vegetables and beef jus. Team True North fails to impress the judges with both their food and their service.

In the end, it’s team captain Elizabeth who is sent home, not for her braised octopus with lemon-herb yogurt and pickled baby carrots or her roasted pork loin and crispy pig ear salad with maple-roasted apples, but for her lack of leadership as team captain.

If you missed last night’s drama, check back at www.foodnetwork.ca/topchefcanada/video/index.html later today to watch the full episode.

The game is on when Colby Armstrong of the Toronto Maple Leafs appears in the Top Chef Canada kitchen.

In this Quickfire Challenge, the chefs are asked to create a game-worthy snack using Tostitos. The bottom chefs – Jimmy, Joel and Jonathan – are benched for their unsuccessful attempts.

Elizabeth, Gabriell and Xavier are the star players of the game, but it’s Xavier who earns MVP honours for his Tostitos-crusted chicken fingers and green tomato salsa with candied Tostitos, winning immunity in the Elimination Challenge.

The chefs travel through history in the Elimination Challenge when they are asked to create dishes for a decades-themed cocktail party.

The chefs each create one canapé to represent a decade in the past for 100 guests at the Distillery Historic District in Toronto.

Canadian icon and pop culture mainstay Alan Thicke joins as guest judge for this challenge of the ages.

The top four chefs, Xavier, Carl, Curtis and Trista, succeed at taking the judges’ tastebuds on a memorable journey through time.

But it’s Carl who takes home top honours for his 1950’s inspired beef and foie gras slider with pickle and aged cheddar.

The bottom four chefs, Gabriell, Ryan, Joel and Jimmy, fail to make history with their less than appetizing dishes.

It’s Joel who must leave the past behind and is sent home for his 1950s inspired cider-glazed ham with grilled pineapple, maraschino cherries and veal jus.

If you missed last night’s drama, check back at www.foodnetwork.ca/topchefcanada/video/index.html later today to watch the full episode.

Last night on “Top Chef Canada” season 2, episode 3:

Guest judge and last season’s “Top Chef Canada” host Thea Andrews – who is expecting – issues the 14 remaining chefs a special Quickfire Challenge based on bizarre pregnancy cravings.

Chefs create a refined dish using two unusual food pairings. The bottom chefs – Xavier, Sarah and Elizabeth – fail to please Thea’s pregnant palate. The top four chefs – Sergio, Ryan, Jimmy and Trevor – turn their bizarre pairings into amazing flavours.

Jimmy, who was issued an oatmeal and wasabi paste combination, receives immunity for the Elimination Challenge for his wasabi-powdered chicken wings and oatmeal with apple, cinnamon and wasabi peas.

For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs pair up to create a baby shower hors d’oeuvre inspired by “boy” or “girl” for mommies-to-be Thea Andrews, who is having a boy, resident judge Shereen Arazm, who is having a girl, and 50 of their guests at George restaurant in Toronto.

The top four chefs in this challenge, Curtis, Trevor, Jonathan and Carl create bundles of bite-sized joy.  But it is Curtis Luk who is crowned winner for his gutsy attempt to make a perfect pink peppercorn macaroon – a move that really pays off with the judges.

The bottom four chefs, Joel, David, Xavier and Sarah miss the maternal mark with their unpalatable creations. In the end, Sarah Tsai is sent home for her sweet arancini with spicy prosciutto chocolate sauce.

If you missed last night’s episode, check back at www.foodnetwork.ca/topchefcanada/video/index.html later today to watch the full episode.

The 15 remaining chefs get handy with a whole new set of kitchen tools when special guest judge and HGTV star Mike Holmes issues a Quickfire Challenge where the chefs create a refined dish using construction tools.

Ryan, Elizabeth and Trevor – the bottom three chefs – fail to appease Mike’s meat-loving tastebuds. The top chefs in this challenge include Carl, Trista and Gabriell. But it is Gabriell Cruz who really nails it to win immunity in the Elimination Challenge with his grilled chorizo with spiced onion veloute and mussels.

In the Elimination Challenge, the chefs take what they learned from the Quickfire to a working construction site where they must cook for 100 hungry construction workers. These workers are volunteers building a home for Habitat for Humanity.

The chefs must work as a team and hammer out a BBQ lunch. The Green Team – Elizabeth, David, Jonathan, Carl and Gabriell – come out on top and Elizabeth Rivasplata is crowned winner for her chipotle BBQ grilled chicken with apple slaw and honey lavender lemonade.

Team Yellow – Joel, Kunal, Xavier, Ryan and Trevor – disappoints the judges with a lunch that lacks focus. In the end, Kunal Ghose is sent home for his bland pork tacos.

If you missed last night’s episode, check back at www.foodnetwork.ca/topchefcanada/video/index.html later today to watch the full episode.

Shaw Media is proud to announce that it has entered into an exclusive partnership with GetGlue, a leading social networking platform for entertainment in North America. By providing users with the ability to “check-in” to their favourite television shows, the partnership offers Canadians a first-ever opportunity to connect with some of Shaw Media’s most popular domestic programming, starting with the season premiere of Top Chef Canada on Monday March 12th at 10pm et/pt

“Media is inherently conversational, and recent research has shown that online conversation plays a significant role in driving television viewership*,” said Chris Harris, Head of Online Content at Shaw Media. “We are proud to be partnering with a leader in online social entertainment. Working with GetGlue will help us to increase our social media footprint and the online reach of our Canadian programming, ultimately fueling conversation and providing additional value for our loyal audiences.”

Through its website and mobile application, GetGlue offers users the opportunity to share details about the entertainment they consume, and discuss their tastes with friends and other fans. The more users check-in, the more GetGlue can recommend additional entertainment options they might be interested in. With each check-in, users will be able to unlock and display exclusive sticker rewards for tuning in to selected Shaw Media shows. This spring and summer, viewers can use GetGlue to connect with popular Shaw Media series including, Top Chef Canada; Real Housewives of Vancouver; Continuum; Lost Girl; and Canada Sings.

“Shaw Media broadcasts some of the most talked-about domestic television programming in the country, and we are thrilled to be partnering with them on GetGlue’s first true expansion into the Canadian marketplace,” said GetGlue Chief Operating Officer, Fraser Kelton. “GetGlue has experienced fantastic growth in the United States, and this partnership will allow us to build a solid foundation for similar adoption in Canada.”

*Source: MediaPost.com “Social Media Drives TV Watching” 02/27/2012

Together with Insight Production Company Ltd., Food Network Canada is bringing its top rated series back for a second season with bigger, more intense challenges and surprise twists that take 16 new chefs out of their comfort zones and into the country’s fiercest food fight.  

The new season of Top Chef Canada will premiere March 12, 2012 at 10pm ET/PT exclusively on Food Network Canada.

Top Chef Canada will challenge 16 competitors’ culinary skills to see who can cut it as Canada’s Top Chef, taking home the grand prize of $100,000 sponsored by SpongeTowels® paper towels and a GE Monogram kitchen worth $30,000.

Hosted by celebrated actress and self-confessed foodie Lisa Ray, the competition is judged by Head Judge, Chef and restaurateur, Mark McEwan, as well as Resident Judge and LA restaurateur, Shereen Arazm.  Season two of Top Chef Canada ups the stakes in this competition, delivering addictive drama that will inspire viewers to cheer on their favourite competitors each week.

The 16 chosen competitors hail from far and wide across Canada with unique culinary backgrounds and expertise. Click on each competitor’s name below to learn more about each chef.

·         Joel Aubie, 27, Tofino, BC (Originally Bathurst, NB)

·         Trevor Bird, 28, Vancouver, BC (Originally Montreal, QC)

·         David Chrystian, 37, Toronto, ON (Originally Toronto, ON)

·         Gabriell Cruz, 25, Dundas, ON (Originally Hamilton, ON)

·         Ryan Gallagher, 33, Toronto, ON (Originally Toronto, ON)

·         Kunal Ghose, 39, Victoria, BC (Originally Victoria, BC)

·         Carl Heinrich, 26, Toronto, ON (Originally Sooke, BC)

·         Jonathan Korecki, 27, Ottawa, ON (Originally Caledon, ON)

·         Xavier Lacaze, 30, Calgary, AB (Originally Auch, France)

·         Curtis Luk, 28, Ottawa, ON (Originally Markham, ON)

·         Sergio Mattoscio, 30, Montreal, QC (Originally Montreal, QC)

·         Elizabeth Rivasplata, 31, Toronto, ON (Originally Lima, Peru)

·         Trista Sheen, 29, Toronto, ON (Originally Toronto, ON)

·         Jimmy Stewart, 23, Whistler, BC (Originally North Vancouver, BC)

·         William Thompson, 30, Caledonia, ON (Originally Caledonia, ON)

·         Sarah Tsai, 30, Toronto, ON (Originally Taipei, Taiwan)

 

A taste of some of the esteemed guest judges this season includes: Chef Marcus Samuelson (Top Chef Masters winner), Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes, Canada’s Handyman Challenge); Toronto Maple Leaf forward Colby Armstrong; actor Alan Thicke; Spencer “Spenny” Rice (Kenny vs. Spenny); and country music star Johnny Reid.

“When a series comes out of the gate an instant hit and top performer, as Top Chef Canada has done, the heat is on for the next season to really step it up,” says Barb Williams, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media.  “Working once again with our production partner Insight Productions, we’ve brought in stars from the worlds of sports, entertainment and music to be guest judges and make this season more exciting than ever before.”

“We are thrilled that Top Chef Canada is back and we’ve got a whole new group of amazing chefs that are here to prove they have what it takes to be Canada’s Top Chef.  With the success of season one winner Dale MacKay, they all have big shoes to fill,” says John Brunton, Executive Producer, Insight Production Company Ltd. “It’s a tough competition that you won’t want to miss.”

To keep tabs on what Canadians are saying about Top Chef Canada, check out the official Top Chef Canada page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/topchefcanada or follow @TopChefCanada on Twitter.

The new season of Top Chef Canada will premiere March 12, 2012 at 10pm ET/PT exclusively on Food Network Canada.

Food Network Canada and Insight Productions announce that actress, model, host and philanthropist Lisa Ray (Water, Bollywood Hollywood) will host the second season of Top Chef Canada.

The first season of the Canadian adaptation of the international smash hit premiered in April 2011 to unprecedented audience numbers making it the top rated series in Food Network Canada’s history.

Top Chef Canada season two – which sees Canada’s top culinary talent face-off for the grand prize of $100,000 sponsored by Kruger Sponge Towels, a GE Monogram kitchen worth $30,000, and the coveted title of Canada’s Top Chef – premieres March 12, 2012 at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network Canada.

Lisa Ray will replace season one’s host Thea Andrews who recently celebrated the birth of her second child.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lisa Ray on board as the host of Top Chef Canada. As the channel’s top rated series, we expect to see some tough competition between the chefs in season two and Lisa Ray is the perfect host to lead the charge,” says Barb Williams, Senior Vice President of Content, Shaw Media. 

“It’s amazing to have Lisa Ray as part of the Top Chef Canada family.  Lisa has sampled cultures and cuisines in her travels around the world and she brings that experience and sense of adventure to the judges’ table each week,” says Mark Lysakowski, Supervising Producer, Insight Productions.

Canadian Lisa Ray is a well known actress, former model, host, and philanthropist who was raised in Toronto by an Indian father and Polish mother. An iconic figure in India and abroad, Ray is a successful cover model and award-winning actress. With starring roles in Bollywood Hollywood and Water to name a few, Ray has achieved overwhelming success internationally and locally appearing in over 27 film and television titles. Her hosting experience spans from her own entertainment show in India to co-hosting award shows such as The Genies and The Giller Prize. She was present at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival for her starring role in Cooking with Stella. In 2009, Ray also publicly shared her diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma. Her work for this cause earned her the Voice Achievers Award in 2009 and the Hope Award in 2010. Ray also helped raise funds to establish the first research chair for Multiple Myeloma at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. Her latest business venture includes partnering with the co-owners of Moksha Yoga Brampton, which opened earlier this year.

“I am a big fan of the Top Chef series and thrilled to help spotlight some of the amazing culinary talent right here in my hometown,” said Lisa Ray, host, Top Chef Canada. “I’m looking forward to a challenging yet delicious season.”

Viewers who missed season one of Top Chef Canada can watch episodes online at topchefcanada.ca. More information about the eagerly anticipated second season of Top Chef Canada, premiering March 12, 2012, at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network Canada, will be revealed in the coming months.