Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Bock Rocks Top Chef Canada: Montreal's Derek Bocking dishes up pancakes with salmon

Montreal's only Top Chef Canada competitor, Derek Bocking, fared well on tonight's series premier. In fact, Chef Bocking's dish made it to the top four in the elimination challenge.

Chefs were asked to prepare a dish "that shows us [judges] a little bit who you are." Bocking prepared a smoked maple glazed salmon, buckwheat pancake with maple brandy, "I really wanted to bring as much Quebec as I could on the plate as possible, basically it's maple syrup and pancakes, that's the kind of guy I am." The dish was a bold move because it seemed to draw ridicule from some of the other Cheftestants, in particular Jamie Hertz who described the dish as "a pancake with a piece of fish, the skin was left on the fish it's not edible." At the judges table Mark McEwan said that Hertz's dish was "clunky" and "landed with a thud," needless to say his dish was in the bottom four. Funny comments from a B.C. chef where salmon reigns supreme. When we smoke our salmon at home we sear the skin before putting it in our smoker and get nice crispy results.

During the tasting, judges described Bocking's dish as interesting and beautifully cooked. Judge Shereen Arazm said, "I loved the idea of fish and pancakes, I'm a chicken and waffles girl, I love mixing things up like that, it's a surprise, I thought it was bold, I thought it was cool, I would have liked little more maple syrup." We hope to see Bocking's creation on his Blog because we will try this at home.

Bocking's dish reminded us a bit of Au Pied de Cochon's, Plogue a Champlain, that consists of buckwheat pancake, potatoes, maple syrup, thick cut maple smoked bacon (might be pork belly) cheese and of course foie gras.

We caught up with Chef Bocking outside the CBC studios, where he had just finished doing a segment for HomerunWe asked the Chef to recommend his favorite Montreal eateries. In the category of best late night eats, and also places to grab a drink or pint, Chef Bocking goes to Le Chien Fumant because the kitchen is open until 2 am so it is perfect for a Chef that has just finished their shift. Also, they import special bark from trees to make their own tonic water for their cocktails. For high end dining Chef Bocking praises the cuisine of Derek Dammann at DNA, but also recommends Joe Beef and La Salle a Manger.

The other best dishes of the elimination challenge were from Francois Gagnon, who ran out of time and could not put the sauce on his dish, and made a pan roasted lobster with sweet corn ravioli, coriander and orange battered squid. We were amused by the fact the Food Network did not bleep out Gagnon's joual curses when all the English swear words have been censored. Andrea Nicholson, who made a pork tenderloin with chanterelles, black truffle pierogi and cipollini mustard. The winner was Rob Rossi with a seared B.C. halibut, butter poached lobster, crushed potato, black trumpet puree.

The Top Chef Canada trailer for next week reveals a Canadian cheese challenge and some drama between Jamie, who seems to be the new Marcel Vigneron Top Chef nerd villain, and Chef Darryl.


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