Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No More Nicholson: Top Chef Canada Episode: 10

This week it was Chef Andrea Nicholson, from Great Cooks on Eight in Toronto, who was sent to pack her knives on Top Chef Canada. The Chef seems to be taking it all in stride, Nicholson was in the press today as the Chef responsible for creating the official birthday cake celebrating the 35th of the Tim Horton’s Timbit. The four-foot cake, link to picture and article here, featured more than 1,500 Timbits.
Chef Nicholson is also organizing a Top Chef competitor’s dinner at her restaurant on June 30. The event, that includes Nicholson, features the talents of 4 other ousted Cheftestants, Mike Stauffer (Dundas), Patrick Wiese (Toronto), Steve Gonzalez (Toronto) and Todd Perrin (Newfoundland). The all-star event featuring wine and a 5-course tasting menu costs $175. A portion of the ticket sales ($50) will go towards the establishment of the Great Cooks Young Chef Fund that will help support young Chefs with their schooling. For more information click here.

We were a bit disappointed that Chef Nicholson never pushed out a pizza during the competition. Nicholson is a certified pizzaiuoli, a true maker of genuine Neapolitan pizza. Next week’s street cart challenge would have been a perfect opportunity. We also found Nicholson’s description of Chef Dale MacKay’s epicurean speeches as “food bombs” to be hilarious.
We really enjoyed this week’s episode because there was finally some focus on regional Canadian cuisine. We were also a bit surprised to see Nicholson go home at this point in the competition because thought she would make it to the final four. On Top Chef, Nicholson demonstrated that she was a really fierce competitor, “It is not Top Team Chef.” All the Chefs in the competition have incredible skills so it really boils down to competitive spirit and focus during the competitions. As Chef Derek Bocking blogged “one mistake is all it takes on Top Chef.”
If you have been watching Top Chef Canada you may have noticed that ex-ballerina turned Chef, Connie DeSousa has been carving out a legendary reputation for herself. Chef Chris Kanka compared her to a samurai and Chef Todd Perrin dubbed her the bacon ninja. You may have heard the story that the “ballerina butcher,” Judge Shereen Arazm’s moniker for DeSoousa, can de-bone a pig’s head in under 5 minutes and now you can see it for yourself. A ballerina ninja that can butcher a pig's head in record time sounds a bit like a twisted revenge sequel to the Black Swan made by Quentin Tarantino.

With back to back victories on this week’s episode DeSousa now has some major momentum at this point in the competition. Last week DeSousa was in the bottom for the first time causing her to have a bit of a meltdown but this setback seems to have caused the Chef to push herself even harder.
DeSousa was warned by judge Mark McEwan not to make any more sausages in the competition but next week is a street cart challenge so her choice of sausage, as seen in the traile,r makes sense. We know that DeSousa's restaurant Char Cut does street food, something called alley-burgers, so we think DeSousa has a bit of an upper hand in next week’s competition. There have also been some online rumors that Char Cut is working on a Food Truck project. Chef Dale MacKay is seen in next week’s trailer complaining about having to make street food. We think he does have a bit of a disadvantage because of his cooking style but then again he did have a winning pulled pork sandwich in episode 9.
As we keep saying, unless we have a major kitchen meltdown we think MacKay is going to take the competition in a head to head battle with DeSousa. As Judge Mark McEwan pointed out this week Dale is "thinking outside the box," in other words he is on another level.
Next week on Top Chef Canada: Street Food
Note the horrified look on Rob Feenie's face below

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