Monday, April 2, 2012

Top Chef Canada season 2: episode 3: Bye Bye Chef Sarah Tsai

If we had to pick a theme for this week's episode of Top Chef Canada we would have to say bizarre combinations. The strange combos started with the first challenge and was also why Chef Sarah Tsai was sent to pack her knives. 
The quick fire challenge featured last year's host Thea Andrews, who like resident judge Shereen Arazam, is expecting a baby. The challenge focussed on odd food combinations in-reference-to the cliché that pregnant women have strange cravings. Not sure how many of these combinations and ingredients were researched because a few of the combinations bordered on ridiculous. We suppose the producers are making the challenges tough for the Chefs but putting together ingredients for the sake of doing so does not really have anything to do with gastronomy. Durian, wasabi, really? Are these things that pregnant women really crave? The show is walking a fine line by making the Chefs jump through hoops with this challenge. The challenge almost bordered on Fear Factor or Survivor but then again tough is tough and this is a reality show. Chef Jimmy Stewart really did make a smart move with his winning dish Oatmeal and Wasabi Chicken Wings because who doesn’t like a good chicken wing?
We are a bit unsure why Sarah Tsai was sent home over the other guys in the baby shower elimination challenge. Chef Tsai did win a quick fire challenge, in episode 1, and we have been seeing a-lot-of David Chrystian, Joel Aubie and Xavier Lacaze at the bottom. Chef Lacaze from France has hardly been doing right by his country and their culinary reputation. When was the last time you saw the judges spit our their food and wipe their tongues with their napkins? That is what happened when they tasted Lacaze’s dish. Mark McEwan said, after tasting Xavier’s Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Ball with Figs and Balsamic Jam, "if I stayed up late at night trying to figure out something more nasty to prepare, I don't think I could do it. Why did Xavier not go home? Shereen Arazam told Chef Chrystian to wake up based on his performance thus far in the show. At this point it looks a bit like Chrsystian and Lacaze are coasting on their reputations and this is why they were not sent home. What about bottom feeder Joel Aubie? Judge McEwan said his Scallop Sausage Wrapped in Bacon was “like biting a bladder.” The surfin' in Tofino Chef might appeal to the female demographic but he has also been in the bottom a few times. Maybe his sausage was not his fault. Perhaps it is true when Aubie mused that Connie DeSousa must have worn out the sausage press last year. Sarah Tsai served up a sweet arancine ball with spicy prosciutto chocolate sauce. The judges thought her dish was awful but was it really the worst? At least they kept it down. We guess it was just too bizarre a combination.
Last week Xavier pointed out that desserts can get you sent home on Top Chef. This was not the case with the winning dish this episode with Curtis Lok's Pink Macaron with Pink Peppercorn, Meyer lemon and Lemon Grass. Pink at a baby shower as one judge said “perfect.” Like the chicken wings in the quick fire there is nothing like a good macaron. 
In seeing the preview for tonight's episode we are very nervous because the are lots of shots of Montreal Chef Sergio Mattoscio looking dejected. Fingers crossed that this was just a teaser and not a spoiler in the nose to tail challenge featuring Chef Chris Consentino.

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