Monday, April 23, 2012

Top Chef Canada Season 2: Episode 6: Sad News, Chefs Rivasplata and Cruz both lose

This has to have been one of the the most exciting episodes of Top Chef Canada ever. Double elimination challenge, Judge Susur Lee and restaurant wars where get to see the Chefs handle a service. We had wondered about the double elimination challenge because they did it in episode 2 last year. The double elimination this far in the series was a bit of a surprise to us and from the looks of things the Chefs too. The only thing that is perhaps more exciting than all of this is the fact the Richard Blais will be the guest judge on the next episode.
Gabriell Cruz was the first to go home in the soup and sandwich quick fire challenge. Chef Cruz presented a prosciutto sandwich with pickled onions and truffles. The offering seemed to weird out the judges and the sandwich did look a but cafésque.  The winner of the challenge was Jonathan Korecki who served up a Vietnamese sandwich and chicken consommé. Though Korecki won, Chef Carl Heinrich's gazpacho with bacon, cucumber and tomato sandwich was selected to be a Top Chef Canada featured menu item at Milestones. We assume that the Milestones crowd was deemed not yet ready for Vietnamese Banh Minh. Heinrich’s dish will not have the kitchen staff at Milestone's filling their larders with strange ingredients or scratching their heads when having to make a bacon, cucumber and tomato sandwich. You can make gazpacho in the blender but we wonder if it will pre-prepared for the Milestones kitchens. Heinrich’s sandwich does not seem very exciting and sounds like something you can make in your own toaster as a late night snack. 
Korecki certainly made a strategic move with his reward for winning the challenge by choosing Elizabeth Rivasplata as the opposing team leader. Chef Rivasplata has been bunting heads with the other Chefs in the kitchen and Korecki’s move was diplomatically described as "sneaky" by Chef David Chrystian. Korecki’s move also made for some exciting television.
We liked that fact that both teams chose Canadian themes with their resto concepts. There may have been no standout with the teams in their services as a whole but team name Fable (farm to table) was a winning idea. We have heard rumours that Chef Trevor Bird's new resto, that is opening soon, will bear this moniker. The other team chose to be True North offering a reflection of Canadian dishes. In this context Chef Rivasplata’s octopus dish left her team-mates scratching their heads. Rivasplata’s attempt at running the pass seemed to be her second downfall amongst her team-mates and with the judges who were left waiting for their food. Jimmy Stewart did offer a potato "risotto"dish  that was all potato no rice or veggies and deemed the worst dish by the judges. The win went to team Fable but was described by judge Mark McEwan as "not a perfect day." Team Fable seemed a bit surprised, they served melted ice cream, that the judges did declare no winner for this challenge.
At the judges’ table Chef Rivasplata started by showing a united team standing together but was immediately called out by Jimmy Stewart, the guy with the worst dish, for failing as a leader and at the pass. Rivasplata did throw herself on her own sword, we thought, when she said she would  "take credit" for the mistakes of her team as their leader. “You saved your ass,” Chef Rivasplata told Stewart while accusing him of you screwing her over in order to save Ryan who did front of house. Rivasplata’s final words to Stewart as she exited was “you are not right.” Rivasplata's departure leaves 1 female Chef in the competition. As the field narrows we think it is about time to start making some predictions about who will make it to the finals..

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