Sunday, May 6, 2012

Top Chef Canada Season 2: Episode 8: Go Jimmy Go

Chef Jimmy Stewart has certainly provided lots of entertainment during his stay on Top Chef Canada. It is almost a shame to see him go. Some of Chef Stewart’s finest moments included bread foam and a failed “rocket launch.” In both cases the culprit proved to be a culinary siphon and foam. On another note, Chef Stewart drew praise from fellow competitor Xavier Lacaze who said he was in awe at the 23-year-old and his culinary skills. Given the talented young Chef made it this far in the competition it looks a promising career in the making. 

The show started with a quickfire skills competition. As we said last week the safe bet would be Chef Carl Heinrich who did win. We picked Chef Heinrich because he showed mad butchering skills in his audition video. We also stand by our theory that the skills competition is a bit of foreshadowing of who is going to make it to the final. In case you missed it, the final four Chefs in the competition were Trevor Bird, David Chrystian, Xavier Lacaze and of course winner Carl Heinrich. Our wild card pick is Jonathan Korecki who just keeps impressing us.
The elimination challenge asked the Chefs to cater a buffet lunch for the cast and crew of television's Lost Girl. No easy task, when catering to a large group of people you generally have to deal with all sorts of food requests (vegetarians, vegans, gluten free, lactose intolerant) not to mention the full gambit of food allergies. We also find that catered food does not challenge people's palates (bland is best) because you have to appeal to the general masses. 

Guest judge Chef Michael Blackie is no stranger to catering for large groups of people. He is the Executive Chef of The National Arts Centre in Ottawa. On Saturday (May 5, 2012), Chef Blackie was responsible for catering at the Governor General Awards that was attended by 1200 guests. During the service, Chef Blackie served 12,000 canapés in 45 minutes. This was followed by a one hour 3 course dinner. 
Chef Stewart said he would try and do something simple but this proved to be his downfall. The Chef's green salad looked like a grocery store bag of mixed greens with cucumber and tomato slices. The judges thought his minestrone soup only tasted of truffle oil and porcini mushrooms. Two mistakes in one challenge is just too much on Top Chef at this point in the competition.

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