Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Top Chef Canada Season 2: episode 13: Chef Carl Cuts Compettion

We know that you know that Chef Carl Heinrich took the title of Top Chef Canada but we just wanted to point out that we did kind of call it some time ago. Everyone is talking about self-promotion in social media these days so we are also going to point out that we also called it last year when Chef Dale McKay took the title. We said it before, the skills competition is a really good gauge of who would make it to the final. With Carl taking the skills challenge and a steady performance throughout we kept saying he was the safe bet even though it did seem like anyones game going into the final. Heinrich might not have been the flashiest Chef in the kitchen but he was certainly steadiest with 5 wins and only two bottom finishes towards the end of the series when the field is so narrow bottom finishes seem inevitable. We also think the Producers like to throw the top contenders in the bottom a few times just to put a bee in their bonnet. Remember how pissed off Dale McKay looked when it would happen to him? 

We were really glad that David Chrystian was brought back for the final competition. Any Chef that can make  and win a challenge with duck liver ice cream with cherries and wild rice is obviously a brilliant and creative mind. In the final, Chrystian’s dessert also drew praises from the judges. The dish, an homage to Toronto’s Kensington market, was a candy coated Al Waxman Ham, seriously, Chystian made a sweet corn pudding (he dish used corn instead of cream) with sage and dark chocolate truffles and raw chocolate nibs. The idea for corn pudding came from the Restaurant Wars episode when judge Susur Lee criticized his corn soup for being too sweet. Chrystian took the criticism and came up with the idea for the dish as a dessert. Just another example of how enjoyable it was to watch his mind at work in the kitchen.

Trevor Bird seems reborn with his appearance on Top Chef Canada. The show seemed to re-kindle his passion, creativity and inspiration as the Chef rocked out some top dishes on the show. Professionally, Bird left his “corporate” job as a hotel Chef to open his own restaurant. “Regardless of what happens today [final competition] I’m quitting my job.” 

David Korecki, the passionate bandana sporting Chef with fierce Asian chops looks the part of a star. Considering he is an Ottawa based Chef with a top 4 finish on Top Chef Canad he is already big fish in our Nation's capital.

We are of course already looking forward to the next season of Top Chef Canada but in the meantime we have lots to write about with Montreal's summer swinging into high gear. Also keep in mind that your Top Chef Canada season 3 application has to be received by June 19th

Monday, June 4, 2012

Top Chef Canada Season 2: Episode 12: Judges nail Chrystian

We are sad that Chef David Chrystian is gone and will not be around for the finale because it has been one wild ride. Chrsystian showed a rather unique crash and burn style in the Top Chef kitchen. Amazing and on top with one dish or bad and on the bottom with another. Some great dishes of late included his Chicken Soup Terrine, a Fire Roasted Fish (he is allergic to fish) and a Kraft Dinner Grilled Cheese. Chrystian may not have earned the title of Top Chef but he did take the KD crown. . Once again if you have missed his Top Chef Canada audition video it is worth watching. Chef Chrystian makes a Turducken Tower, inspired by the CN Tower, and really shows off his unique style and approach to cooking. We also liked the fact he says his favorite Chef is Martin Picard. We think a culinary pilgrimage to his restaurant at the Drake Hotel in Toronto seems rather inevitable.

With the show going into the finale we think it will be very exciting because it is really anyone’s game. Here are our impressions of the remaining Chefs going into the finale.
Trevor Bird (2 Quickfire wins): Regardless of the outcome of Top Chef his post show endeavors has Bird following his lifelong dream of opening his own restaurant: Fable. His kitchen staff includes fellow competitor Curtis Luk. The concept of Fable is from farm to table and the concept was born during this season’s episode of Restaurant Wars. The Top Chef experience has definitely been an inspiration to the Chef who really seems to be enjoying the cooking challenges. This new found enthusiasm and passion in the kitchen might be the added advantage in taking the Top Chef title.
Jonathan Korecki (2 Quickfire & 2 elimination wins): Korecki's soup has not become Connie DeSousa’s sausage because the judges have not yet tired of what seems to have become his signature item or secret weapon. Will he serve up soup in the finale? We found it a bit odd that his plating was so off in last week’s fashion challenge only because his platings have been so creative to date.
Carl Heinrich (2 Quickfire & 3 elimination wins): The quiet Chef seems to have come under the radar but slow and steady just might win the race. Also given he is only 26 years-old we can only imagine what his future culinary career will be like. We know we are starting to sound like a broken record by repeating ourselves but he is the safe bet in choosing a winner. Heinrich seemed to be beating himself up about his 2 bottom finishes of late but he is also hot off two back to back wins.