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Apr 11, 2011 07:00 PM

Top Chef Canada Ep 1 [also has discussion of episode 2]

So what do we think? Me I'm not a huge fan of Mcewen, but he was OK. The host was not Padma. The other judge, well I didn't like her. Vic was pretty good though.

As far as the cheftestants early to say who I like Connie has mad skills though.

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  1. Was on the fence about the series but the first episode was impressive. Agree with Connie showing everyone how it's done. Couldn't name the top 4 yet but I hope she's one of them.

    I would love to try that seal flipper. Might have to track down a jar of it and have it shipped to Calgary.

    1. Am enjoying the show so far, but am inclined to agree about the third judge.

      I also agree that Connie looks to be a contender (though doesn't seem to have much of a personality). I'm guessing that Francois will also go far, given that he made it to the top 4 even without his sauce.

      Does anyone else find it to be a really homogenous group of cheftestants? Practically all white guys...I can't tell most of them apart from one another.

      1 Reply
      1. re: torontofoodiegirl

        Agreed on both points I have to think about it for a while to come up with more names beyond Francois and Connie......actually Rob was pretty good (I think he is rob)

        I hope it finds it own groove and tries to be a little bit different then the stellar US edition. At least the all stars season was steller.

      2. It's a stone dead concept. Haven't you had enough of these dim-witted culinary "Survivor" series?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Kagemusha

          Honestly no, Top Chef is one of my must see shows every week, I like food and I like competition. As far as dim-witted is concerned at least it is not Iron Chef America.

        2. I'm hoarding this on PVR until the weekend, but as a former chef I have a lot of respect for Mark McEwan, and I'm very much looking forward to this series.

          I don't think these shows are "dim-witted" at all. For someone like me who misses a professional kitchen, they're like a bit of weekly crack....highly addictive.

          1. As always, the Canadian version is always a bit sad. It's never as good as the US version.

            McEwan was stiff - hopefully he will loosen up as the show goes on. That other judge seems kinda bitchy.

            Loblaws is not good enough for chefs - are they really just going to cook the generic proteins available at Loblaws? So there won't be any game or foie gras? No caviar and truffles? Not that you can't make great food without luxury ingredients but they won't even have access to anything that the average person can't buy at Loblaws? Hopefully they will get to to the the St. Lawrence Market once in a while. I usually have to get some of my ingredients at Loblaws and some at the St. Lawrence. Seal flipper? Never heard of that. Wonder where you can try some.

            The contestants seem ok so far. Hard to tell after just one episode. Kinda like Connie. Ditto Francois. Surprised Rob did so well - Mercatto is fine but nothing spectacular.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chefhound

              I have to agree chefhound. The use of Loblaws really underscores that the priority is on advertising revenue vs authenticity. The St. Lawrence Mkt. or even Wholefoods in keeping w the US version - either would be a better choice. ..but Loblaws! Yikes!

              Also, agree that McEwan needs to lighten up, even Collichio can manage a smile or makes a crack from time to time. It's a pity they didn't attract a Canadian Chef w more of an International presence like Susur Lee, Lynn Crawford, John Higgins or Rob Feenie.

              Then there's the Canadian Padma who appears to have the personality of a wet sock.

              I love Top Chef and sure hope the chefs they've picked can save this version.

              1. re: chefhound

                This looks unlikely as Loblaws is one of the underwriters of the show. There is a possibility that they may shop in McEwan's grocery store, is that still around? One thing that was glaring was that some of the contestants were seen buying meat that was wrapped in the styrofoam trays. I'm not trying to be snobbish, but I've never seen this on the US Top Chef, as they always go to the butcher counter.

                Kind of ridiculous to see the four chefs share one plate of food, when everyone had adequate time to plate more. I still don't like McEwan as a TV personality. I hear he's a great chef and a great person, but it doesn't translate onto TV, seems very pompous to be honest.

                Overall, I neither loved nor hated the show. The chefs seem pretty bland and so do their dishes (still can't wrap my head over someone putting out steak and potatoes as a signature dish). But it's just the first episode. And while I'm not bothered that everyone on the show is "White" (it's a loaded term, and a pretty diverse group, ie there's someone from Nfld, two or three Quebecois, someone who's Hispanic, etc.) but I find it really weird that they could only get three female chefs.