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Top Chef Canada, Season 2, Episode 1 (spoilers)

Well, Canadian hounds, the first episode of Season 2 has aired and again, nobody has started a thread. Hopefully this season will be more interesting than the last and we will actually have something to talk about.

My thoughts: I'm surprised that David Chrystian did so poorly. I've eaten at his restaurant and it was pretty good. It wasn't particularly memorable but the food was well prepared. It was quite a surprise that he was on the bottom with dry chicken and bland seasoning.

Any thoughts?

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  1. is Mork McEwan still a judge??

    3 Replies
    1. re: petek

      Yes but there's a new host, Lisa Ray. She an actress and foodie. Shereen Arazm remains from last season.

      1. re: chefhound

        I really like Shereen but I wonder how many episodes she will be in this season, considering she's pregnant in the first episode.

      2. re: petek

        Is Mark McEwan the chef with the bleached blond naturally curly hair? I've enjoyed watching him on Canadian tv before several times.
        Wish we could get the Canadian cooking shows here in the states.

      3. What really ticked me off was the "I'm the only French chef in Calgary, and alright with that" comment that came from Xavier. F**k right off with that. Calgary has tons of great French chefs like Dominique Moussu. It was a really uppity and holier-than-thou comment to make.

        Sarah reminds me a lot of Beverly from Top Chef Texas, because they both came across as tough, fierce, Asian gals.

        Other then that the episode was just as bland as I imagine "Toronto spice" to be. Hopefully it gets better.

        1. SO excited to see this thread! Thanks chefhound!
          I agree in that the season, just like the chicken, was full of promise but turned out bland...
          I thought the collision was interesting, looked like the one chef from Peru had her head down and smashed into the other, but the other was kind of "blamed"?
          Looking forward to episode 2!

          7 Replies
          1. re: freia

            Hi, I'm a long time Chowhound. I also happen to be a contestant on Season 2 who made Canadian-Padma (the same thought crossed my mind when they first introduced us to her) 'deep-throat' her hors d'oeuvre. It's interesting to be on the receiving end of all these comments (since I've been on the other side watching the other TC seasons).

            About the soy sauce incident, Liz actually slipped on something just a second before, which sent her flying into Sarah. If you look carefully, Liz is already halfway to the floor when she gets doused and by that time it was somewhat unavoidable.

            1. re: Blueicus

              AH...I went through it at 1/15th speed and didn't quite see the slip, I just saw her head first kind of pile into Sarah. Didn't make sense to me but there you go.
              WOW contestant! How was that? I'd bet it is so freaking easy for all of us to sit in our comfy chairs and riff on how good or bad the results were and riff on the contestants, but it's a totally different thing to be there I'm sure, in the hot seat so to speak, with the lights shining down.
              Would you be willing to share your experiences just a bit? Or link to your blog if you have one? These shows are so interesting to me because while competition, they ARE heavily edited and I often wonder if what we see is really an accurate representation or if what we see is an editing artifact created along a story line (this is the "good" chef, this is the "nasty" chef, this is the "picked on chef", and so on...). :)

              1. re: freia

                I don't currently have a blog but I'm more than happy to share behind the scenes info (as much as I'm legally allowed to, at least) about what went on and what my thoughts were/are.

                It's the first episode and I think as such they're still trying to establish all the characters, plot lines and stuff like that. Also there's typically not that much drama to report on yet (unless you pull a Marcel and you start comparing knives/penises with your fellow roommates).

                As for the elimination challenge I agree with Carl, they're lobbing you a softball on this one and if you can't hit even his this one out of the infield then you've no place on the show. I personally think it would've been nice if they narrowed down the parameters a bit (like draw a protein or whatever,) but it's also nice to have some leeway.

                1. re: Blueicus

                  After further reading elsewhere besides than this thread your ID seemed clear to me. :-) However, I imagine it would be best if you were referred to here by your CH handle. It would be good to read your reflections and comments on the show as it progressed - thanks! - insofar as you feel able to disclose such things as the show progresses.

              2. re: Blueicus

                Ooo a contestant! The only deep throat hors d'oeuvre I remember was the cucumber sandwich... was that you?

                1. re: cellophane_star

                  the one and only... I actually appreciated her doing that, Mark has a strange habit of separating the food into its components then tasting each one individually; I feel that the effect of the whole dish is lost when it's eaten that way.

                  1. re: Blueicus

                    Cool! I look forward to your inside scoop :)

                    In season 1, my husband used to crack up when MM called something "disjointed". He used the term in every episode. Maybe it's because he separated everything!

            2. Here is an interview with Mark McEwan from the Morning Show this week
              http://www.globaltoronto.com/Pages/Mo...

              I liked that the first elimination challenge was straight forward, and IMO, something the contestants should have considered in their prep for being on the show. I would have definitely had some ideas ready for family, hometown, mentor, etc themes.

              And I would not have been looking at the buffet and thinking, yum, lunch (although the food looked awesome). I believe we've seen a similar quick fire on TC US in a first episode.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sooeygun

                We've all been around the Top Chef block long enough to know that everything is a potential challenge. So you are totally right -- walking in, it would have made sense to see all sorts of food and say "hmmmmm Quick Fire!". Heaves, they even did this on Project Runway in past seasons (welcome to the welcome party, your challenge is to use the clothes on your friends back/anything you kind in your hotel room/the following tablecloths to make something that reflects your personal style...).
                I was surprised at how surprised they seemed to be about this...

                1. re: freia

                  it seems that I was the only person stuffing my face... in my defense let me say that it was the first thing I had to eat all day, and it was getting late.

              2. Why oh why did they have to hire someone to 'do' Padma? That soft somewhat snarky "I'm sorry............". At least the 'Padma-like' judge doesn't dress like a 'pole dancer' on her day off.