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Top Chef Canada, Season 2, Episode 10 (spoilers)

So it's the Top Chef Alumni episode. Marcus Samuelsson (Top Chef Master) and Dale MacKay (Top Chef Canada) both appear in this episode.

Quickfire: Make a dish with kid-unfriendly ingredients for Dale MacKay's son Ayden. The chefs draw knives. Carl gets liver and asparagus. Trevor gets squid and brussel sprouts. Trista has rabbit and mushrooms. Jonathan gets lamb and artichoke. Xavier has mackerel and eggplant and David draws mussels and radish.
Carl makes liver parfait and jelly sandwich with tempura asparagus. Trevor makes fried calamari and brussel sprout slaw. Trista makes rabbit fingers with sauteed mushrooms and corn. Jonathan makes artichoke dip with chips and grilled lamb with honey mustard. David makes mussel and potato galette with tomato radish salad. Xavier make potato string wrapped mackerel with honey confit eggplant.
Xavier and Jonathan are on the bottom. Trevor and Carl are on the top. And the winner is Trevor, who wins Le Cruset cookware.

Elimination: The chefs have to cook a 6-course soul food dinner for Marcus Samuelsson, soul food being more about personal stories and life experiences, not Harlem soul food. The chefs all faint and pee their pants a little. Jonathan faints again. When resuscitated, he follows Marcus around muttering "We're not worthy" and "I love you" under his breath. Ok, none of that happened, I'm exaggerating a little bit.
Xavier does the first course which is Mediterranean vegetable terrine with beet reduction and olive sour cream, which represents his appreciation of Canada. Jonathan has the next course which is scampi consomme with scampi pierogi in memory of his grandmother's pierogies. Carl's dish is bacon-wrapped salmon with sunchokes, favas and beurre blanc but doesn't really relate to anything except that he's from salmon country, BC. Trista makes dumplings in chicken broth, poached chicken with curried carrot puree and fried chicken to represent the neighbourhood she grew up in. Marcus finds plastic in his dish. David serves grilled flank steak, cabbage roll with creme fraiche croquette and beet, apple, horseradish roulade from his Ukrainian roots. Trevor makes a peanut butter molten lava cake with banana ice cream and strawberry jam, inspired by his childhood meals of peanut butter banana sandwiches.
On the top: David, Jonathan and Xavier.
On the bottom: Trista, Carl and Trevor.
David is the winner of $5,000 and the ultimate compliment of Marcus wanting his recipe for the beet, horseradish, apple roulade.
Trista goes home, partially for leaving plastic on her chicken.

Ayden MacKay was kind of cute - a serious little man with freshly combed hair. I wonder if he actually got to choose or if Dale actually chose the dishes to win. Nice to see Dale again. I'm kind of enjoying the commercials in between, featuring former Top Chef Canada finalists. Interesting to find out that Lisa Ray is part Polish and grew up eating pierogies.

Good job David - finally getting it together when it counts. Weird to see Trevor and Carl on the bottom. The writing was on the wall for Trista when Marcus pulled out that strip of plastic wrap, although I think her food didn't do her any favours either. When I hear Indian and Caribbean, I expect rich, long-cooked flavours. I hate it when someone just makes a curry sauce and pours it over a piece of chicken, it's disappointing.

The preview for next week's episode is freaking me out a little. It might just be the editing but the announcement of a high-stakes quickfire and then two chefs conspicuously missing from the clips of the elimination challenge, one of whom I've been rooting for. Keeping my fingers crossed until next week.

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  1. A little annoyed at the judges telling Carl his food was not "soul food" because only the creator of the food can tell you that (since it is a personal opinion - they did not say make the Judges soul food :p). Maybe his narrative was lacking.... Xavier produced may have produced a great dish for the judges.... but if this is the first time he created a dish that is light.... do you really think it was his "soul food"? :o I doubt it was the plastic that actually sent Trista home. She should have just said the she has a plastic soul :p

    1. I rewatched the preview to the next episode a few of times to see who was let go (BTW, I would prefer if the editing was done in such a way that we couldn't guess).

      It looks to me that Dave or Xavier was let go during the quick fire. I hope it's not Dave, I find that he makes the show very interesting to watch.

      Sorry to see Trista go as she seemed like a really nice person, but really, how could not eliminate her given her mistake.

      1. And now for a brief bio of Jimmy and a personal photo...bye Jimmy
        And now for a brief bio of Trista and a personal photo...bye Trista

        The editor of this show should pack their knives and go.

        4 Replies
        1. re: hal2010

          When i saw the bio and photo of Trevor, I was worried that he was leaving, especially when he was in the bottom 3. His comments and humour make the show for me, although I expect that Carl will win. I found that the judge's criticism of his "lack of soul" a bit contrived, like they needed 3 in the bottom, and chose Carl.

          1. re: hal2010

            Yes. The editing is so predictable. Especially in the quickfire. If they show your dish, you're either in the top or bottom. If they don't show your dish, your in the middle. Come on, editors, can't we do better?

            1. re: chefhound

              They could always edit it so the judges reactions and dishes are isolated and random (making it look sometimes like they are ragging on a different dish than they are). Take a pair of dice and use it for picking which dishes get shown :o

            2. re: hal2010

              yep, pretty much knew it was trista after seeing her crying in the preview and then with show kicking it off with her bio and that picture of her in cornrows...

            3. Seeing Ayden make faces while the chefs drew their ingredients was cute. I thought the elimination was an interesting challenge. It seems like the chefs have a lot of leeway but their biggest obstacle is themselves..it's easy to have emotional attachments to food or certain flavours without the same kinds of things necessarily appealing to other people. I don't see how they could have let Trista continue over the other two after an uninspiring dish plus the technical mistake, but I also thought it was WAY too obvious she was going to be let go right from the beginning when she said she didn't think she would make it that far.

              1. Watching it with everybody at Fable was really fun, and there were no PB fondants being served. Everybody's getting super emotional and crying left, right and center.

                The quickfire challenge was cute, and the liver/PB sandwich was a smart idea. I didn't envy Xavier for the mackerel draw though, it's generally very kid unfriendly.

                I liked the open-endedness of the elimination challenge... makes it a lot more enjoyable to cook than if I had to smash blocks of ice and do triathlon. I feel especially bad about the plastic wrap, I think one of the biggest fears I had throughout the show was to get a long strand of hair or some strange foreign object into the food... I probably would've cried too if they told me that.

                I'm sure Trevor's dessert wasn't all that bad, considering the many strong entries this episode... but I'm also sorta glad I'm helping him out at Fable now ;)... also he seems to draw dessert for the next episode as well so crossing my fingers for him.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Blueicus

                  I bet you would have impressed Marcus Samuelsson with your dessert if you had been there!
                  :)

                  1. re: chefhound

                    Easy to say in retrospect, but I probably would've wanted to do a take on my grandmother's lion's head meatball with braised chestnuts. It's something that really brings me back to my childhood

                2. Thanks again Chefhound. A good episode I thought although even I saw the Trista thing coming (this is the first time I've watched an entire TC from beginning to end - I usually just catch an episode here or there).

                  Here's an article about Fable/Trevor Bird

                  http://www.wevancouver.com/food/15086...

                  Again it speculates that he must have won.