Top Chef Canada, Season 3, Episode 7
Quickfire: The chefs compete in a series of taste tests, attempting to identify the ingredients. In the first round, the chefs go head-to-head. They have to taste the sauce (salsa verde) and say how many ingredients they can name.
First, it's Danny against Nicole. She says she can name 3 ingredients. He says 4 and then she says 5. He challenges her to name them. She gets 2 right but bombs on the third. So Danny gets to move on to the next round.
Next it's Becky against Chris S. He challenges her at 6 ingredients. She bombs on the third one. And Chris advances.
Next it's Caity and Matt. He challenges her at 5. Again, the third ingredient is the stumbling block. And Matt moves on.
Next, it's Dennis against Geoff. Geoff starts at 5 and Dennis challenges him. Geoff gets 3 right but stumbles on the fourth. So Dennis goes to the next round.
Now it's Jonathan and Rory. Rory says he can name 3 and Jon says go ahead. Rory guesses "pea" as his first guess and is wrong. And Jon moves on.
Second round: The sauce is peanut sauce. The chefs take turns naming an ingredient. Dennis says cream and is the first eliminated in this round. Matt says ginger and is out. Jon says rice wine vinegar and is also out.
In the final round, Danny and Chris take turns identifying the ingredients in a barbecue sauce. Chris is eliminated with the guess of paprika. So Danny gets immunity.
Elimination: The chefs have to create a new national dish. It's a high stakes challenge. The winning dish will win $10,000. The guest judge is David Rocco.
Most of the chefs make some sort of slider. Becky makes a split pea soup. Nicole make "beaver balls". Chris makes a bologna but messes it up and has to abandon it.
On top: Matt, Caity and Danny.
On the bottom: Chris S., Rory and Jonathan.
The winner is Danny. And surprise - it's a double elimination. Chris and Rory are sent home.
I was a bit disappointed with the lack of creativity. Pulled pork is not Canadian, it's American. And the sliders were boring. Even though the judges liked Matt and Caity's sliders, I wished there were fewer sandwich/sliders. And most of the dishes had only a tenuous link to Canada.
I thought Danny's win was well deserved. His spin on a lobster roll was clever, combining east coast and west coast ingredients. Though a lobster roll would not be considered strictly Canadian, since they're probably also found on the American east coast as well.
I'm kind of sad that Chris S is gone. I was starting to like his juvenile, frat-boy charm.
Does anybody else think that the first round of the Quickfire was not really fair? It wasn't so much a test of their palates as it was a bluffing game. It was more about gamesmanship - how high can you challenge the other to go?
Restaurant wars next week. The preview looks like its going to be a disaster.
I'm glad Chris S is gone. He was too cool for school.
Still rooting for Nicole and now Danny.
The palate challenge was boring. I liked last season's meat tasting challenge. THAT was difficult.
Why did everyone think that some form of slider = Canada's national dish??? They all used the same bun too.
at this stage in the game, how is making an unsolicited national dish of canada a challenge. It really just highlighted how weak this crop of chefs is. Imagine the sandwich amazingness Angelo from TC regular would have made? Also, how is poutine the national dish of Canada? It is pervasive in Quebec with pour facsimiles elsewhere. The shawarma is more of an official dish of Canada than poutine. or maybe the dollar pizza slice.
Uninspired dishes for an uninspired judging panel seemed pretty apt to me.
This week the judges were even more successful in seemingly offering comments that sounded like catty schoolchildren instead instead of anything constructive.
Also, a hat tip to boutique grocery store owner Mark MacEwan's snide comment about large grocery stores.
Ouch, things on buns... on a lot of pre-made buns. Obviously from the comments and from what I've heard from other people it was somewhat disappointing to see that on the 7th episode.
Despite it being a sandwich as well I also liked Danny's concept, I also appreciated Dennis' try at something a little different. Also, pork tenderloin is possibly one of the worst meats to cook on a competition such as top chef... nobody really loves that cut when there are so many other better cuts on the pig.
Still think it's Matt's competition to lose if he makes it to the finale and I won't lie, if the editing is accurate for the preview I want to see a gong show next episode.
I watched this episode on-line last night. I too do not think the EC brought out the best efforts from the contestants. I think it was a flawed challenge. I don't believe it is possible to determine Canada's 'National Dish'.
The QF was more of a test of the the contestants' knowledge of the ingredients that go into those sauces rather than a palate test.
David Rocco has lost a lot of hair.
I am surprised more American Chowhounds have not attempted to watch Top Chef Canada on-line and comment here. It's not my preferred method of television viewing, but since I used an HDMI cable to connect my laptop to the HDTV, once I get the show going, it is the same as watching regular CATV. (That's cable TV, not Canadian TV.)
re: John E.
I think if the first round of the QF had been set up like the final round of the QF, it would have been more fair to start.
As an American (who lives overseas which makes most of my TV watching online) - the idea of a new national dish sounds like a bit of a dead end regarding creativity. Thinking of most dishes that could qualify in the US as a national dish - aren't so exciting. The idea of making a more creative hamburger/poutine sounds interesting - but coming up with something that would be as generically appealing, doesn't sound so exciting.
re: John E.
American here - FYI, my internet will not allow me to watch it online. I even tried a proxy server from Canada, with no luck. (Not to be deterred, I crafted a workaround and have watched all 7 episodes). I agree with OP's comments. QF "palate test" was a failure. I was shocked that many of the cheftestants thought the national dish could or should be a sandwich-type thing. Especially the pulled pork - that dish screamed "USA" (at least to me). Overall, boring and disappointing. Canada deserves better IMHO.