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Top Chef Canada, Season 3, Episode 8

We start off with Lisa in the stew room, informing the chefs that they can't go home to rest - they have to make pizza dough first.

Quickfire: Make a Buitoni frozen pizza. The chefs have to create their pizza, freeze it in the blast freezer and then bake it. The guest judge is Massimo Capra. There's no immunity but the winner will win a trip to Casa Buitoni in Tuscany.

On the bottom: Matthew and Caity
On the top: Becky and Dennis
And the winner is Becky. The win makes her a team captain in Restaurant Wars. She also gets to pick the captain of the other team. And she chooses Caity. The winning team will win $25,000.

Elimination: Restaurant wars at the Carlu. Guest judge is Norman Laprise.

Team Osteria Ceci: Becky, Nicole, Danny and Dennis. They designate Nicole as Front of House.
Team Noir: Caity, Matthew, Jonathan and Geoff. Geoff volunteers to be FOH.

Team Noir seems to be in trouble during prep. And Geoff's FOH performance is a bit shaky. But Caity seems to be expediting well and the food seems to be good.

Team Osteria Ceci seems ok during prep but Nicole's FOH service is well received. Becky's expediting is not going well. The food is not well received except for the dessert.

The winning team is Restaurant Noir. They will split $25,000. The losing team is Osteria Ceci. As the judges question and critique the team, Becky interrupts and volunteers to go home. So they send her home.

I'm surprised to find myself not despising Caity as much anymore. In fact, Becky has far surpassed her on my hate list. She has been wearing on my nerves and I'm pretty glad she's gone. Her arrogance was unbelievable and unwarranted. Mark McEwan said the food was amateurish. Ouch! Becky didn't taste the food and was completely resistant to the judges' critique. Shereen challenged her but Becky won't accept any other opinions but her own. Shereen called her a quitter. I would have to agree. She volunteered to leave because she just won't accept any criticism and is tired of having to listen to criticism. Becky did not take the fall because she felt responsible for her team's failure, like Kristen in TC Seattle. Good riddance.

Is it just me or was the Quickfire really lame. What was the purpose of freezing the pizza? I know the challenge was sponsored by a frozen pizza company but there was no mention during the tasting of any effects from freezing, so what's the point?

Next week's guest judge: Michael Voltaggio!!

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  1. Better than last week's episode but the QF wasn't great.

    The editors did a good job of making team Noir look like they were going to lose before even starting but they killed it in the end.

    I know I mentioned earlier that I wasn't a fan of Becky but I'll say it again. That girl is weird. Something isn't quite right in her head.

    ...And I'm still cheering for Nicole. She looked hot all dressed up for front of house.

    1. I don't think that Kristin took the fall, so much as that she wasn't going to go the reality tv route and dump on her teammate. That ultimately resulted in cutting off her nose to spite her face, but it was more about how she wanted to compete - and not that she wasn't open to hearing critcism. She still let the judges decide and never said that she didn't want to be there.

      I think the better comparison is to Kayla who also removed herself from the competition. However, Kayla gave herself a few challenges and just came to the (what seems like a reasonable) assumption that she does not do well in the competition environment. Becky just clearly does not deal well with criticism, which is a pretty unattractive trait.

      She chose to be on a show where she'd be judged, and as soon as she started hearing some negative comments she bailed.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cresyd

        I wasn't saying that Kristen wasn't open to criticism. I was saying she decided not to throw Josie under the bus because she was the leader and took the responsibility for the results.

        Becky didn't take responsibility for her team's performance, she just decided she didn't want to hear any more. Her attitude was "I'm right and I'm not going to listen to any of your opinions, so if we can't do it my way, I'm out of here."

        1. re: chefhound

          As long as Becky is gone it is all good. She lost me on a previous episode when in the quickfire where she made a salad she immediately said, this might not be what you expected but let me explain it and tell you why like the judge and Lisa were idiots. I loved that the judge put her in the bottom not just for making a salad but for being delusional on her pricing.

      2. While I find both Becky and Katie irritating, Becky certainly deserved to go home. I also think it was chickenshit of her to quit. She wasn't falling on the sword. There is zero doubt that she would have been sent packing.

        Katy is still annoying, but she is much better at running a kitchen.

        All of that being said, what it really came down to was the food. The winning team, with the exception of the desserts, made better food. I wish Becky had not made it so they didn't make comments about the desserts.

        If I had to pick someone to root for to win the title of TCC, I'll go with Nicole.

        6 Replies
        1. re: John E.

          the winning team made such boring food.sure there was technique, but there was no pushing of the envelope whatsoever. any fine dining chef should be able to prepare all of those things. show us something new already! you're on tv!

          1. re: catroast

            I think I already posted this on a previous thread but I'll say it again. The chefs on TC Canada are not at the same level as the contestants on the US version.

            The chefs are good, sometimes really good cooks but they don't bring anything new.

            Each season of Top Chef US, I'm introduced to something new. One season it was bacon jam, another season it was pickled cherries. Also, many more of the US contestants have molecular techniques as part of their repertoire. The Canadian chefs seem to have sous vide and that's it. I'm not saying they all have to use foam on everything like Marcel. I'm saying I wish the Canadian chefs were more like Richard Blais or Michael Voltaggio, who incorporate molecular techniques into more traditional methods seamlessly.

            The Canadian chefs are cooking good food. That's it. There hasn't been a lot of excitement. I think David Chrystian's deconstructed chicken soup from last season was the most creative thing I've seen.

            The dishes this season are not particularly memorable, not even the winning dishes. I'm sure they taste good but nothing sticks out. When I think of some of the dishes that Michael Voltaggio, Richard Blais and Paul Qui made, I get excited. Not so much with the Canadian chefs.

            1. re: chefhound

              This might make me appear sexist, and it was a sexist comment, but I was amused when Geoff said Caity "peed standing up". I wonder if anyone will care that he said that, other than maybe Caity?

            2. re: catroast

              They didn't name a winning chef. I fairly certain there is always one chef declared a winner, even in a team challenge, in regular TC.

          2. What really annoyed me was that the commercial for Buitoni revealed the winner (Becky) before they did in the show!!! WTF?

            4 Replies
            1. re: josey124

              lol man, tc canada is such a shit show lol

              1. re: josey124

                Ha, I saw the commercial on Global (very RARELY watch non-taped/streamed tv) and I was annoyed that I saw it at the time but I totally forgot about it when I was watching the episode.

                I thought the Quickfire with the freezing was the stupidest product placement/advertising ever. At least make it make sense!

                I am glad Becky is gone. Her attitude at the judge's table really made her look bad. You see her at the end telling the other chef's that she decided to go home... yeah, right, like, you weren't going to get sent home anyway.

                1. re: ylsf

                  Well, on a different channel or before I watched my taped show is (somewhat) ok i.e. my fault. However, they showed the winner in the commercial break right before they switched back to the show! That was just nuts!

                  I agree the quickfire was garbage. I can see them do a pizza challenge to find an interesting new idea they will sell as a frozen pizza later. Freezing it before judging though was BS.

                  While I am rooting for the Albertans obviously, I am also glad Becky is gone. Especially after seeing her at judges table in that episode. Sore loser.

                  1. re: ylsf

                    Agree -lamest product placement yet - and that's a tall order

                2. chefhound - once again thanks for doing these summaries - I really enjoy them (just watched episodes 7 & 8 back to back as I was out of town). I must say I like Shereen better this year (even learned her name) - possibly due to different editing/not just focusing on her making faces. At least she is offering opinions.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: ElizabethS

                    Thanks! I wish I had the energy to do a full recap a la LindaWhit but it's just too much work. Just getting the conversation started.

                    I like Shereen. At least she comes across as natural. Which is why I really like Lisa Ray. I may not always agree with them but they seem real. Mark McEwan is a little better this season but still pretty stiff. If he says a dish was pleasant one more time, I think I'll scream. He should watch old Top Chef episodes and learn from Tom C's critiques.

                    1. re: chefhound

                      I enjoy the recaps as well. I often don't see the show until a few days later in the week, but I enjoy seeing who won ahead of time (I'm sick, right?)
                      I also am liking Shereen this season and Lisa Ray all seasons. The U.S. version should seriously look at trading in Padma for Lisa.

                      1. re: Firegoat

                        I don't think TC USA would dump Padma like that, but it is clear that Lisa Ray flubs her lines much less than Padma.

                        1. re: John E.

                          I guess Padma is no Katie Joel... but Lisa actually seems to enjoy what she's doing.

                          1. re: Firegoat

                            I wish Padma would say "Time's up! Utensils down!"

                            Or just once, I would like to see a contestant put their hands up and throw their utensils (not a knife) down to the floor.

                            1. re: John E.

                              A quick story of what a horrible and shallow person I am. Watched Top Chef Canada and noticed big red marks on her chest in a beautiful silver ribbon dress. Immediately thought... hickies? why would you have hickies with this job knowing you were on camera. Saw it in another episode.... then realized this woman came back from terminal melinoma. I"m glad I said nothing about what I thought. Just thought in general I am an ass about assuming anything about someone I don't know and am going to honor that. Go Lisa!

                              1. re: Firegoat

                                I did not know Ms. Ray was a cancer survivor. 
                                The petechiae (red splotches) you noticed were likely from cancer but she did not have melinoma, it is  multiple myeloma which is a cancer of the blood. She seems to be in remission which is good. The bad is that this is a cancer with a poor prognosis. The average survival period is 4-1/2 years after entering remission. However since the average age at onset is 70 years, she will likely live longer. I have a relative with this cancer who has now been cancer free for one year.  He is a bit older than she is but is not near 70.

                                1. re: John E.

                                  It's a scar from a port (inserted under the skin for some patients during chemo. It provides easier access for blood draws and chemo infusions). She has spoken of it in articles about her diagnosis. She is unselfconscious about it which I think is great.

                                  1. re: ElizabethS

                                    I agree and admire her for it. I didn't notice it until the episode with the silver ribbon dress (which she totally rocked) and became curious.