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Top Chef Canada begins tonight

It's guys against girls. I just looked over the bios. It doesn't seem like anyone has a particularly amazing resume. Are the really good chefs not applying?

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  1. Don't know but thanks for the heads up. I can't watch it on TV here but will be searching the internets for it later this week.

    1. I'd applied the first season so I was on their mailing list. For this season they sent at least a dozen messages saying I should try again. Then they extended the deadline because they hadn't gotten enough applicants and sent me another dozen reminders.

      Every season has gotten worse and worse and the last one was nothing but a steaming turd. I know everyone says they're not going to watch but I'm really not going to watch. Absolutely zero interest.

      1 Reply
      1. re: piano boy

        I agree the Canadian version is a sad imitation of the American one but I'm a Top Chef addict. Good or bad, I can't stay away.

        It does seem like they can't get enough good applicants. But I will give them a chance tonight before I judge them solely on where they work.

      2. I'll watch for Pierre and to support the Newfie but otherwise, I can't handle McEwan. 5 mins in and he's already called a dish "disjointed".

        3 Replies
        1. re: cellophane_star

          I refuse to watch another season until McEwan is no longer the head judge.

          Perhaps Hugh Acheson? He is sassy, but I like it. I would also love to see Gail Simmons on the panel.

          1. re: aasg

            OMG, that's the best idea! He's Canadian and he's cool. He's a real human being, as opposed to McEwan the robot.

          2. re: cellophane_star

            I want to see Shereen Arazm replaced. She always looks like she smelled something bad, and I can't stand hearing her whine "It was BAAAAAAAAAAD" one more time. Is her vocabulary really that limited?

          3. what's with the emphasis on sex. it is ridiculous.

            7 Replies
            1. re: frogsteak

              I haven't caught an episode of this yet, just the precede ads. Surely it isn't worse than last season's Top Chef U.S. with the emphasis on the blonde's daisy dukes and the lovingly slow shots of Padma's cleavage....

              1. re: Firegoat

                so far it's worse. also mckewan's is one of the worst tv personalities around.

                1. re: frogsteak

                  I am not a fan of him, or that they would have the contestant's shop at his grocery store for so many challenges. I do like the female that hosts, Lisa maybe, I'm sure the guy is a great person, but something about him makes me think aging porn star. I don't know why.

                      1. re: chefhound

                        Have you seen him on The Shopping Channel selling his made-in-China cheap pans? They don't use the same sorts of tricks to hide his balding head, so you can see he has just a few strands of straw across the top. Worst combover.

                        1. re: Karina2

                          He looks like a lion. It is not just his hair, he is quite lionesque.....

              2. I remember Richard from the Stratford chef school show. I'm not liking his attitude much based on this first show.

                The whole franchise is tired and introducing it as the "Most Intense Season YET!!!!!!!!" , then showing chefs in various sporting activities, reminds me of the American season when they had to ski in the finals.

                Mark McEwan always seems incredibly uncomfortable.

                5 Replies
                1. re: hal2010

                  Thank God there were no sports related activities back in my season... especially anything on bicycles or roller skates/blades

                  1. re: Blueicus

                    Could you try again? Is it allowed?

                    Would you try again?

                    1. re: chefhound

                      I don't know if it's allowed, but I would assume not, not that I'd be as interested if it became more 'gimmicky'... though if the American show is any indication, they may decide to do that in the future.

                      1. re: Blueicus

                        Top Chef U.S. has had Stephanie come back after being cut. Hell's Kitchen brought back Robert and Jason after cuts.

                  2. re: hal2010

                    I remember Rich from that show as the recovering addict...from the looks of the first show (and his horrible attitude) he won't last long and his past tv reference was probably why he was casted...

                  3. How odd that this is on Food Network in Canada.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ennuisans

                      Shows on Bravo in the US are not on Bravo in Canada. Our Bravo is different. So Top Chef (US and Canada) are on Food Network. The Housewifes of wherever and other Bravo US shows are also on other networks.

                      1. re: chefhound

                        Bravo Canada is closer to the original flavour of Bravo US.

                        The only 'reality' show I've ever seen on BC is "Bathroom Divas: So You Want to Be an Opera Star?:Bathroom Divas: So You Want to Be an Opera Star"

                    2. Tonight's episode looks ridiculous - firefighting? Really? Shark. Jumped.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ElizabethS

                        Next week on the 'Flop Network' Susie plans to have the teams make 'BB' while laying under parked canary yellow 1984 Buick Regals using 40 year old 'white gas' Coleman stoves.
                        Something has got to work right?

                      2. Is it just me or is Lisa meaner this season? She seems to enjoy eliminating people this time around. She didn't seem this way before.

                        At least Padma looks sad and sympathetic when she delivers the bad news. Lisa seems to coldly look down her nose at the loser and point at the door.

                        1. I know and have worked with a lot of good chefs of all stripes, but apart from some bizarre mishaps or a huge stepping up I think it'll be difficult for any of the women chefs to make it to the finale based on their food offerings

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Blueicus

                            I agree. I'm not ready to call top 3 but it doesn't look like any of the women will make it. None have impressed.

                            The veggie chef can't make delicious veggie food. If you're a vegetarian chef, you'd better damn well be able to produce a delicious bean cake or veggie burger. If you can't do that, then you you're not a good chef. You don't cook meat and you cook vegetarian food poorly. What's left?

                            The bitchy one put Saskatoon berries in a potato salad. What is that about? Sounds terrible.

                            The rest are unimpressive and totally forgettable. I wish this was not the case but it's true.

                            I'm going to wait a few more episodes before I decide if Terry is good or if he's just been lucky so far, and if Rich and Vittorio have a right to be arrogant. I'm strangely liking Jesse, though I'm not sure he'll make it to the end.

                            1. re: chefhound

                              I'm really disliking this season so far- the 'Boys vs. Girls' thing is very annoying, on many different levels. And I have no interest in whether any of the cheftestants are bonking each other- if TPTB are going to manufacture drama, at least make it about the kitchen.

                              I went in looking for Richard, as we actually liked Chef School. I'm half-hoping for Terry as he's kind of a next-door hometown chef, but I'm pretty un-invested in this season. If one of my daughters wasn't still a Top Chef fanatic I think that I would have turned it off after the first episode.

                              1. re: aenea

                                The show is such an embarrassment! How on earth can all the girls be terrible cooks. If you can't make a green or potato salad delicious or you resort to using canned corn you really shouldn't be on the show.
                                I also hate masterchef Canada, come dine with me Canada, you gotta eat here....I am having a hard time believing that these shows are what Canadians want to watch.

                          2. Vitto or Viddo what a chauvinist I hope he crash and burns.

                            1. The show as a whole is a total embarrassment, it fulfills all the stereo types, many of the men are arrogant and chauvinist, and the women are not serving their gender well. The women are not good cooks at all. And what is with the Mexican dude's ( have not even bothered to learn the names) hair? It should really be pulled back, I would not want to eat in any restaurant that allowed a chef to have all that hair flailing around. I'm waiting for the episode when the judges pull a long, black greasy hair out of their food, as there really is a need for some comic relief on this program.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: phisherking

                                Next episode 'Susie' has 'Ms. Piggy' lined up to be a guest judge. Secret ingredient? Kobe beef.

                                1. re: Puffin3

                                  Watched the 'fire fighting' episode last night.
                                  So all the women have their hair tied back but the dude who fancies himself to be a some sort of latin stud can wear his greasy hair dangling in his pretty face.
                                  How odd........not.

                              2. Is anyone still watching this? I was away for a few weeks and haven't had the urge to watch the shows I missed.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: hal2010

                                  It's mediocre but I can't stop. I must watch everything Top Chef.

                                  1. re: hal2010

                                    I watch it still but find myself not really interested. Just watching the Calgary chefs and that's it.

                                    1. re: cellophane_star

                                      Isn't it ironic that the two people who were paired with the two with immunity were the ones eliminated?

                                      They should have paired the two with immunity with each other. That way they would be equal.

                                  2. I skimmed through the last few episodes.

                                    The Earl's heir is gone. Back to Alberta to perfect the Spicy Chinese Nachos.
                                    Then the cute, inexperienced, naive one gets cut and gives one last clueless look before going.
                                    Everyone seems shocked that two contestants are having sex which makes me wonder if they really work in restaurants.
                                    Shereen Razmatazz says "Awful" 47 more times. Mark's hair continues its carefully orchestrated wave towards the back of the set.
                                    Morimoto shows up. He's lost weight, looks great, and his English has improved to the point where they don't even have to provide subtitles. Thank you very muts.
                                    And if you're front of house on the losing team for restaurant wars there's an 80% chance you'll go home. 100% if you make beef bourguignon that looks like cat food.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: hal2010

                                      Ah, but they did add sub titles.
                                      At least 'Susie' didn't have AB show up and tell everyone they had to make the entrée plates out of waxed paper.

                                      1. re: hal2010

                                        I'm not surprised by the shock of the contestants having sex.

                                        For better or worse, Top Chef has become sort of a 'professional organization' for chefs. Given that in countless other reality shows hook ups are really common, post Hosea - it's fairly notable that no other hook ups have occurred in the US Top Chef. I think that it's one thing to work in an industry/organization where dating amongst coworkers is unremarkable - and another to want to have that very publically tied to your professional reputation.

                                        1. re: cresyd

                                          Well, they've called off the affair and are back to just cooking now.

                                          Spicy mealworms win the quickfire and $5000. We don't get to see the chefs cook in the Elimination Round just shopping at McEwan's and finishing their canapes in the heat at Casa Loma.

                                          Shereen has been replaced by Lynn Crawford. Hugh Acheson is the guest judge and he's funny and honest. Mark's summation of the losing dishes could use a little more description and a few less synonyms for crap. Yours was awful and gross. Yours was disgusting and sloppy. Yours was nasty and bad.

                                          Another loss for the women as Shelley takes her warm, gritty clams and goes.

                                      2. I just watched the first six episodes all in one sitting.

                                        They are doing female chefs no favors with this show.

                                        1. The birthday curse strikes again!

                                          I believe there has been a strange tradition/coincidence on Top Chef where you get eliminated on your birthday.

                                          And Shelley's warm clams did her in.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: chefhound

                                            So much for the whole boys vs. girls schtick.

                                          2. Watched some old episodes over the weekend... Okay, the chef "Jessie" seems to have been told to make extreme faces in the background crowd shots. He's always over reacting to things like he just won the lottery. It made me laugh, so there's that.

                                            1. And then there were none. Five guys left, down to three next week.

                                              On Evelynn's departure the camera seemed to be focusing more on Vittorio than her.

                                              I'm not sure that cooking for kids was really appropriate for the 2nd last challenge before the final.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: hal2010

                                                I won't miss Evelynn and her sour puss face. I do wish Shelly or Karine in particularly had stayed longer. I found Karine pretty impressive for the most part. All the games with double eliminations with two people with immunity so late in the game pretty well screwed things up.

                                                I guess my picks now are between Terry and Jesse (and his crazy mugging reaction shots). Everyone else left is pretty obnoxious. Rene Rich and Vittorio all seem to think they are gods gift to cooking and women. Rich has skated by on immunity more times than reasonable. Rene, I want to wash his hair. Vittorio... just such a smug sexist jerk. But that's just my opinion. YMMV

                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                  Me too. I couldn't stand Evelynn. What was she doing with that cheese sauce? It was lumpy and watery at the same time. That's when I knew, she's done.

                                                  It's too bad the women this season were not very good. I think Connie from Season 1 could have kicked all their asses.

                                                  I really like Jesse, even his crazy faces but I don't know if he's going to be able to take it. I hope he can. I'd love it if he won.

                                                  The macho fist-pumping thing that Terry does when he wins is so annoying.

                                                  I love/hate Rich. Sometimes I like him and sometimes I can't stand him. There are times when he seems likeable underneath that arrogant facade. And other times I wonder why he's so arrogant when his food sucked.

                                                  But at least he's not giving the camera the I'm-so-sexy face that Rene does all the time. And I don't know what it is about Vittorio, I just don't like him. Of course, being part of our very Hosea/Leah love affair doesn't help.

                                                  1. re: chefhound

                                                    I like Jesse, took, even, and who know, maybe because of the crazy faces. I'm giving Terry a pass on the first pumping because a) It really annoys I think it was Vittorio or Rene and b) He always seemed to be very respectful of the women he paired with and one of the first to high five and grab and hug someone else and congratulate them on a win. So for now, a pass for me. I get your ambivalence toward Rich. I think he's living on borrowed time. I wish they had a last chance kitchen and Karine could come back and do pastry all over them.

                                                    1. re: Firegoat

                                                      I sincerely hope the contestants weren't forced to shop at McEwan for their $4-a-head kids' lunches. It would be nice if the focus of each episode were to inspire the chefs to produce the finest quality dishes possible within time and budget constraints. It should be that way, but I get the impression that each challenge is instead designed to make the majority fail miserably. Whatever the case, with few exceptions, the food delivered each episode has been largely pedestrian and sometimes downright horrible. The reason I watch Top Chef and shows like it is to see creative people take simple ingredients and make wonderful dishes with them. I'm just not seeing a lot of that this season.

                                                      1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                        I think they shopped at McEwans as usual. Rene made a crack that $4 would buy him one organic apple, which is about right for McEwans.

                                              2. I'm really sad that Jesse is gone. I was rooting for him. Somehow I thought he would beat Rene for the last spot.

                                                I was indifferent to Vittorio's elimination. His dish was boring and didn't celebrate the modernist cooking techniques, which was the point of the challenge.
                                                On a personal note, I finally figured out what it was about Vittorio that was weird to me. It's his eyebrows. He has these thin, too-perfect, girly eyebrows. Incongruous with his macho persona.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: chefhound

                                                  I noticed the eyebrows right away, especially since I was watching Canadian Masterchef and there was another male chef there with the same eyebrows. i will also miss Jesse, who seemed to be having fun.

                                                    1. re: chefhound

                                                      Yes - those four brows (and I think a bit of nipping and tucking elsewhere on Vittorio's smooth shiny face) suggest to me that if Canada did a metrosexual guy lifestyle series, or a plastic surgery competition series, it would be even worse than either of these two cooking competition knock-offs. Throw that blonde in from masterchef & you can only conclude that quality work is not available north of the 49th!

                                                      1. re: badrockandroll

                                                        Oh that poor blonde on masterchef. I don't know what she had done.... but she shouldn't have done it.

                                                        Sad to see Jesse out. Love his crazy photo bombing expressions and it just seemed like he was really enjoying himself.

                                                2. I can't believe they didn't say anything about the proteins coming out of riches fish which meant it was cooked to hot. They didn't even show his dish at the table (very suspicious) and Mcewan called his cedar berrys currants. I can't imagine how you could cook cedar berries to make them edible. And what was broth he made? just the bones? Where was the crispy skin on the dish? They were very vague on his whole dish. They also said fennel when it looked like radish... I think the fix was in on him.

                                                  Glad Egorrio is gone. Surprised tho thought he was going to take it.

                                                  Was afraid for the pineapple as I thought it was going to be stringy.

                                                  To bad about Jesse but beets are strong flavoured. beet on beet on beet

                                                  Looks like greasy haired guy picked lots of herb, fruit etc to give good flavour.

                                                  1. Okay. Well color me disappointed with the winner of the finale.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                      1. re: LexiFirefly

                                                        Also disappointed they didn't bring back Jesse as a sous chef, but did bring back Evelyn and Pierre. WTF.

                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                          I was ok with Rene or Terry winning. I wasn't really invested in either. No one really stood out this season, though I was kind of rooting for Jesse.

                                                          I was shocked but not surprised that Rich tanked. He seems to either be great or completely suck - there's no in between with him. Is it just him or are aboriginal flavours not sophisticated enough?

                                                          I kind of feel that he robbed Jesse of his chance. Rich's dish in the science challenge may have been better tasting but didn't really celebrate modern technique. Jesse had popping beet candy and fluid gel but not enough fish. But at least he had the fun element. Rich used an immersion circulator and a pressure cooker. Boring. I use both of those. I wanted to see nitrogen, spherification, powders etc. I know Rich won his spot fairly but I can't help thinking Jesse would have performed better in the finale.

                                                          I totally agree about the sous chefs. That was mean and unfair to bring back Pierre. I'm sure he's a nice guy but his skills can't be on par with the others. He might have lots of knowledge but he can't have the speed and skills needed. They should have brought back Jesse.

                                                          1. re: chefhound

                                                            I think aboriginal flavours can be sophisticated. The judges loved the pickled blueberries. Rich just made some basic mistakes like serving raw, greasy, stringy quail and then unseasoned musk ox for dessert.

                                                            I wish Jessie was in the final but was rooting for Terry in the end. Vittorio was back as a sous chef and had a few nasty things to say about his competitor's food which were not borne out in the judging. He sneered at the burnt onion dessert topping and it was an absolute hit.

                                                            If Terry's pasta had had a little more zing he would have won it. But Rene's use of mealworms on mole was pretty daring and it paid off.

                                                      2. re: Firegoat

                                                        Meh - like others I wasn't invested in any of them. I thought this season was terribly conceived with ridiculous, unnecessary bolt-ons to cooking challenges - not to mention the off-putting guys against the girls.

                                                        I watch it online and fast forward through much of the manufactured drama ... I can watch a show in about 20 minutes while I'm working so I guess I'll continue to do that. I'm curious about the ratings for this season - have a friend who might know so I'll post if I find out.