Daniel Boulud has gone two for two on Top Chef Canada: both Dale Mackay and Carl Heinrich, the winners of season one and two respectively, spent time in one of the New York chef’s many outposts before going on to win the title. However, based on the performance of this season’s Daniel Hudson,who worked at Vancouver’s ill-fated db Bistro, we’re not confident Boulud will make the hat trick. The celebrity chef, of course, was the guest star-slash-judge for this week’s elimination challenge—though he was arguably eclipsed by an appearance from Canadian TV’s most eligible vegan.
Once again,Top Chef Canada got an upgrade in the off-season. This year’s grand prize now includes a custom Caesarstone countertop in addition to the usual $100,000 and GE Monogram Kitchen. The 16 contestants now stay in a two-storey suite at the Soho Metropolitan, making their usual cries of disbelief over their palatial digs—“oh my God, this is like completely fancy!”—more plausible than in years past. And the chefs seem to have a certain steely determination, with their introductory camaraderie more perfunctory and their fangs bared from the get-go. Heck, it took less than ten minutes for one them—Calgary’s Nicole Gomes—to declare that she’s not there to make friends. But does this new competitive edge augur a season of kick-ass dishes? Find out, in our recap below.
Season three of Top Chef Canada kicks off on March 18, and earlier today Food Network Canada unveiled the slate of 16 contestants, including five from the GTA (that’s one less than in seasons one and two). Returning this year are host Lisa Ray, head judge Mark McEwan and resident judge Shereem Arazm, and just like last season, the winner takes home $100,000 and a new GE Monogram Kitchen (plus a custom Caesarstone countertop installation, which was the prize in episode 12 last year). The celebrity guests will include Montreal chef-hunk Chuck Hughes, U.S. Top Chef season six champ Michael Voltaggio and Food Network regulars David Rocco and Robert Irvine, as well as the usual sprinkling of CanCon’s finest like Trish Stratus, Russell Peters and, gloriously, Jann Arden. Below, we suss out the Toronto contestants’ chances.