Let’s skip straight to the moral of last night’s episode of Top Chef Canada: in a reality cooking show, hell is other chefs. The somewhat terrifying Caity Hall set the tone right from the top, complaining to the confessional cam about being forced to live “in a house with 16 [sic] other people that I don’t give a shit about” (she later revealed her plan to first knock off all the other female chefs, since she prefers working with men). Over the next 40-odd minutes, the show played out the consequences of that outlook. Spoiler: the nice guys and gals finish last. Find out how, in our recap below.
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.
Tonight at 9 p.m., a fresh crop of 16 cheftestants will take to Food Network Canada to vie for the approval of Top Chef Canada head judge Mark McEwan (and to attempt to evade the disapproval of resident judge/meanie Shereen Arazm). Season three features five Torontonians—Ruth Eddolls, Jonathan Goodyear, Rebecca Ross, Dennis Tay and Rory White—so you better believe we’ll be recapping the show once again. Check back tomorrow for our take on episode one.
Toronto Life’s weekly assessment of the restaurants with the biggest buzz, the longest lineups and the toughest tables to snag.
On Monday, the contestants for season three of Top Chef Canadawere announced, catapulting their respective restaurants onto this week’s power rankings. Meanwhile, the mighty power of the Biebs bumps up the hype for an Annex diner, and the depth of Toronto’s appetite for brunch tacos is revealed.
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.
What the dots mean: We’ve colour-coded Splendido’s kitchen hierarchy and charted the chefs’ rise through its ranks
Victor Barry, the owner and executive chef of Splendido, has a reputation for running the toughest and most traditional French kitchen hierarchy in the city. No matter how pedigreed, every new hire—chef, server or sommelier—must work his way up from the bottom. Which may explain why so much of the talent behind Toronto’s best new restaurants did time on Harbord Street. Here, we chart the current crop of stars.
Chef Aaron Joseph Bear Robe at his brand new Parkdale restaurant (Image: Gizelle Lau)
Back in April, we told you about an upcoming Aboriginal-focused restaurant on Queen West. Last Wednesday, Keriwa Café threw open its doors to friendly and curious neighbours—like the chefs from nearby Parts and Labour—who stopped in to welcome the new kids on the block.