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Chef Patrick Kriss leaves Acadia

Patrick Kriss

(Image: Renée Suen)

Only a year after Momofuku Daisho wooed Matt Blondin away from Acadia, Patrick Kriss, the former Splendido chef de cuisine who replaced Blondin in the kitchen, is leaving the inventive College Street restaurant. Under Blondin, Acadia landed the number two spot on our list of best new restaurants in 2011 for its ambitious take on Lowcountry cooking. With Kriss in the kitchen, the restaurant received even more glowing praise. The owners Scott and Lindsey Selland are bringing in former Top Chef contestant Dustin Gallagher to take over until they find a new full-time chef. He started on Friday with his own menu, which is a marked departure from Blondin and Kriss’s elevated cuisine.

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Food TV

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Top Chef Canada recap, episode 4: a little backbone

Trish Stratus and Elizabeth Falkner joined the judges this week (Image: Top Chef Canada)

TOP CHEF CANADA Season 3, Episode 4

Last night’s episode of Top Chef Canada started with some heavy-handed foreshadowing. Sounding downbeat, Vancouver’s Kayla Dhaliwall told the confessional cam that after embarrassing herself in the first three challenges, she never wanted to find herself on the bottom again. Toronto’s Becky Ross, on the other hand, was flying high as she lifted weights and did pushups on the the balcony of the chefs’ penthouse (a move she actually admitted was an intimidation tactic). We were ready to call it at this point. One of the two chefs was going to win, and the other was going home. The only question: would the producers pull the classic role-reversal, with Kayla taking the win and 0ver-confident Becky taking a fall? Or would they go for the double-fakeout? Find out in our recap, below.

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Food TV

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Top Chef Canada exit interview, episode 9: whose palate is it anyway?

This season, we’ll be chatting with each week’s eliminated chef after they get the boot (or, rather, after their boot-getting episode airs—this stuff was recorded months ago).

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Food TV

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Top Chef Canada exit interview, episode 7: casseroled

This season, we’ll be chatting with each week’s eliminated chef after they get the boot (or, rather, after their boot-getting episode airs—this stuff was recorded months ago).

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Food TV

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Top Chef Canada recap, episode 7: modernist warfare

Date night at judges' table (Image: Top Chef Canada)

TOP CHEF CANADA Season 2 | Episode 7

We’ve often noted that the dishes on Top Chef Canada are a good deal simpler than the fare on the show’s U.S. forebear. Compared to, say, the ambitious yet elegant work of Top Chef Texas winner Paul Qui, the Canadian crop of grilled cheese sandwiches and roasted strip loin can start to feel a tad unambitious. Perhaps that’s why the producers chose to fly in Top Chef All-Stars winner and modernist cuisine avatar Richard Blais to judge last night’s episode. Did it work? Find out in our recap below.

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The Top Chef Canada exit interview: episode 3, death by rendering

This season, we’ll be chatting with each week’s eliminated chef after they get the boot (or, rather, after their boot-getting episode airs—this stuff was recorded months ago).

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Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for March 19 to 25

Want to learn how to make mustard like this? Head to the Brick Works on Thursday (Image: Danielle Scott)

Monday, March 19

  • 86’D: Join Ivy Knight for the bread-and-butter battle. Watch contestants from Brockton General, The Gabardine, Bread Bar and more show off their kneading and churning skills. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Order of Good Cheer Dinner at Gilead Bistro: A four-course menu prepared by Jamie Kennedy paired with wines from Prince Edward County’s By Chadsey’s Cairns winery. Gilead Bistro, 4 Gilead Pl., 647-288-0680. Find out more »
  • Tastes of Tomorrow: George Brown Chef School hosts a molecular gastronomy demonstration with Chef John Placko. Find out more »
  • Sorauren Farmers’ Market: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the field house at Sorauren Park. 50 Wabash Ave. Find out more »

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Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for March 12 to 18

Martin Picard will be cooking a five-course tasting menu at Canoe on Sunday to promote his new cookbook, Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack (Image: Marie-Claude St-Pierre)

Monday, March 12

  • Society for American Wines: Cabernet blends formal tasting. University of Toronto Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks St., 416-978-6325. Find out more »
  • 86’D: Join Ivy Knight for the premiere of Top Chef Canada 2012. With special guest chef Todd Perrin from season one. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • March Break: Kids Cooking Camp: A week of globally inspired cooking classes for little foodies. St. Lawrence Market, 92 Front St. E., 416-392-7120. Find out more »
  • Sorauren Farmers’ Market: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the field house at Sorauren Park. 50 Wabash Ave. Find out more »

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Top Chef Canada reveals the rather stacked list of guest judges for season two

Remember last year when Chris Cosentino, one of the pioneers of the offal revival, visited Toronto for undisclosed reasons and claimed he could smell Chinatown from three blocks away? Or when Richard Blais, the molecularly inclined winner of Top Chef All-Stars, tweeted about the interesting tasting menu he’d just lunched on in Toronto? Or when Italian food legend Lidia Bastianich dropped in at All the Best Fine Foods? Turns out they weren’t here just because they love us—they’re all guest judges on season two of Top Chef Canada. Other notable judges and tasters include—and let us be clear, this is a bit of a spoiler for those who really like to keep their Top Chef Canada viewing pure—east-coast chef Michael Smith, season one host Thea Andrews (no hard feelings, we guess!), chef-about-town Matty Matheson of Parts and Labour, Leafs assistant captain Colby Armstrong, Susur Lee and his soon-to-be restaurateur sons Kai and Jet Bent-Lee, Toca’s Tom Brodi, Roger Mooking, Top Chef Masters winner Marcus Samuelson, last season’s winner Dale MacKay and his adorable son Ayden, Keisha Chante, Rick the Temp Campanelli, Lorenzo Loseto of George, Charlie’s Burgers mastermind Franco Stalteri, husband-and-wife dynamos Marc Thuet and Biana Zorich, Odd Bits author Jennifer McLagan, Vancouver Indian restaurateur and chef Vikram Vij and assorted competitors from last season, not to mention the somewhat bizarro guests we already told you about, like Alan Thicke and Mike Holmes. (Whew!) Not bad.

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Food TV

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Top Chef Texas crew spotted in Vancouver, presumably filming the finale

(Image: heydrienne)

Rain, Lululemon, hippies and now… Top Chef? Eater drew our attention to a series of tweets that suggest the entire Top Chef Texas crew is filming the show’s finale in that most Texan of cities, Vancouver. Judges Tom Colicchio and Emeril Lagasse were allegedly spotted dining at Hawksworth, while Owen Lightly, a catering chef, tweeted that he “Saw a bunch of contestants from Top Chef Texas in Whole Foods on Cambie today shopping for ingredients.” If the rumours are true (and it seems like they are), that would mean the Lone Star State ponied up $400,000 to host the series and was then shut out of the finale. Does that qualify as messing with Texas? Read the entire story [Eater] »

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Under the Bajan sun, Mark McEwan drops a few hints about season two of Top Chef Canada

(Video: Si Si Penaloza)

At the Barbados Food and Wine and Rum Festival in November, Canada was represented by Toronto chefs Mark McEwan (Bymark, North 44, One, McEwan Foods) and Tom Brodi (Toca, Canoe), along with the likes of celeb chefs Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai and Marcus Samuelsson. In this clip, we grilled chef McEwan, head judge on Top Chef Canada, about the upcoming season. With the Bajan sun beating down and the gas stove cranked up, McEwan, struggling with his gnocchi, dropped a couple of tiny clues. First, just as in the U.S. version of the show, the calibre of chefs in season two seems to have been ratcheted up. Second, it appears as though there will be more than one Toronto chef in the final six. Of course, we’ll have to wait until March 12 (and the weeks thereafter) to find out.

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Food TV

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Recipe to Riches Reviewed: Episode 7, Slow and Low Pulled Pork

RECIPE TO RICHESSeason 1 | Episode 7

Ok, so host Jesse Palmer didn’t exactly loosen up like we hoped he would last week. And sure, the show didn’t really get any less formulaic this time around (every episode does proceed the exact same way as the last, so what do you expect?). But, curmudgeons that we are, we have to admit that last night’s episode of Recipe to Riches, the entrée challenge, was probably the best. We had three compelling contestants, each of whom was pretty serious about their dish. And each of those dishes was in turn at least plausible as a winner. So this being the final challenge, it’s fair to say the show is going out on something like a high (if it comes back next year, however, the producers are going to have to learn how to mix things up a bit from episode to episode). After the jump, our regular recap and tasting panel.

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Q&A with Lisa Ray, the new host of Top Chef Canada, on the joys and perils of eating for a living

(Image: Top Chef Canada/Insight Productions)

Yesterday we told you that actress and former model Lisa Ray had been pegged to replace Thea Andrews as host of Top Chef Canada. We caught up today with the 39-year-old Torontonian to try to pry some secrets about the second season, which airs March 12 on Food Network Canada. For the most part, we failed. Still, Ray did tell us a bit about working with Mark McEwan, turning into a professional eater and learning about food on the job. Read our Q&A with her after the jump.

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Recipe to Riches reviewed: Episode 1, Luscious Lemon Pudding Cakes

RECIPE TO RICHESSeason 1 | Episode 1

Last night was the premiere of Recipe to Riches, the much-hyped new Food Network Canada show where each week, a trio of home cooks compete in one of eight different categories to determine whose recipe would make the best President’s Choice product. (No, really.) The show was one pinch of So You Think You Can Dance’s nationwide talent search, a dollop Top Chef’s cook offs and product placement and a heap of Dragon’s Den’s Marketing 101, all whirred in a blender. To be honest, it can sometimes make for a strange mix—the Top Chef–style solemnity that greets each elimination seems a little out place when the contestants change every episode. Each winning product will show up on Loblaws shelves the weekend after the episode airs, and at the end, viewers will vote to crown the winner of a $250,000 grand prize. Every week, we’ll be bringing an advance sample of the winning dish into our office to see whether it’s worth the trip to the grocery store. After the jump, our thoughts on the winner of the Sweet Puddings and Pies challenge.

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People

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Q&A with Padma Lakshmi: the Top Chef host, who’ll be in town for the Delicious Food Show, talks about her favourite contestants and places to eat

Padma Lakshmi, the model, actress, sometime singer, Top Chef host and bestselling cookbook author, will be in town this weekend for the Delicious Food Show at the Better Living Centre. The show, which will also see appearances from Mark McEwan, David Rocco and Afrim Pristine of the Cheese Boutique, will feature cooking demonstrations, tastings, a wine-stomping and more. We chatted with the former supermodel about some of her favourite places to eat, her Top Chef co-star Tom Colicchio and her impressions of eating out in Toronto.

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