Vikram Vij

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Top Chef Canada exit interview, episode 13: runner-up

(Image: Courtesy Top Chef Canada)

This season, we’re 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). For the finale, of course, three chefs were eliminated. We already posted a chat to this season’s winner, Carl Heinrich, and the second runner-up, Jonathan Korecki. Below, our last Q&A of the season, with the season’s runner-up, Trevor Bird.

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The Dish

Food TV

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Top Chef exit interview, episode 13: second runner-up

This season, we’re 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). For the finale, of course, there were three chefs who were eliminated.

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The Dish

Food TV

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A chat with the winner of Top Chef Canada season two

Yesterday, we got a chance to speak with the winner of season two of Top Chef Canada to find out what it’s like feeding Mark McEwan, Shereen Arazm and Lisa Ray day after day. And, of course, we asked about what he’ll be doing with his $100,000 in loot (yes, we’re being intentionally vague here to stave off the spoilers). Check out our Q&A below.

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The Dish

Food TV

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Top Chef Canada recap, episode 13: you win some, they lose some

Guess who’s coming to dinner? (Image: Courtesy Top Chef Canada)

TOP CHEF CANADA Season 2 | Episode 13

Last night’s Top Chef Canada episode started in fine finale form, with the three remaining contestants—Carl Heinrich, Jonathan Korecki and Trevor Bird—offering backhanded praise to their opponents for the confessional cam (a sample: “I wouldn’t call Carl robotic, but…”), while psyching themselves up for the big competition ahead (the prize, lest you’ve forgotten: $100,000, a GE Monogram kitchen and some title or other). But the producers had one big trick up their sleeves before that could happen—such a big trick, in fact, that it necessitated a special 90-minute finale, a luxury even the U.S. version of the show hasn’t availed itself of. Find out all the nefarious twists and turns, including the return of the season’s designated villain, in our recap below.

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Food TV

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Top Chef Canada recap, episode 12: fashion victims

Jennifer McLagan joins the regular crew at the Shops at Don Mills (Image: Courtesy Top Chef Canada)

TOP CHEF CANADA Season 2 | Episode 12

With only four chefs remaining in the competition, last night’s episode of Top Chef Canada started in style—with Carl Heinrich, David Chrystian, Trevor Bird and Jonathan Korecki suiting up at their condo, accompanied by appropriately gladiatorial music. Over the next 43-odd TV minutes they’d be confronted with a legendarily tough (and foul-mouthed) guest judge, and one of those perplexing elimination challenges that leaves a chef between a rock and a hard place. Find out who makes it to the final and who gets sent packing, below.

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Restaurants

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Quoted: A whole bunch of Vancouver food people on whether their city is on the cutting edge

If you compare us to New York, no. If you compare us to Regina, yeah.

Brad Miller, chef and owner of Vancouver’s Red Wagon, responding to the question of whether Vancouver is on the cutting edge of culinary trends. The quote comes from an interesting piece in the Georgia Straight which surveyed 100 people in the industry about their city’s standing in the culinary world. Some lauded the city’s Asian cuisine and pointed to the new Japadog location that recently opened in New York. Others lamented the only very recent rise of the macaron and Neapolitan pizza, a sure sign that the city is behind the times. Vikram Vij argued that Vancouver’s sheer indifference to trends is what makes it, well, trendy. Sure, the piece has little to do with Toronto. But sometimes it’s just nice to see evidence that Toronto isn’t the only Canadian city with the occasional crippling inferiority complex. [Georgia Straight]

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Food TV

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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.

The Dish

Food TV

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Top Chef Canada recap, episode 1: playing with knives

TOP CHEF CANADA
Season 1 | Episode 1

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Like most fans of the original, American Top Chef, we came to last night’s premiere of Top Chef Canada with some pretty serious expectations. Would the level of competition be as fierce? Would Thea Andrews be credible as the host? Could we blindly trust head judge Mark McEwan the way we do Tom Colicchio? Would the producers be able to cram in as many egregious product placements?

We needn’t have worried. Top Chef Canada is eerily similar to the original—same structure, same music, same sound effects, same stock phrases—but with an extra dash of Canadian hokeyness added in. Here, our recap of the best dishes, quips and insidious sponsorship.

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The Dish

People

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Q&A with Vikram Vij: the celebrated Vancouver chef on his successes and why he won’t open a restaurant in Toronto

Vikram Vij at All the Best Fine Foods

Vikram Vij, chef and owner of Vancoucer haute Indian restaurants Vij’s and Rangoli, was in town this week for the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association show and a series of meet and greets around the city. His namesake restaurant is well known for its no-reservation policy, long lineups and devoted fans, including New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, who once hailed it as “among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.” Recently, we sat down with the chef, restaurateur and cookbook author to talk about the reasons behind his success and why he won’t expand to Toronto.

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