How can three months go by so quickly? It feels like only yesterday I was eagerly awaiting the season three premiere of Top Chef Canada, as excited as a schoolgirl at a Justin Bieber concert. This week is the application deadline for season four (shameless plug: last chance to apply. Do it here!) and tonight, we’ll watch the final three cook off for the big cash prize and a well-deserved title of Canada’s Top Chef. Watching the contestants widdle down from sixteen to three, week by week, I can honestly say that all three of these remaining fellows deserve their spot in the finale.
As I’m sure you can assume, I was beyond excited when I found out that the finale would be filmed in Calgary. I mean, seriously, give me local food trucks coupled with some Top Chef action, paired with the hilarity that is Jann Arden, and I’m a pretty happy camper.
Once Top Chef Canada released the news that they would be taking the show on the road to Calgary for the finale, I was inspired to take ‘Taking the Challenge Home’ on the road as well, so I decided to head to Vancouver. Cooking in your own kitchen week after week becomes relatively predictable, so it’s nice to feel your way through someone else’s kitchen and stress out about not knowing where everything is. Keeps things fresh, you know?
This challenge was my first time cooking with goat meat. I was trying to think if it would also be my first time eating goat meat and I think that was the case, although my memory has been known to fail me. After years of being indifferent with goat’s cheese – don’t hate me – I was not too sure what kind of deliciousness, if any, this current culinary venture would bring.
When the sun hits, it’s time for something refreshing. I fell in love with granitas a while back. They are stupid easy to make and always impress people. From wine and vodka, to prosecco and beer, there is a whole mix of things you can throw into a granita. Since I am in love with cold beer on a hot summer day, I decided to turn on into a dessert.
The fresh rosemary and lemon zest add a nice brightness to this chilly dessert, tasting somewhat like a boozy iced tea…not to be confused with a Long Island Iced Tea…I think only 18 year olds drink those things, right?
If there’s one dessert I can’t have just one piece of, it’s definitely baklava. Typically, I only indulge in this honey-soaked goodness of a pastry while I’m picking up some late night eats at a shawarma place after the bar. I mean, clearly, six pieces of baklava is definitely the correct thing to eat at 3 a.m. right? Right!
My Start From Scratch program wrapped up for the spring a couple weeks ago and our final class is always, always desserts! After ten weeks of learning in the kitchen, it’s only appropriate to end on a sweet note. Aside from making some chocolate souffles, which kicked ass, I decided to make baklava with my class.
This rendition is by no means traditional, but was a hit with the entire group.
With a double elimination in the second episode and some, um, tension between Caity and Ruth, I thought it might be less dramatic in my kitchen for this second round of recreating if I didn’t do it alongside someone else. And, especially not anyone named Caity! Kidding…sort of…
Anyway, as per my usual weekly routine, I swung by The Calgary Farmers’ Market to grab some ingredients for the dish I was recreating. For a second week in a row, I was (happily) assigned to reimagine a dish by Calgary’s Nicole Gomes, a plate Arctic Char with Tomato Emulsion and Chorizo that she created in episode two with Rory White. In lieu of making my own chorizo at home, I settled for some great sausages from the Spragg’s Meat Shop, as well as some beautifully fresh char fillets from Blu Seafood.
Well, here we are again. Apparently I am a glutton for punishment (much like Mr. Bob Blumer) and have signed up again for thirteen weeks of ‘Taking the Challenge Home’ for Top Chef Canada. To quickly refresh your memory, every week after an episode of the series airs, viewers can vote online for a dish from the latest episode that I will recreate at home.
(Missed the episode? You can watch online here.)
No recipes, no tips; just me, myself and I with a knife and a kitchen. Last year, I made everything from duck liver ice cream, to pretzel-crusted chicken wings with beer mayonnaise and even a chicken noodle soup terrine (pictured above, so weird, right?) with Top Chef alum Dale Mackay. On a show like this, there is never a shortage of creativity when it comes to the chefs’ creations so I imagine this new season will be full of delicious – and not so delicious – oddities begging to be recreated.
- The Canadian Food Experience Project: Seabuckthorn Berry and Shallot Vinaigrette
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week Twelve
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 11 (and a contest!)
- Sweet And Spicy Udon Noodles
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 10
- Appetizers & Co.
- Ask Dan
- Calgary & Area
- Monday Night Supper Club
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Something Sweet
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home
- United States