This week, I finally got the chance to meet Top Chef Canada’s Rich Francis. Doing a bit of traveling in Alberta, the chef came down to Calgary to join fellow cheftestant Karine Moulin at her restaurant, Raw Bar, for this past Monday’s viewing party. Francis chatted with a full room of folks about his time on the show, what is was like cooking off against Karine, the other competitors and all of that good stuff.
Rich’s dish from episode 6 has many components and you can get the full breakdown here on FoodNetwork.ca, but to keep things simple, here’s the bright and briny tapenade used to finish his pickerel dish. This tapenade would be great on a variety of grilled meats, so try it out on whatever you happen to be roasting/grilling for dinner this week!
Now that it’s getting all snow-melty and sunny outside, I see a lot more barbecued dinners in my future. Whether it’s burgers, hotdogs or some ribs, food just seems to taste better when it’s grilled. This relish is nice, bright and tart. It would go beautifully with some blue cheese on a burger or just dolloped on top of some pork tenderloin. It also only takes 15 minutes to make too, so we’re basically winning at life here.
Sometimes it really frightens me just how many images of food I have on my phone. Granted, it just sort of comes with the territory, but between snapping photos, socialising while out for dinner and, dare I say, actually eating what’s on my plate, sometimes different moments don’t get the full explanation they deserve. Especially if you don’t have Instagram (blasphemy!) and can’t see what’s going through my stream.
In no particular order, here are 8 pictures I’ve shared on Instagram over the past few months that, when looking back, have been especially memorable for myself…
Stacked Broccoli at Calgary Co-op’s Downtown Marketplace
There’s a bit of a void in my online life. I mean, now that Top Chef Canada is over, what am I supposed to tweet about?
Jokes aside, now that the show is wrapped up, instead of having a poll with dishes from the finale – those were all a little too fancy for me, anyway – I got to look back through past episodes and pick out a dish myself! Looking back, there were a ton of memorable dishes this season. From Geoff’s blue sprinkle-covered wasabi doughnut to Nicole’s Beaver Balls, there was always something interesting to be found in each episode.
I decided to go with pizza as my last home challenge - Becky’s winning pizza to be exact. The mixture of creme fraiche, radicchio and bacon seemed like an unusual, but interesting combination of flavours to play with on a pizza.
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.
And then there were four. Who wasn’t sad to see Nicole leave Top Chef Canada this past week? I sure was. Not only was she the last-standing female competitor on the show, but she was also the last Calgarian! Am I heartbroken? You bet. Am I – and the rest of Calgary – proud of her? You’re damn straight! At this point, it’s hard to decide who to root for; the remaining gentlemen are all great chefs, so it will be interesting to see how the final two episodes play out.
This past episode’s guest judge, Jody Claman was polarizing, to say the least. Since I was still spending some time eating my way through Vancouver last week, I was able to attend one of Matt Stowe’s viewing parties at The Cactus Club. Seeing as I am Calgarian, I was still in ‘Team Nicole’ mode at the time (I gave Matt some advanced warning that my friend and I would be wearing ‘Team Nicole’ t-shirts during his event). He was very good-natured about it, although we did get a few odd looks from some of the Vancouver attendees, which was fair, seeing as we were on his turf!
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