Everything about Masterchef Canada, eh?

Masterchef Canada: And the final two competitors are…

Tonight, it was a battle for the place in the MasterChef Canada season finale and making dreams come true for the home cooks. Only one step is left for the Top 2. Who was going to be the lucky duo?

The MasterChef Canada kitchen surprised Andy, Beccy and Michael G. as they entered the room. Three different restaurants with three different cuisines were set up for three contestants to create a pop-up menu. Andy’s Halifax Hawker House served Asian street food with an East Coast flair. Beccy’s UK Gastro Pub gave an old classic a new modern twist. Michael’s Canadian Comfort Lodge was all about Canada. With 90 minutes to go and 30 food bloggers ready to eat, there was no pressure on the kitchen. Beccy and Michael G. were more traditional in their ideas, while Andy went in the absolutely different direction. He knew that Beccy and Michael G. were way more technical, so he went with some interesting flavour choices.

The bloggers came in and the show began. Andy served Korean halibut tartare with caramelized kimchi and yuzu curd. The dish looked stunning with bright, fresh and beautiful plating. But Chefs Claudio, Alvin and Michael were a bit disappointed with the lack of balance in the dish. Beccy made squab two ways with shredded Brussels sprouts and Yorkshire pudding to praise her heritage. The plating left the judges speechless. The cook on the meat was perfect, but the dish was not seasoned enough. The last dish of the night was a crusted rack of lamb with butternut squash confit, polenta and pea purée by Michael G. He surprised the judges with his plating, but some missed a few components and the cook on the meat was not even. Each home cook’s dish had their pros and cons. Chefs Claudio, Alvin and Michael made their decision. The winner of this challenge was … BECCY! She had made it to the FINALE!

Michael G. and Andy were left to battle in the Pressure Test. And the test didn’t disappoint. The challenge was to create three different classic Canadian desserts. The Nanaimo bar, butter tart and blueberry grunt were perfect on the judges’ table. Michael G. and Andy had 75 minutes to replicate the desserts and make them as perfect as the judges’ were. The final Pressure Test of the season was hard, fast and extremely emotional. Andy rushed to do the desserts, as he was redoing his missteps. Michael G. was pushing hard and was ahead of Andy.

Chefs Claudio, Alvin and Michael tried all of the plates. The look was important, but the taste was the main element. The home cook who would compete with Beccy in the finale was chosen. ANDY was the winner of the Pressure Test and Michael G.  went home. Who do you think will win MasterChef Canada this season? Let me know in the comments below!

MasterChef Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

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MasterChef Canada’s Top 3 are revealed

The Top 5! The MasterChef Canada title is closer than ever before. Tonight, the home cooks returned to where it all started. There were mystery boxes waiting for cooks. What was in them? The ingredient that helped them to get on the show and be the lucky chefs in the first place. But that wasn’t the only surprise! Families!! Contestants got to cook with their loved ones. I was really excited to see the teamwork and powerful unity of a family.

The home cooks had one hour to master their ingredient in a new, more exciting way. Chefs Claudio, Alvin and Michael made their choice. The first to call was Andy and his wife Jessica. They prepared a scallop ceviche with a pistachio-coconut cracker; it was a light and fresh little dish. Beccy and her father, Chris, were the next pick made by the judges. Their chicken roulade with beets two ways and butternut squash purée not only looked spectacular, but the taste was outstanding as well. The final couple was Michael G. and his sister Sarah! The look of their pork and lamb ravioli with tomato basil sauce and grilled cauliflower was mouth-watering. However, it’s the judges who had to decide, not my hungry stomach. The winner was chosen: Beccy and her father Chris were the winners.

What was next? The Elimination Challenge! The home cooks met past MasterChef Canada winners who had baskets full of incredible ingredients themed for baking, Asian, Italian and seafood. So many flavours! Beccy had the right to distribute the baskets among the other contestants. Chef Claudio, Alvin and Michael had to try all the dishes and decide who was going to be in Top 3!

Nadia received the seafood basket and made fried crab and fried green tomatoes. The chefs were not amused. Michael G. and his Asian basket delivered Thai green curry with poached lobster and crispy geoduck. It was a good attempt by Michael to cook Asian. Eugene cooked pasta and meatballs … and the meatballs were hidden in the tomatoes! Andy received the baking basket. He was terrified but made a nice looking sweet and savoury tart with candied bacon and mascarpone cream. It was terrific! The last to call was Beccy, who made poached pears with pink peppercorn tofu and cranberry curd. It looked nice, but the taste was not there.

Michael G. and Andy made it through to the Top 3! And with just one space left between three home cooks, the final spot went to … Beccy!

MasterChef Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Serious business on MasterChef Canada

Finally! Tonight’s episode of MasterChef Canada was an incredible challenge for the six remaining home cooks: they had to work in a professional kitchen. And it was not an ordinary kitchen, but chef Claudio’s restaurant, Copetin. No pressure! Kaegan and Michael G. won the last Tag team challenge which made them team captains this week and Michael G. had the advantage of choosing his teammates first. Nadia and Andy made it to Michael’s Red Team, while Eugene and Beccy were in Kaegan’s Blue Team.

The two teams were tasked with cooking two appetizers: La Plancha Octopus with green curry and compressed cucumber and Beef Tartare with smoked egg yolk and crispy pasta. For the entrées, they had to prepare Sea Bream with chorizo and clams and Lamb Loin with black lentils and Vichy carrots. The bar was raised very high for both teams and they had just one hour to prepare all the ingredients for the stunning dinner.

The Red Team started out very strong, showing good communication and teamwork while the Blue Team struggled from the beginning. The orders were coming, the teams were working hard. The appetizer service was completed and the guests had a few words to say. There were mixed reviews. Chefs Claudio, Alvin and Michael tried the appetizers from both squads. The Red Team’s octopus was a bit overdone, while the Blue Team’s was juicy and perfectly cooked. The tartare was underseasoned for both.

Then it was time for the main course! Kaegan was losing his confidence and struggling with being a team captain, so he made Beccy team captain and the service went smoother. Hashtag team Beccy? The Red Team was strong in the beginning and had a few ups and downs in the middle. Nevertheless, they made it through the challenge. Both teams perfectly seared the skin on the fish, the Blue Team cooked their meat perfectly, while the Red’s meat was a bit overdone. In the end one team was better than the other. The winning team was … the Red Team.

That meant, sadly, the Blue squad had to compete in the Pressure Test. Beccy, Eugene and Kaegan had to master a box of macarons in 75 minutes by presenting 10 macarons with two different fillings. Beccy decided on hazelnut praline and Bakewell tart macarons, Eugene with Thai-inspired and matcha macarons, and Kaegan with baked orange and lavender and coffee and rum macarons. All three cooks had some good and some bad. Beccy nailed the meringue and was safe from the elimination. Chefs Claudio, Alvin and Michael had to say goodbye to Kaegan after Eugene’s flavours saved him. Who do you think will win MasterChef Canada? Let me know in the comments below!

MasterChef Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

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A (Corner) Gas of a time on MasterChef Canada

Tuesday’s “Cooking with (Corner) Gas” episode of MasterChef Canada was full of challenges for the Top 7 home cooks. They had to compete in a Mystery Box Challenge and, FINALLY, a classic MasterChef Canada Tag Team Challenge. But just hold on and let me tell it in order.

As the seven remaining home cooks entered the kitchen they saw a MASSIVE Mystery Box. What could be in it? Or perhaps, who could be in it? Tonight’s challenge was elevated diner food and the contestants got a little bit of help from the cast of the hit series Corner Gas Animated, including Brent Butt, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Lorne Cardinal and Nancy Robertson. For me, it was a good opportunity to add one more great Canadian series to my watch list. For the cooks, winning would give them a huge advantage in the upcoming Elimination Challenge.

All of the cooks rushed to the pantry and got baskets full of delicious products. And then there was Beccy, who had just a couple of grapefruits, eggs and butter. I was looking forward to seeing what she had in her creative mind and what the judges would get in the end. The atmosphere in the kitchen was easy and fun. The Top 7 cooks were cooking passionately and had so many great ideas, like chicken and waffles from Eugene, a Japanese play on steak and eggs from Kaegan and a tuna melt from Marissa. But chefs Claudio, Alvin and Michael made their choice and decided to try three dishes out of the seven; the lucky ones were Nadia, Andy and Beccy. Nadia made a stuffed French toast with smoked applewood brie and spicy berry fig sauce and the judges loved her brie! Beccy cooked an elevated diner pie with grapefruit and basil with Italian meringue and crumble; the presentation was extraordinary. Andy prepared a Thai Burger with vegetable tempura.

Chef Alvin was very impressed by Andy’s dish … and he was the home cook who won the challenge. Which dish would you like to try?

The Elimination Tag Team Challenge was a replication of an Asian box with five different dishes. It contained perfectly crafted Chinese bao with pork belly, cucumber and Asian pear, jellyfish salad and Banh Mi sandwich, and Takoyaki. And for the dessert? Fried banana in coconut batter. The home cooks had 70 minutes to master the box. Andy was safe from elimination but as well had a power to make teams for the Tag Team Challenge. He made Eugene and Beccy a team, Michael G. and Kaegan the second team and Nadia and Marissa the third. The heat was on. The teams were rushing to finish. The normally quiet Beccy was very vocal, urging Eugene to work faster. The judges started to sample the dishes. The first team to get all of their items in their box were Kaegan and Michael G. The Banh Mi was great, the takoyaki and the bun were good, but the bananas were burnt. Beccy and Eugene missed a couple of details but still made a great box. Nadia and Marissa, unfortunately, disappointed judges and Marissa left MasterChef Canada.

MasterChef Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

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The art of food on MasterChef Canada

Tonight’s team challenge was set at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, home to a magnificent Group of Seven collection. As the home cooks were approaching the location they saw seven Canadian masterpieces. What could be more inspiring than that? For me, it was a good opportunity to travel back in time and learn a bit more about Canadian art history.

Nevertheless, let’s talk about Tuesday’s episode of MasterChef Canada. The main goal of this challenge was to be inspired and to inspire others. The Top 7 had to cook a three-course meal for seven extraordinary Canadians, including Marc Kielburger, co-founder of the international youth charity Free The Children and CTV News special correspondent Lloyd Robertson. The theme for the dishes was land, sea and sky. Sound easy? Let me know what your idea of the dish would be in the comments below!

Eugene and Beccy won last week’s Pressure Test, which made them team captains. Eugene had the right to choose first and added Michael G. and Andy to the Red Team. Beccy chose Marissa and Jen for her Blue Team. The only cook left was Nadia. She wanted to join Beccy’s team but judges had other thoughts. Chefs Claudio, Alvin and Michael sent Nadia to the Red Team and revealed a huge secret: one home cook was coming back to the MasterChef Canada! Three home cooks were invited to cook for redemption and the winning cook was … Kaegan!

The Top 8 had 60 minutes to think over the menu and prepare the first dish. After that, there were only 30-minute intervals between the second and the third dishes. The pantry, of course, was full of the best ingredients. Not an easy choice to make. The teams started to prepare their dishes and I was excited to see what ideas the chefs would put on the plates. The Red Team made venison tartare with berry sauce and the Blue Team had a pan-seared venison with celeriac purée. Back in the kitchen, the teams kept pushing hard for the sea-inspired dishes. For the second course, the Red Team had shrimp heads stuffed with caviar and mussels with béchamel sauce. The dish looked bright and very appetizing. The Blue Team made classic French mussels with white wine cream sauce.

The third course was extremely stressful for the Red team. They had deboned quails and with 16 minutes to go, they hadn’t cooked them. Fortunately, they made it and delivered deboned quail with caramelized shallots and pecans. The Blue team prepared warm-spiced duck with roasted beets and braised carrots.

The winner of this challenge was … the Red Team! The Blue team had to face the Pressure Test. Four home cooks had to replicate three unique oyster dishes. But first, as usual, there was a little twist. The home cook who shucked the most oysters was safe from elimination. And it was Marissa, who went back to the balcony.

Beccy, Kaegan and Jen had to cook to survive and had just 35 minutes to master the oysters. Chefs Claudio, Alvin and Michael tried all the dishes and made their decision. Beccy and Kaegan stayed in the show while Jen went home.

Do you think anyone should have been allowed back in the competition? Let me know in the comments below.

MasterChef Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

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