Everything about Masterchef Canada, eh?

MasterChef Canada’s Michael Bonacini rings in the holidays with Christmas at the Farm

I’m a huge food TV fan, especially during the Christmas season. I’ve enjoyed holiday specials starring Michael Smith and Michael Stadtlander and Jamie Oliver churned out a series of them recently. There’s something comforting, for me at least, watching chefs at home making recipes that have become traditions for their families and giving me some ideas too. (I credit Oliver for two standards at my house on Christmas Day: roasted vegetables and a killer gravy.)

Now MasterChef Canada‘s Michael Bonacini has jumped into the mix with his own Gusto special Michael Bonacini’s Christmas at the Farm, airing Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on the specialty channel. The hour-long celebration ticks all the boxes for me: snow, a fireplace, decorations and amazing recipes. Add to that an amiable, charismatic host in Bonacini and Christmas at the Farm is a truly enjoyable project.

Filmed on his sprawling property outside of Toronto, Bonacini’s traditional plates includes food celebrating his Italian last name and his mother’s Welsh background. Potato and leek soup garnished with smoked salmon is the first to be made, a scrumptious-looking bowl of warmth that is super-easy to create in your own home. Soup is followed by cheddar and bacon scones, gnocchi, roasted leg of lamb, maple roasted root vegetables, slow-roasted breast of veal and molten chocolate lava cake. (Though Bonacini doesn’t give any measurements or directions in the episode, viewers can get the recipes via the Gusto website after broadcast.)

But what sells Christmas at the Farm and sets it apart from other cooking specials is Bonacini. MasterChef Canada viewers get just a taste of his cooking knowledge and personality on CTV’s popular cooking competition. Here Bonacini is allowed to relax, show off his knife skills, discuss how he came to be a chef in the first place and how growing up on a Welsh farm impacted on his life.

Michael Bonacini’s Christmas at the Farm airs Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on Gusto.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.

 

 

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Link: Boat Rocker acquires Proper Television, Proper Rights

From Katie Bailey of RealScreen:

Link: Boat Rocker acquires Proper Television, Proper Rights
The business that high-profile producer Guy O’Sullivan built and fostered for 13 years will have new life going forward, as news broke Monday (September 25) that Boat Rocker Media has acquired the company. Continue reading.

 

 

 

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CTV delivers a fifth serving of MasterChef Canada for 2017/18 Season

From a media release:

Hot on the heels of a delectable Season 4 run, CTV announced today another season of its hit culinary competition series MASTERCHEF CANADA for the 2017/2018 broadcast season. Casting for home cooks looking to follow their culinary dream is now open at MasterChefCanada.CTV.ca/Casting, with production set to begin this fall in Toronto on a new 12-episode season from Proper Television.

Marking a return to the MASTERCHEF CANADA kitchen are distinguished Canadian judges Michael Bonacini (O&B restaurant empire), Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation in Hong Kong), and Claudio Aprile (Copetin Restaurant & Bar). The esteemed trio are poised to once again mentor and challenge everyday Canadians to elevate their cooking and presentation skills to a professional level, as home cooks compete in high-stakes cooking challenges to secure the MASTERCHEF CANADA title and take home a $100,000 cash prize.

Canadians maintain a strong appetite for MASTERCHEF CANADA. A Top 5 program with Millennials, Season 4 of MASTERCHEF CANADA was the most-watched Canadian program this past spring with total viewers and all key demos. The Season 4 finale alone averaged 1.4 million total viewers.

Casting for Season 5 of MASTERCHEF CANADA is now open at MasterChefCanada.CTV.ca/Casting. Passionate and talented Canadian home cooks hungry for an opportunity to pursue their culinary dreams have until 11:59 p.m. ET on September 17, 2017 to apply online. Casting will come to an end with Open Casting Call in Toronto on September 17 with additional details to be announced later this summer. Interviews are slated to take place this fall, and applicants are encouraged to apply early for an opportunity to meet producers when they are in their region. Additional details will be available at CTV.ca/MasterChefCanada.

MASTERCHEF CANADA is produced by Proper Television in association with CTV. Proper’s Vice-President and Creative Director Cathie James is the Showrunner and Executive Producer.

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MasterChef Canada: And the winner is …

After a three-hour marathon that included their fellow competitors and family members watching from the sidelines, Thea and Trevor did battle in a three-course non-stop cook for the ages to win the $100,000 grand prize and title of MasterChef Canada.

By the time the dust steam had settled on Thursday night, Trevor the plumber/gas fitter from Edmonton had emerged victorious. Thea, the insurance broker from Vancouver, came in second place. Things may have been very different if the tamale ball Thea served chef Claudio Aprile hadn’t been raw in the middle, but the devil is in the details and that one ruined her chances of winning. Judges Alvin Leung, Claudio Aprile and Michael Bonacini awarded Trevor the trophy, explaining that his three-course meal presented the best story of the two.

“Winning this has kick-started my food dream,” Trevor told producers after the confetti had fallen. “My life is changing as we speak. Goodbye plumbing, hello cooking!”

“I’m really happy for Trevor,” Thea said in defeat. “I still feel like a winner. This has been the best journey I’ve ever had and nothing is going to stop me from pursuing my food dream right now.”

MasterChef Canada continued to be groundbreaking in its challenges this season by presenting a doozy of a final one: Thea and Trevor had three hours to create an appetizer, entree and dessert and the clock would not stop running. This meant the pair would not only have to stay focussed while cooking but have excellent time-management skills. Thea’s take on Mexican food with street corn panna cotta, pork cheek tamale and orange sponge cake played to her strength of having bold flavours while Trevor’s octopus and chips, lamb two ways and deconstructed chocolate mint ice cream cone showcased his sophistication in taste and plating.

There wasn’t a ton of drama during the hour-long episode—despite producers injecting dramatic music to suggest there was—and it all rightly came down to taste for final judgement from Claudio, Alvin and Michael. A frontrunner from Week 1, the only way Trevor was going to lose was if something catastrophic went wrong with one of his plates. As soon as the trio went off without a hitch his win was sealed.

What did you think of this season of MasterChef Canada? Did the right home cook win? Let me know in the comments below!

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MasterChef Canada’s final two are revealed

MasterChef Canada‘s Top 2 have been revealed, as Trevor Connie and Thea Vanherwaarden will go head-to-head in next week’s season finale. After a long, impressive run, Barrie McConachie was eliminated in an emotional episode. To be honest, just making it to the Top 12 was an incredible feat; this season has been one jam-packed with high-end guest judges and the most complicated challenges in this franchise’s history.

Thursday’s instalment, “Sweet Francaise,” began with one heck of a test, to create a mélange of pastries for the show’s French bistro theme. As if making five different items wasn’t tough enough, the trio’s bites would be tasted by pastry chefs. The two-hour prep time went by in a blink and Thea seemed to have an edge over Trevor and Barrie, but by the end of the time limit, everyone completed the task. The big twist? Along with several pastry experts were children, meaning Thea’s lavender-lemon cake could have gotten a big thumbs-down from the kiddies. Luckily for everyone, no desserts were sent back, though the pastry chefs—and Michael Bonacini, Claudio Aprile and Alvin Leung—all found minor flaws. Barrie came out on top and I felt he deserved it, but he’s gotta stop with the bear-campers thing.

Barrie didn’t win immunity from the Elimination Challenge but was given the opportunity to decide the proteins everyone would cook with three ways. Barrie rightly went with his strength and the Waygu beef and assigned pork to Thea and chicken to Trevor. They may have been buds up until now, but Barrie wasn’t giving Trevor an upper hand by doling out tasty pork in his direction. Thea slumped upon hearing the pork was headed her way, but I’m not sure why. Then I heard her plan: to take that beautiful chunk of porky goodness and turn it into schnitzel for one of her plates. I’m not above schnitzel, but this was the wrong application for the main ingredient. Barrie’s oil-poached beef was a mystery, Trevor’s chicken skin burned during his first try and time—and a burn—threatened to derail Thea.

Barrie was confident his beef would be up to snuff and relied on his side dishes to take him over the top. The problem? His Waygu was underdone. Claudio ripped Thea for her plating and said taste was the only thing that could save her. And in the early going it looked like she had. As for Trevor, astringent sauce spoiled some pretty good looking chicken skin.

Still, it was a no-brainer for Trevor to be named the first home cook in the season finale. And after undercooking such a lovely piece of beef, Barrie left the door open for Thea to sneak into the final too.

Do you agree with the judges’ decision? Who do you want to win MasterChef Canada? Let me know in the comments below.

The season finale of MasterChef Canada airs next Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.

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