Review: A MasterChef visits Canada

If it was me, I’d be too star-struck to make an omelette, much less anything high-end for Graham Elliot. And yet that’s exactly what was expected of the Top 8 on Sunday night. “Good Things in Small Packages” showcased not only the finalists preparing a dish utilizing ingredients the MasterChef U.S. judge had selected, but Canada as a cooking nation. Elliot was quick to celebrate the talents of this season’s home cooks, a fact that was cemented at the conclusion of the Mystery Box challenge when he, Michael, Alvin and Claudio tasted four plates rather than the usual three.

In something that has become a trend of this season, David impressed with his stuffed quail (he had expertly boned it prior to stuffing it) and won immunity from the Elimination Challenge.

Every season in the MasterChef franchise seems to feature that odd-looking, phallic sea creature known as the geoduck, and this year was no exception. The suggestive shellfish was one of three sea creatures David could choose to saddle his competitors with and he went with sea snails as conch. That move made perfect sense to David—assuming no one had prepared conch before—but he was dead wrong: Christopher and Jennifer both had recipes ready to go. Things might have turned out quite differently if the judges didn’t throw a massive twist at the finalists: after choosing their ingredients everyone had to move one station forward and use the ingredients chosen by their competitor instead.

What followed was mass confusion until the clock started to tick. Then everyone buckled down and got going—they only had 45 minutes to make something—and I was most impressed with Jon. Despite being a huge, burly CFLer, he showed great restraint and finesse with his sea snail and conch fettuccine with mushrooms, which was a hit with the judges. Christopher once again proved to be a tough chef to beat, wowing everyone with his paella and scoring the top dish of the night. Michael’s conch fritters were a close second.

Someone had to be on the bottom, and that fell to Tammy and Jennifer for their sub-par offerings. Tammy was shown the door.

Notes and quotes

  • As soon as Line said she hoped Tammy would be in the finals I knew the mother of six was toast. There was no reason to have that comment in the episode if it didn’t foreshadow what was to come.
  • “I’m going to be out of my comfort zone working with these itty-bitty ingredients.” — Jon
  • The look on David’s face when Jon slapped his butt was priceless.
  • I’m sorry guys, but the making a heart out of your hands is done.

MasterChef Canada airs Sundays at 7 p.m. ET on CTV.