Last week on MasterChef Canada, Chef Alvin Leung lived up his “Demon Chef” nickname by throwing a devilish Elimination Challenge at the remaining home cooks. By the time the flour had settled, Jenny and Alyssa were asked to remove their aprons.
But rather than just being shown the door, MasterChef Canada‘s producers threw them (and us) yet another twist: the two would battle it out to see who got to stay in the competition. This test isn’t new for MasterChef Canada, but it’s been done as a digital extra and the winner has just shown up on the television show. Having the test occur as an episode was much more effective, especially with Jenny and Alyssa.
And true to a season of great drama, Jenny and Alyssa weren’t competing alone: Rozin and Tony walked into the kitchen to fight for the lone apron too. I was of two minds about this. While I appreciate giving someone that has been cut a shot at returning, where do you draw the line at who is given it? Alyssa and Jenny had just been eliminated but having Tony and Rozin, dropped in past weeks, fight for a spot didn’t seem fair.
Regardless of my thoughts, “Knife Fight” was underway in a trio of Pressure Tests. After each, one home cook would be leaving. For good, I assumed. In Round 1, the chef’s knife was the star of the show and used to recreate a rice noodle salad with intricately cut matchstick vegetables. With just 15 minutes on the clock, Tony was convinced he had no chance. And though Chefs Michael, Claudio and Alvin agreed that julienning the veggies should come first, Alyssa opted to make her Asian dressing. Nicking herself was another step in the wrong direction for Alyssa and with five minutes left it didn’t look good, especially since she missed elements and her vegetables were tossed into the bowl. Sadly, MasterChef Canada said a final goodbye to Alyssa.
In Round 2, the filleting knife took centre stage, to be used to create Sole meunière, a French recipe using Dover sole, flour, brown butter, parsley and lemon. And, with just eight minutes to prepare it, it seemed impossible. Even with his impeccable knife skills, Rozin was having trouble with the sole. As for Jenny … the poor fish was being mangled. But Jenny nailed the sauce by allowing the butter to brown first; that gave the sauce a nutty flavour. Rozin neglected to do that, and Tony’s gaffe came when he added lemon juice to the pan instead of the plate. With no perfect results, Claudio, Alvin and Michael said so long to Jenny.
For Round 3, Rozin and Tony put the boning knife to use to recreate a Frenched rack of lamb in 22 minutes. Tony cut himself early on, putting pressure on his already tight schedule. Rozin, meanwhile, sped through cutting the rib bones free of fat and membrane and it looked like he’d be getting that apron. When Tony cut himself a second time, he seemed destined to depart. But timing is the great equalizer, and Rozin neglected to pre-heat his pan; waiting for it to come to temperature allowed Tony to catch up. It was anyone’s game.
During the tasting, Chef Claudio pointed out that Tony’s lamb was underseasoned and Michael noted it was slightly underdone. As for Rozin’s, his meat was dead-on cook-wise, but an errant bone and under seasoning was noted by Claudio. In the end, it was Rozin who grabbed the apron and is back in the competition. Do I wish Jenny or Alyssa was in his place? Yes. But having Rozin in the mix again means some serious competition for the remaining home cooks.
Who do you think will win this season of MasterChef Canada? Let me know in the comments below.
MasterChef Canada airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.
Images courtesy of Bell Media.