All posts by Tanya Ielyseieva

Probably the first thing that got your attention was that strange mixture of letters that she proudly calls her last name. Currently, Tanya is a publishing student at Centennial College who is ready to discover the exciting world of Canadian TV.

MasterChef Canada: And the winner is…

It was the moment we were waiting for! The MasterChef Canada SEASON FINALE! Two home cooks who deserved it all, battling it out. What could viewers expect? An incredible end to the great season! Andy and Beccy were supported by their loved ones and friends and what could make them more confident than that?

The home cooks had three hours to complete three courses: appetizers at the first hour mark, entrées at the second and desserts at the very end. The catch? The clock rolled the whole time and Beccy and Andy had just 10 minutes in the pantry to get everything they needed. Andy wanted to show the judges his roots and went very East Coast with his menu. Beccy was inspired by British classics with an apple twist. Chefs Claudio, Alvin and Michael were excited to see what these talented cooks would make.

And the show began! Both menus sounded incredibly delicious, but the taste was the most important part. Andy and Beccy were moving FAST! Beccy’s potato nests were in danger because of the sweet potato she used. Andy seemed very confident and his process was easy for me to watch. Beccy made a Scotch quail egg on a nest of potatoes and parsnips as her entrée. The presentation was beautiful and looked very natural, but the potatoes were a little burnt. The Halifax Donair salad with lamb, pita chips and Tahini dressing from Andy was a spot on. The flavours were amazing.

Time for the main course. The heat in the kitchen rose. Andy was running all over the kitchen while Beccy was totally chill. Chefs Claudio, Alvin and Michael started with Beccy’s rabbit two ways on a Jerusalem Artichoke purée. The cook on the meat was perfect. Andy made an elevated hodgepodge with Dungeness crab, sweetbreads, onion soubise and crab bisque. The dish was very colourful, but was it a main course?

Finally, the home cooks worked on their desserts. With just one hour, it was a lot of work. Then it was time to taste the dishes! Beccy and Andy were relieved, because the cooking was done. Up until then, the judges liked all of the dishes, but the desserts made the game. Fallen apple with a gelée core on a soil of dried fruits and nuts was Beccy’s way to end her three-course meal. The only thing that was missing was the glaze. But was it a mistake or an advantage? Andy made a Newfoundland toutons with a malted pastry cream, brown sugar and bruléed rhubarb. The judges loved the flavours of his dessert.

After all that, it was time to crown the winner of MasterChef Canada! The home cook who won the trophy, $100,000 and the life-changing title was … BECCY! The youngest winner in franchise history! I was #TeamBeccy for sure! Who was your choice? Let me know in the comments below!


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.


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.


Preview: Gusto’s Dog Tales Rescue is a show that will touch your heart

Being a dog lover all my life, I was very excited to watch the new TV show from Gusto called Dog Tales Rescue. Though my dog is not a rescue puppy, when I was little I always wanted to adopt one. Even if it is hard to accept that you can’t save every animal, you still can try. And that’s what Dog Tales Rescue is about: love, care and respect for our little friends.

Dog Tales Rescue—debuting Thursday, May 31, at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT—is a touching and heartwarming docu-series that follows the lives of rescue animals from Canada’s creatures to internationally unique animals. Danielle Eden-Scheinberg and Rob Scheinberg run their Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary out of King City, Ont. supported by a team of more than 50 helpful staff. Their main goal is to make animals feel loved, and of course provide them with all necessary medical and training care.

The first episode introduces viewers to Danielle and Rob, who treat their animals like their own kids. Danielle gets a call that a lot of chihuahuas are arriving at the sanctuary. The happiness on her face and the staff’s faces says it all; these people care so much and they are going to do everything to find these dogs new and safe homes.

Dog Tales Rescue is not only a dog rescue sanctuary but one for horses as well. Ilana is a head horse handler and, in addition to saving the horses are from slaughter, is the one who helps them to reconnect with nature. The new horse they receive in Episode 1 is very frightened because of all of the other horses in the sanctuary. Eventually, she gets along with them very well.

Each episode of Dog Tales Rescue is an emotional one. You could cry from sadness or happiness. Looking to adopt a dog or sponsor a horse? Head to Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary’s website for details.

Dog Tales Rescue airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m PT on Gusto.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


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.