With the MasterChef Canada season finale airing next week, Monday’s episode featured the Top 3—Jennifer, Andre and Josh—battling it out for a chef’s jacket and the chance to pocket $100,000. To help out, Olympic Ice Dancer Tessa Virtue was on hand as a special guest (catch she and Scott Moir as guest judges on Battle of the Blades this fall).
Here’s what happened.
In the final Mystery Box challenge of the season, the cube was lifted on a MasterChef logo shrouded by fog. The theme of the challenge was Fire and Ice, meaning the concept had to be applied to Josh, Andre and Jennifer’s recipes. Chefs Alvin, Michael and Claudio and Tessa were looking for a wow factor in look and taste. Tessa was also interested in the story behind each dish.
Jennifer’s first thought was of her father and his favourite birthday food, bacon-wrapped scallops, which became the base of a recipe that included a rum and cola glaze and dulce ice cream pearls. Josh went for a duck plate augmented with a smoking puck and frozen vinaigrette for his salad. Andre aimed for something we’ve never seen from him on the show: a Japanese grill platter utilizing a fire pit, and exploding leaves.
Andre’s steak by the fire was simply spectacular to look at, with glowing embers the highlight of the plate. Michael and Alvin, and Tessa were all impressed by the look at taste. At first glance, Jennifer’s plate looked cluttered and messy, a hodgepodge of things and ideas. But the flavours were there; Claudio was particularly impressed by the dulce pearls. And Josh’s smoked duck and salad wowed Michael, Tessa and Claudio. I felt like Andre had a slight edge on Jennifer and Josh; the judges agreed and he was crowned the winner.,
Andre didn’t score a fast track to the finale—that would have been too easy—but he did land a major advantage in the Elimination Challenge, choosing who would create a tasting menu with which Canadian cheese. The problem? Andre is lactose intolerant. Oops. The choices were ash-ripened goat cheese from Quebec, cloth-bound cheddar from Prince Edward Island and blue cheese from British Columbia. Andre picked the goat cheese for himself and assigned the cheddar to Jennifer and blue to Josh. His plot was sound: give Jennifer an easy cheese she might overthink and hand Josh a cheese too strong to handle.
Jennifer aimed for French cheese puffs, updated broccoli and cheese, and a tarte Tatin. Josh opted for a blue cheese dip that he turned into a soup, butternut squash and blue cheese ravioli, and blue cheese cheesecake. Andre decided on a mushroom macaroni and cheese, Brussel sprout and goat cheese salad, and pear and goat cheese mousseline. The judges were worried Josh would run out of time but it was Andre who missed putting puff pastry on his dessert.
Alvin enjoyed Jennifer’s broccoli and cheese recipe, Michael loved her apple tart, but Claudio thought she missed the mark with her puffs. Alvin liked Andre’s mac and cheese, Michael thought the Brussels sprouts could have been charred more, but Claudio thought the goat cheese was missing from the pears. Michael thought Josh’s soup was a little thin but flavourful, Claudio liked the pasta but it was a tad short on cheese flavour, and Alvin thought the cheesecake was very, very good.
The result? Jennifer was the first home cook earmarked for the season finale. Going head-to-head with her is Andre. Josh put up one heck of a fight and showed consistent growth as the weeks went by during Season 6. He should be proud of what he accomplished.
Who do you pick to be this season’s MasterChef Canada winner? Let me know in the comments below.
The MasterChef Canada season finale goes next Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.
Images courtesy of Bell Media.