Tag Archives: CTV

Masterchef Canada receives a master class in Japanese cooking

Some of my favourite episodes of MasterChef Canada have been when a chef who has a specialty drops by spotlight their skills. On Sunday’s newest episode, it came in the form of Chef Shigeo Kimura, a.k.a. the Godfather of sushi in this country, whose incredible knife skills were shown off in front of the remaining competitors.

The instalment started off on a sweet note, as Andre—the winner of last week’s Mystery Box Challenge—was saved from being kicked out. As for the rest, they would be run through a gauntlet of three grueling Japanese-themed challenges on the road to at least one cook going home. And while Jeremy was particularly excited, Barrie seemed concerned.

Chef Kimura prepared a snapper sashimi that was razor-thin and gorgeous. But where Chef Kimura had years to perfect his craft, the competitors had a mere 15 minutes to break down their own snapper and present it to Chef Michael, Chef Alvin and Chef Claudio. Chef Kimura would judge their knife skills and which Top 4 would join Andre in the safe zone in the gallery.

Andrew was confident his time working with fish in Halifax would help him, and Thea quickly called on a medic to staunch some bleeding. April Lee, meanwhile fell a little behind the rest of the group because she’d gone back to get the other snapper fillet after damaging the first. Jeremy and Andrew were the first to plate their snapper and were confident they’d be safe from elimination. As expected, Jeremy (his cuts were exquisite), was tops followed by Mai, Andrew and Thea, who headed to the gallery.

In the second round, the remaining contestants tackled maki, creating a customized roll with rice on the outside and a tempura element. The Top 3 dishes would earn those cooks safety. Marissa planned for a surf and turf maki, Andy went with a scallop tempura with yellowtail tuna, Barrie a fish and chips maki with tempura crab, April Lee aimed to add deli meat to her maki, Andrew a veggie roll, and Jen a ginger poke roll that had her scrambling (and swearing). Barrie’s sushi rice wasn’t ready, so he threw it into the cooler … and then returned to the wrong station. To say the test and time limit was a struggle was an understatement.

Jen’s swearing paid off: Alvin enjoyed her roll. Andy’s rice to ingredient ratio was off; Marissa’s consistency was off; Barrie’s roll featured rice sandwiched between two seaweed rolls, which wasn’t part of the challenge; April Lee’s executive deli maki was disappointing; and Christopher’s roll was good, but a little under seasoned. The Top 3 were Christopher and Jen, who were joined by Marissa.

That left Barrie, Andy and April Lee for the final test: creating okonomiyaki, a savoury Japanese pancake. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, this was a replication challenge, meaning the pancake must contain eggs, dashi, shrimp, cabbage and sauce, topped with grilled, marinated octopus, Benito flakes, pickled ginger and green onion. April Lee hoped her experience making it at home would give her an advantage.

With a 20-minute deadline, it seemed almost impossible. Everything seemed to be going OK … until April Lee flipped her base pancake. It actually wasn’t as bad as the show teased as they headed to commercial. April Lee’s pancake broke a bit but was by no means the catastrophe the edit hinted at. Barrie was the first to plate his pancake, and everyone was worried it wasn’t cooked all the way through.

Alvin deemed Barrie’s okonomiyaki little underdone, Claudio loved April Lee’s, and Michael loved Andy’s but judged it under seasoned. When it came down to it, Barrie was eliminated from the competition.

MasterChef CanadaBack to Win airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


Meaghan Rath joins CTV original comedy Children Ruin Everything

From a media release:

CTV, Canada’s most-watched network, together with award-winning independent production company New Metric Media, announced today Canadian actress Meaghan Rath (BEING HUMAN, HAWAII 5-0) has been cast in a starring role in the new eight-episode, half-hour CTV Original comedy CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING.

A dynamic and versatile performer, Rath, who also serves as Executive Producer, is quickly emerging as one of the entertainment industry’s brightest young talents. Best known for her award-winning work on BEING HUMAN and her role on HAWAII 5-0, she has also appeared in recurring roles on several popular series including SUPERGIRL and NEW GIRL.

Created by Emmy® Award-winner and Golden Globe® Award-nominee Kurt Smeaton (SCHITT’S CREEK, KIM’S CONVENIENCE), CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING is an original comedy about living with the worst roommates of all: young children. Astrid (Rath) and James struggle to find a balance between being ‘Mom and Dad’ to two kids, and being who they were before offspring. CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING explores the hilarious and varied ways kids can tear down your life and, if you’re lucky, replace it with something you have to admit is pretty okay, too.

Rath stars as “Astrid”, who’s smart, funny, and caring. She’s a great mother who is feeling the pull between returning to work and stay-at-home motherhood. Although she’s more than ready to leave the stained sweatpants and kid scheduling behind to focus more on her career, she also wonders what life would be like with a third child.

Alongside Smeaton, one of television’s premier comedy writers, Chuck Tatham (MODERN FAMILY, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT) joins multiple Canadian Screen Award-winner Mark Montefiore (LETTERKENNY, WHAT WOULD SAL DO?) as executive producer, with Beth Iley (KILLJOYS) serving as producer.

Bell Media Distribution is the international rights holder for CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING, and New Metric Media is the series’ exclusive Sales Agent. The series is produced by New Metric Media in association with CTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund.


MasterChef Canada: One Home Cook is eliminated, again

This newest season of MasterChef Canada (Season 7) is dubbed “Back to Win.” It’s pretty self-explanatory—past competitors have returned to the kitchen in a bid to capture the title—and I give credit to Proper Television for choosing worthy and interesting home cooks to do it.

From runner-ups like Jeremy, Thea and Andre, to personalities like Barrie and April Lee, this group deserved another shot and got it on Sunday night. It was great to see them back in the shiny stadium alongside judges Micheal Bonacini, Alvin Leung and Claudio Aprile.

The first few minutes of Sunday’s return was spent catching up with the 12 home cooks and what they’ve been up to. Jeremy opened a catering company, Thea does recipe development, Marissa is seeking a fresh start, Andrew runs a restaurant, Jen attended culinary school, Christopher had to close his cafe due to the pandemic, Andre has been a frontline worker cleaning operating rooms, and Mai started a dumpling business.

All want to take the title they feel they should have won the first time around and pocketed $100,000.

Not content with the usual challenges, Chef Michael warned the home cooks that the tests would be tougher than ever. That began right away, with the Mystery Box Challenge, which was the sole focus of Sunday’s instalment.

Under each wooden crate was the worst dish each home cook had prepared on MasterChef Canada, and they were tasked with making it a winner. Not only that, but at least one home cook would be eliminated from the competition. So yeah, the stakes were higher.

For April Lee, that meant re-jigging her disastrous piña colada dessert into a mousse; for Andrew is was turning a horrible soft-poached egg into shakshouka; for Christopher, it was transforming ground pork into dim sum; and for Marissa, re-working octopus and pork into a stunner of a plate. There were issues along the way, as Thea’s chicken wasn’t cooking properly and April Lee’s mousse separated; standard issues that could mean going home immediately.

When it came to judging, Andy’s lobster chowder impressed Michael; Dora’s beef cheek po’boy was flavourful but should have made her own bread, according to Claudio; Jeremy’s monkfish wowed Alvin; Christopher’s dim sum was delicious but needed more flavour, Claudio opined; Thea’s crispy chicken was dry, said Alvin; Andrew’s eggs were wonderfully runny; Marissa’s chicken and tempura squid with pork belly was clunky, said Claudio; Andre’s pickled coconut pasta and sea urchin was loved by Alvin; Barrie’s Waygu beef tartare impressed Michael; Mai’s salmon in green curry was very good according to Alvin; Jen’s steak and potatoes were delicious, said Claudio; and April Lee’s lemon curd was delicious but her presentation was bad, advised Claudio.

The result? Andre was deemed the winner, and will be given an advantage in next week’s episode. As for the bottom dishes, April Lee, Marissa and Dora found themselves in the bottom. And while April Lee and Marissa were given another chance, Dora wasn’t. She exited the MasterChef kitchen, again.

MasterChef Canada: Back to Win airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


Former competitors prepare for redemption in Masterchef Canada: Back To Win

From a media release:

Through the previous six seasons of MASTERCHEF CANADA, 82 competitors earned a coveted white apron, but only six rose to the very top earning the sought-after title. For the all-new season, talented and passionate former competitors return to the MASTERCHEF CANADA Kitchen for an unprecedented second chance in MASTERCHEF CANADA: BACK TO WIN. Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning Feb. 14 on CTV, and the all-new CTV.ca and CTV app, MASTERCHEF CANADA: BACK TO WIN sees former competitors from previous seasons compete for another chance at the life-changing title, $100,000 cash prize, and a “Chef’s Culinary Package” courtesy of long-running series partner and official major appliance sponsor, Miele.

MASTERCHEF CANADA judges and 2020 Canadian Screen Awards nominees for “Best Host or Presenter, Factual or Reality/Competition”, Michael Bonacini (O&B restaurant empire), Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation in Hong Kong), and Claudio Aprile (Xango in Toronto), return to advise, mentor, and critique the cooks as they compete in a series of culinary challenges. This season, the judges’ expectations are higher than ever, putting experienced cooks to the test as they face the toughest hurdles ever seen in the MASTERCHEF CANADA Kitchen.

The 12 returning cooks vying for the MASTERCHEF CANADA title are:

  • Andre Bhagwandat – Season 6, 2nd place – Private Events and Pop-Ups, from Whitby, Ont.
  • Andrew Al-Khouri – Season 2, 10th place – Restaurateur from Halifax, N.S
  • Andy Hay – Season 5, 2nd place – Food Content Creator from Dartmouth, N.S.
  • April Lee Baker – Season 3, 5th place – Private Chef and Caterer from Calgary, Alta.
  • Barrie McConachie – Season 4, 3rd place – Private Chef and Culinary Events, from Vancouver, B.C.
  • Christopher Siu – Season 2, 5th place – Bakery Owner from Markham, Ont.
  • Dora Cote – Season 1, 11th place – Former Restaurateur/Plumber from Wainwright, Alta.
  • Jen Jenkins – Season 5, 8th place – Culinary Student from Niagara Falls, Ont.
  • Jeremy Senaris – Season 3, 2nd place – Private Chef from Winnipeg, Man.
  • Mai Nguyen – Season 4, 4th place – Dumpling Business Owner from Edmonton, Alta.
  • Marissa Leon-John – Season 5, 7th place – Private Chef from Montréal, Qué.
  • Thea Vanherwaarden – Season 4, 2nd place – Recipe Developer and Content Creator from Vancouver, B.C

The 12 competitors span all previous six seasons, and include a range of former finalists and tough competitors who were taken out too soon. With sky-high stakes, the competitors will need to prove to the judges that they’ve further honed their skills, knowledge, passion, and creativity – they have a tougher mountain to climb as they vie for the title for the second time. The cooks will take on everything from high-intensity skills tests to gruelling challenges, while impressing special guests and world-renowned chefs. In the end, the top cooks face off in the finale showdown. Visit TheLede.ca for cook bios and photos.

Throughout the season, fans are invited to visit CTV.ca/MasterChefCanada for exclusive content, including information on the Season 7 finalists and the MASTERCHEF CANADA judges, as well as interviews, highlights, recipes, and more. CTV.ca and the CTV app also offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look at this season’s challenges, delectable dishes, victories, and defeats

Leading up to the Season 7 premiere, viewers across the country can satisfy their MASTERCHEF CANADA cravings and relive all the culinary action from previous seasons of the series available on the all-new CTV.ca and on the CTV app, along with Seasons 4-6 now streaming on Crave. New episodes of MASTERCHEF CANADA are available on-demand the day following their broadcast premieres on CTV.

The MasterChef format and finished programs are represented internationally by Banijay. With over 60 local adaptations broadcast in more than 200 countries, MasterChef is the world’s most successful cookery television format. MasterChef was created by Franc Roddam.

MASTERCHEF CANADA is produced by Proper Television in association with CTV. Proper’s Co-President Cathie James is the Executive Producer and Showrunner and Co-President Lesia Capone is Executive Producer.