The limo takes them to One, Chef McEwan’s restaurant in Yorkville for breakfast. The most uncomfortable “let’s all relax and have waffles” that I’ve ever watched. No one looks relaxed, everyone (rightly) looks like they’re trying to figure out why they’re here and how this is going to show up as part of the elimination round. Chef M talks a lot about his favourite way to eat which is “family style” using ingredients that are super expensive and unattainable for most families.
I guess he likes to eat, “families with a butler-style”. I’m just kidding. Some of those families only have a maid and nanny.
Gale Simmins is the guest judge. GS is a former Top Chef America judge and current host of the new Top Chef: Just Desserts series. She introduces the challenge: each Chef will pick a knife (this is getting dull, what about pulling swords?) with the name of a Canadian film and base their dish around it.
Connie- Naked Lunch
Rob- Bon Cop/ Bad Cop
Dustin- My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Dustin decides to work some “secret love” into Greek Food and Dale reveals his idea for a “murder plate” based on the Goth girls. I have to admit, I’m having fun though at first I thought it sounded kind of lame.
Connie turns in a plate of “addictive foods” serving peanut brittle, truffle pop corn and chips sprinkled with lime. Thea and Gale can barely tear themselves away.
Dustin makes a Danforth-style Greek plate of grilled octopus with some shrimp (?) hidden under a tomato (hidden crustacean love). All the other chefs are laughing their ass off.
Dale makes the coolest plate pairing blood-red salmon and Goth black squid ink risotto.
Rob does shrimp two ways–spicy (bad cop) and mellow (bon cop).
Ultimately, Gail Simmons gives the win to Dale, she loves the violence on the plate says he showed the best technique.
The chefs must create a menu for a “family-style” dinner party for Mark McEwan and his judge friends. From a pantry stocked by Mark McKewan. Since Dale won the Quickfire he has a head start of 5 minutes to take whatever he wants.
As Rob says, “everyone else gets his leftovers”.
Connie is freaking out that he might take the chicken. C’mon Con, you think Dale would ever cook chicken? Not unless it was flown in fresh from Bresse. (Fresh Chicken of Bresse Air– Food Network development people are you listening??)
We cut to some “we have extra time in the show” shots of the chefs. Dale and Dusty are “so happy together” in their little bunk-home that Dustin admits there may be a bit of a bro-mance brewing.
The guest judges this week are David Lee (of Nota Bene), Jacob Richler (who comes across as a guy who would sneer at his own grandmother’s chicken soup) and Amy Verner- trend spotter. (The woman is everywhere. She trend spots everything. I think she must duplicate herself like clever Michael Keaton does in Multiplicity. All versions looking stylish and cool. Unlike clever Michael Keaton.)
Connie kills course 1 with her lipsmacking beet salad and home-made cheese. Chef Lee and Gail Simmons are much impressed. Dustin’s fresh made pasta is sticky and flavourless while Dale’s oysters and mignonette is considered clumsy and “totally unlike Dale’s style”.
Course 2 is overshadowed by Connie’s family-style disaster “the roast chicken is rare!”. She throws it into the deep fryer while Rob looks on amused, “Connie’s a little Texas today, Shooting some stray bullets.” But adds in typical smart-ass style, “but who am I too judge?”
So Connie squeaks by with her chicken and potato dish. Dale serves Diver scallops with asparagus two ways.
Robs stomps all over Dustin’s “amateur” grilled lake trout with his seared perch, gnocchi and peas. One a hit , one a miss.
Dale makes steak, Jacob Richler sneers–or maybe he’s just breathing. Rob makes a mouth-watering braised lamb neck with roasted mushrooms and baby beets which is loved by all. Connie comes back from deep-fried chicken with a gorgeous chocolate ganache tart that no one can get enough of and Dustin…serves a composed fruit plate. What? For you last dish before the finals? (You even managed a strawberry shortcake for Milestones dude!)
Gail Simmons sums up everyone’s shock, ““I’m totally confounded by the fruit plate. This is your last chance to wow us….I actually think it’s absurd.”
Rob takes the win, essentially he was the only one not too have screwed up some element of the meal. Everyone looks pretty nervous as Connie is declared safe (YESS!!! Go Connie!!!!) and it is down to Dustin and Dale. The Bromancers. You know that Dustin must be the one to go, but man, it must have been hard for Thea to say. He’s still smiling and completely gracious. (I spend 5 minutes gushing to my husband about how sweet Dustin is only to discover he really doesn’t care.)
Dale actually looks stricken. Absence makes the heart grow fonder bromancer. Or sometimes peach schnapps have the same effect.
Next week: A winery, a kitchen and the first Top Chef of Canada revealed.