To my chagrin and pissed-off-ness (actually the definition of chagrin) my Roger’s cable showed a black screen for the first few minutes of Episode 5. In trying to determine what I missed I checked the Top Chef Canada website and saw that Francois had won immunity. I was flabbergasted. Could I not make fun of him anymore? Was he a master at something? Nope, turns our he just pulled a horseshoe from his ass and a knife from the knife block that read “hog wild” granting him instant immunity.
Everyone else was divided into two teams–black and white. Each team was gifted with an entire heritage pig to butcher courtesy of guest judge Stephen Alexander, owner of Cumbrae’s (and Toronto’s local Meat Celebrity).
Anyone who didn’t pull “hog wild” on their knife pulled a cut of meat (picnic shoulder, leg, shoulder butt, belly or loin) and each team member had to properly butcher their pork portion (from the whole pig) under Stephen’s watchful eye and pained expression. The Quickfire Round was more about hacking than elegant knife skills.
The most heartening thing about the butchery was the enthusiasm. The chefs actually looked like they were having fun. Knife, corpse and tearing flesh turned out to be a good time.
Connie and Chris’s skill gave the black team an advantage, until Darryl stepped in and impressed Stephen, helping the white team catch up. It was down to the wire between Andrea and Dustin. Dustin cuts his finger. Pit stop for band-aid and rubber glove. Andrea saws away at the pig while Jamie looks on-perhaps a little too enthused. Dustin finishes just before her.
Stephen concludes that there were “flashes” (blink and you’d miss ’em) of pretty good butchery. I will never sell you any of my farm-raised pigs or even a breakfast sausage–your faces are seared in my mind was the look in his eyes.
Black team wins each chef an extra $100 for shopping in the Elimination Round.
Each chef must prepare two types of appetizers for a fund raising function benefitting The Food Bank of Canada. One appetizer must include the cut of meat they butchered earlier.
The chefs discover they will be cooking in a secret location.
Francois, “Shit, I’m cooking in a new kitchen…just when I had taped my cheat sheet of the French Mother Sauces to the fridge in the GE kitchen”
Chris, “I just need flames, pots and water…and a melon-baller but I’m trying to sound hard-core right now.”
Jamie, “I want to win for many reasons. Money is one. My mom is my main restaurant investor and she’s almost broke…..she’s eating at the Food Bank right now so I can have a restaurant. I hope the fund raising goes well for her sake.”
Rob–I can’t remember what he said but OMG–I realize he is Clark Kent in chef form.
The chefs and the reception end up at George Brown College. Guest Chef is John Higgins, director of the GB Chef School and Andrea’s mentor.
The big surprise is that the chefs themselves will be mentoring a George Brown student who will act as their sous-chef. The students are forced to wear tall, paper chef hats in a cruel, televised hazing ritual.
Rob makes jokes about his sous-chef because he’s “geriatric and older than his dad”. He forgets to add the classic insult “old geezer”. Later, after successfully bossing him around Rob is more forgiving, “Dwayne’s a nice guy. He was a Major in the military so he takes orders really well.”
Andrea’s sous chef is truly adorable and Andrea nicknames her Minnie.
Dale says he will be a “father figure” to his apprentice, cleverly segueing into name-dropping “Boulud” and “Ramsay” as his father figures.
Overall, the chefs are finally looking comfortable-like they’re forgetting this is a contest and just doing what they love–cooking (hopefully) impressive food.
Still loving Connie. So professional but relaxed and sweet with her sous-chef. Contrast with a shot of Chris lording over his table like Sauron about to wage war against the elves in LOTR.
The Final Judgment
Top Four: Andrea “best tasting dish of the day” (Dry Spice Rubbed Pork Loin with Sweet Ontario Corn Polenta), Dale impresses with both dishes (a Thai consommé with poached black cod and sous-vide pork with sauerkraut), Rob’s “perfect dishes” (confit pork and rillette and a crab and scallop croquette) and Dustin “who’s come a long way up from the bottom–go dude!” (Pork Loin & Bacon and an Apple Terrine with Calvados Vanilla Creme Fraiche).
Dale walks away with a well-earned victory.
Bottom Four: Patrick, Todd, Jamie and Darryl.
Todd apparently “took homey food to a lower level”. Darryl’s flavours were “milky and muddy” and Patrick, basically, no one could remember ever being impressed with Patrick.
Best line of the show, Chef McEwan to Jamie about his salmon mousse, “if you’re a salmon and this is how you end your life, on this plate–that’s sad.”
For a few moments you think this is the end for Patrick, but WHAM, Jamie is asked to pack his bags. It could be the fact that he tried to blame the judges for “never giving him any positive feedback” and then blaming his student sous-chef for distracting his focus. I’m sure he’s going to go home, find the bank where his poor mom is defaulting on her loan and blame her too.
He left us with this memorable…..veiled threat… “Canada only saw the tip of what I’m capable of.” Looking forward to seeing Jamie on Canada’s Top Psycho.