Top Chef Canada initial impressions

Okay, so you all watched Top Chef last night, right? I’m not planning on recapping every episode because frankly, I just don’t have the time. But I did want to jot down some of my initial impressions and predictions (mostly spoiler free).

First, my impressions – I was pleased to see that many of the US Top Chef elements were there – the types of challenges, the interviews with the cheftestants, etc. It put a big smile on my face to see all those Canadian images in the intro. I do have some concerns about the chefs finding the ingredients that they need though. Loblaws, a main sponsor of the show, has a lot of items in their stores but I know they usually don’t carry stuff like venison and um… seal flipper (at least they don’t in their Edmonton stores – maybe it’s different in other parts of Canada?). I mean, sometimes I even have problems finding canned black beans in stock at my local Superstore! I’m sure that the show has thought this out though, and I am hopeful that this won’t be a huge problem for the duration of the show.

And now for predictions. Let me preface this by saying that I am usually wrong every time I try to guess who is going to win any kind of competition like this. 🙂

Based purely on their audition videos, my top three guesses were Dustin Gallagher, Connie DeSousa and Dale MacKay, with Dustin winning.

After watching the first episode, I would have to say that I am still relatively confident in Connie DeSousa and Dale MacKay. Not quite sure about Dustin now. It’s still pretty early yet, and time will tell. I’m excited. This is going to be a great show!

I will be posting interviews with each eliminated cheftestant every week. You can read my past interviews by using this Top Chef Canada list.

8 thoughts on “Top Chef Canada initial impressions

  1. Good first episode. I did not mind Loblaw’s financial prowess too much. After all, they are Canada’s grocery store. For better or worse.

    Yes, Connie from Calgary will make it to the top 3. Winning? It’s way too early to tell.

  2. Does Top Chef Canada have your blog on their website? They should. Get them to link to this brilliant initiative of yours!
    I loved the Canadian stuff, too. Our chefs rocked!
    BUT – and I don’t think I am a negative person…
    Shereen needs to use a thesaurus and edit her responses. As a Canadian, I was embarrassed by her lack of finesse when she described the eliminated chef’s dish broth as “could be vomit” and “it was disgusting”! I cannot imagine this kind of unedited immaturity presenting itself in the US Top Chef production. A personal coach might be a good idea for her. My heart went out to that chef. As if not being eliminated first wasn’t tough enough – when he sees the episode, he will be heartsick. Though, it is more a comment about her, than him. If you are going to critique dishes, you need the vocabulary to do it. Shereen needs to really step up her game.
    Second thing, the sharing of one plate and eating at the judges table. I would like to see the judges eat in a more refined setting (a table, facing one another) with their own plates for obvious reasons.
    Loved our host. Loved and participated in the live tweet. It was great to get Q’s answered immediately and see the immediate reaction of viewers across Canada.
    Seal flipper? There needs to be a caveat regarding endangered and indigenous foods on this show as we have the Arctic to draw from…but some foods, though truly the food of the people in the North, are too rare for public consumption and that needs to be clear. Superstore as a sponsor? Well… I hope these farmers get to the market as the irony of Top Chefs shopping at a mega market is almost too much too bare.
    Great work, Sherene. I have to catch up on your other posts, but what a coup!!!

    • Top Chef Canada and Food Network Canada have been retweeting links, but I don’t think they’ve linked to my site yet.

      I believe that the US shows usually share plates too for the majority of challenges. They just don’t usually show the plate exchanging on screen. I remember seeing chefs bring only two plates to tables with four judges.

  3. Jon says:

    The first episode was okay, I wasn’t exactly impressed.
    First impression are very important, so here’s mine.
    Mark McEwan might be a great chef but he sure lacks personality. I feel like I’m watching my kindergarten teacher talk about food.
    Shereen Arazm, I wonder if she’s trying too hard to be like Gail Simmons. Does she have to be so acerbic. Her impression of one of the dishes: “It could be vomit”. Really, vomit! I wonder if she ate vomit before?
    Thea Andrews, pretty……………That’s about it.
    Guest judges, not going to say anything about them
    ’cause I’m sure they’ll have a new one every episode. Actually, Vikram Vij would be a better permanent judge than Mark McEwan.
    Does anyone else saw the sharing of plates? Really, they can’t afford to plate four separate plates for the judges.
    It’s just weird looking at them passing food around, gives you the feeling of cheap production.
    So far the show is not in the same caliber as the U.S. counterpart so I can take it or live it. I certainly won’t follow it week after week like I did with the U.S. version.

    • I know the US show shares plates sometimes too. There’s been too many instances of only two dishes being made and being put in front of four judges. I think that they usually edit that part out though. It does look awkward.

      I’d have to agree about Mark McEwan. Hopefully he loosens up a bit as the show progresses.

  4. This show is boring…….the food is boring, the hosts are boring, the competitions are boring. The food itself is old in it’s presentation and it’s ingredients. How many times do we have have to watch spaetzle added to a plate, or gnudi, or confit, or some sort of blini or pancake. Dale thought he was being original with pulled pork and slaw on a butter bun, but that is served in every respectable BBQ joint all over North America. How about the manicotti or the chicken in a blanket from episode 9? My apologies for the rant. This is Top Chef, step it up a notch, show us something amazing, because so far no one has.

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