Adding a Latin flair with Top Chef Canada contestant Steve Gonzalez

Poor Steve. It was starting to seem like Steve would be one of the more colourful contestants on Top Chef Canada, but we never did really get to see much about him or his style of food before he was eliminated in last week’s challenge.

Top Chef Canada – Steve Gonzalez (photo courtesy of Food Network Canada/Insight Productions)

Top Chef Canada – Steve Gonzalez (photo courtesy of Food Network Canada/Insight Productions)

Why did you decide to apply to be on Top Chef Canada?

I decided to do Top Chef cause I felt this will help get my name and face out there. I left Toronto a few years ago and came back saying [th]is was going to do big things.

What surprised you most about the competition?
I was surprised at how well we all got along and how different our food styles where.

Did you learn anything from your experience?
I learned that I can still move fast when I need to.

What special items did you bring from home to help you in the competition?
I brought Yuzu juice, Aji amarillo and achiote.

It seemed like some people had better experiences working within teams than others. What was your team dynamic like?
Our team worked great together. We were all cool and worked like a well oiled machine.

Top Chef Canada – Dan Aykroyd Episode 3 (photo courtesy of Food Network Canada/Insight Productions)

Top Chef Canada – Guest Judge Dan Aykroyd, Episode 3 (photo courtesy of Food Network Canada/Insight Productions)

The potato salad dish you made – did you change the recipe at all to make it fit better with the theme of the challenge, or is that how you would normally serve it?
Ya I changed it totally changed it to fit in the vessel and I really wanted to put caviar in it. It’s not something I make all the time.

Latino cuisine isn’t as common in Canada as say, various Asian cuisines. How fast is knowledge about Latino cuisine growing in Canada? If you had stayed in the competition longer, what kind of dishes would we have seen from you?
Latino food has become a little more know but not as well as I would like. We would have seen more ceviches, modern sancocho and maybe ropa veija.

Any future plans that you’d like to share?
I’ll just be doing my thing here at Origin and raising the bar in the food scene in Toronto.

Other than your own establishment, name one of your favorite places to eat.
I like doing the China town thing. Late night at Taste of China or Pho Houng for lunch [in Toronto].

Any last comments?
I’d just like to say that I had fun and it was a great experience.

You can read past interviews by using this Top Chef Canada list. If you have a question that you want answered by the latest eliminated cheftestant, let me know in the comments, preferably by the end of the broadcast night on which they are voted off. I make no guarantees about using your question, but if I do use it I will give you credit for it.