Top Chef Canada Episode 1 Recap: TORONTO!, Bread Foam and Crazy Eyes, oh my!


You can't tell the players without a score card.  Actually, the score card doesn't help at all, does it?
Hey, it's the opening credits.  This where we get to meet the 16 contestants; the chef who wears a crazy headband, the chef who playfully holds a sieve up to his face, the woman who kicks a lemon, the guy with crazy eyes...the other guy with crazy eyes.

They're arriving in Toronto.  TORONTO! you guys!!!  All of these establishing shots of streetcars and the CN Tower trying to make our city look all glam.  High-arious!

They're meeting at Mark McEwan's Bymark in Toronto's glamourous Financial District.  Did you know that Bymark is in a basement.  It is.  It's in a dark basement.  The lovely Joey Tanenbaum (of Joey and Toby Tanenbaum) took me to lunch there once.  What? Sometimes I mingle with fancy people.  Whatever.  I had a steak, which was lovely, but it made me want to take a nap under my desk.  That was a lot of lunch.  But I digress.

Here's the new host! It's Lisa Ray. The poor man's Padma!  She's announcing the...


They need to create something out of the hors d'oeuvres they've been served at their welcome party.  Repurposed hors d'oeuvres?  Isn't that what I do every time I sneak some home in my purse and have them for breakfast the next morning?  That's what one of those chefs should do.  Put the hors d'oeuvres in their purse and hand it to Mark McEwan.

Small people always try harder, according to this tiny Sarah woman who is trying really hard.

I should not be allowed to snack while watching a Quickfire.  It makes me eat fast.  Seriously. I'm not sure how many Wheat Thins I just threw down my gullet.  Wheat Thins which may or may not have been covered in my bi-annual jar of Cheese Whiz.

Curtis needs immunity for saying he broke the cardinal rule of Top Chef "Don't make Lisa deep throat the food."

Sarah wins the first Quickfire with some oyster thing I wouldn't eat in a million years, especially after it sat in the hot sun. I guess she's right, tiny people DO work harder.

And now...welcome to your CONDOOOOOOOOH!

Joel, from BC, thinks the condo is RAD.  He's in the CITY.  TORONTO!  P.S. I think I can see my office from their terrace.

The only Frenchman in Calgary has a cigarette.

Welcome to the Top Chef Canada kitchen.  The chefs must create a dish that tells us about your home town...tell us about yourself.  A voiceover tells us that Michael Smith will be the guest judge.  Oy.  I always feel like I'm watching Barney when I watch that guy.  "Hyuuuuck! And that's how ya make CHICKEN STOCK! I looooooove CHICKEN STOCK! Hyuuuuuck. P.E.I."

One of the three female chefs just ran head first into another female chef's mixing bowl...head first.  I mean.  No.  Get it together.

David is labelling his pots.  He opened the Drake now you know.  The guy who opened the Drake is based on a Phil Hartman sketch from 1987.

Beauty shot of the Sponge Towels in the foreground while the chefs act like maniacs.  Maniacs.  They shouldn't let these people have knives.

Tiny immunity overcooked her beef.

McEwan, not-Padma, Shereen and P.E.I. Barney are the judges.

David, the anally retentive chef created something called "Toronto spice".  Sounds cool.  Apparently it's bland and disappointing.

Headband made chicken and potatoes that was accused of being cute.

The girl that head butt the mixing bowl made fish that everyone seems to like.

Tiny immunity's beef is a disaster.

Kunal's Indian Fish and Chips is a win, all around.

Jimmy made a take on tuna casserole with...wait for it...bread crumb foam that Michael Smith says "preserved the integrity of his father's bland dish".  Awesome. Suddenly Michael Smith is looking less like Barney and more like John Corbett.  Tracey's wearing snark coloured glasses.

Gabrielle served some boring meat that he cooked in a pressure cooker.

French guy had fois gras night growing up at home in Quebec. I am speechless. I got nothin'.

Too many contestants!


Ryan made something with venison. Boring.

Sergio served something that looks like a rice pancake. Boring.

Trevor is addicted to Sheppards Pie. Booooring.

William made quail.  And now he's sweating and talking about some bridge in Calgary.  Which he may throw himself off of when he goes home.  McKewan says it tastes like "the raw end of a bonfire" which I don't understand, not being one who camps.  But it sounds bad.

Curits made Peking Duck on a crepe...they like it.  They get it.  They get him.

Trista made rosti. Get in mah belly.  They like it.  And she's from Tdot.  Go, Trista!

Joel made something to represent both coasts.  Risotto and salmon.  Overcooked.

Carl made quail. More quail! More tiny bones!


I miss Emeril.  Isn't he part Canadian?

Elizabeth, Trista, Kunal and Curtis are the top four and the winner is Trista! Sweet. She wins $2000 and reacts "fuck, yeah".  Liking this girl.

William, Jimmy, David and Tiny Immunity are called before the judges.  Because they sucked, presumably.

Michael Smith HATES Tuna Casserole Jimmy.  William scares the crap out of me.  He looks like he could snap at any given moment.  Anal Drake guy is anal.  Who will have to pack their knives? Anyone?  I think William might pack his knives right into a cameraman.

The Robeau thinks the judges are mean.  Don't worry, he'll watch with me when Mike Holmes is the guest judge.  Annette just texted saying, "this is a gong show"  Indeed.

William has to pack his knives and go.  EVERYONE (Peking) DUCK!!!!!!!

No, William I won't forget you.  In fact, when I hear the news story about the guy in Calgary who killed a bunch of people I will think of you...and your crazy, crazy eyes...

Until next week, when the 15 remaining chefs have to cook for a bunch of hungry construction workers.    Ribs!  Burgers! Misguided Risotto!  Knives!

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