Top Chef Canada Episode 12 Recap: Math is tough


We open in the glamourous TORONTO! condo. How glamourous you ask? Why...they've got bunk beds and vertical blinds.  Not to mention a view of my office.  Jealous?  Crazy David's alarm clock goes off at 6:52am.  Who sets their alarm clock for 6:52am?

The final four are all very relieved that the only French man in Calgary has packed his knives and gone home.  He was a threat and they knew it.

I have no idea what Headband is eating for breakfast, but he appears to be eating it with chopsticks.  Come on, Headband.  Come on.

Remember, every time you buys Sponge Towels you're potentially lining the pockets of Crazy David's future ex-wives. This public service announcement brought to you by...SPONGE TOWELS.  P.S. SPONGE TOWELS!!!!


Hello Chefs.
Hello not-Padma.

They're starting to answer her in a sing-songy way like one might in 4th grade French. "BonjOUR MAdaaaame not-PaaaaaadmAH!"

They are introduced to the owners of Petite Thuet, Biana Zorich and Marc Thuet.  Thuet has a rep for being cray cray. Trevor looks nervous.  The chefs must make two pies, one sweet, one savoury in two and a half hours.  At which point, presumably, Marc Thuet will rip their heads off and shit down their necks.  His wife / business partner looks nice though. Soooo...there's that.

If anyone makes a blueberry pie we need to refer to it as a "binga pie".  Lenny calls blueberries "bingas" and I'm trying to make it a thing. You've been warned.

Crazy David made Cipate with two layers of puff pastry and rabbit for his savory and for his sweet,  peach and binga pie with mascarpone sour cream ice cream.  It looks seriously yummy, especially the ice cream, but Thuet has one hell of a poker face.

Trevor made an apple bacon tart with walnut crust and blue cheese cream for his sweet and for his savory he did a quiche with caramelized onions, chanterelles and foie.  Biana had a lot of questions for him, but Thuet's pa-pa-pa-poker face remained unchanged.

Carl also made a peach and binga pie for his sweet and did a cheddar, ham and chanterelle quiche.  Seems to me these guys are starting to repeat each other.  Thuet is still emotionless, but he taps, pokes and prods Carl's quiche crust like he's lining up a putt at the Masters.  I fully expected him to get down on one knee and look through one eye at the thing.

Headband made apple pie with sharp cheddar pastry (NOM!) for his sweet and for his savory he made a potato, caramelized leek and bacon pie with dill and bacon fat pastry (DOUBLE NOM!).  Thuet's tapping on the crust again. What is he listening for?!?!

It's the moment of truth and Thuet names Headband's savory (underdone potato) and David's savory (lack of seasoning) as the most disappointing.  Trevor gets a big pat on the back for his sweet offering and Carl's quiche was pleasing as well.  AND Golden Boy Carl wins both bragging rights and a custom stone counter top.  The really good news is Trevor wins 3G's and his apple bacon tart goodness will be available at Milestones for mere mortals like us to try.  Sign me up!

We're spending a lot of time on math tonight. "we started at 16 and now there are 4", "last week there were 5 and this week there are 4", "next week there will be 3", "if 4 top chefs are travelling at a speed of 400 km per hour in the dairy aisle at McEwan's how fast will they arrive at their glamourous TORONTO! condo?"

Haute Cuisine!


It's a big plating challenge.  They need to make a lunch for 50 fashion types and make it look pretty and fashiony.  And chefy.  And...what does that mean?  Stacking rings and infused oils?  Do people do that any more or is tall food "out"?

"Do they want me to make a plate that looks like a dress?" - Carl

Now not-Padma ushers in Rob, Connie, Dustin and Francois from Season 1.  They will be working as sous chefs for the top 4.  Dusty (and his smile) used to work at Susur with Headband.  OF COURSE.  They could have a "nice off". Happily, they get to work together, so we'll be treated to a lot of cute during this prep.  They keep giggling and high fiving.

Now we're at the Shops at Don Mills where models walk around like gazelles and the top 4 cook in the bright sun. Headband and Dusty are wearing matching headbands.

First up is Headband who made a dim sum plate inspired by a polka dot dress that his wife wore.  McEwan made a dirty joke.  The judges aren't feeling the food though.  OH NO! Headband!

Trevor made a potato encrusted lamb loin with mushroom foam.  They like the flavours, but was it too rustic?  McEwan did not complain about the foam.  Hmmm?

Carl made a salad with crispy sea bass and is very busy micromanaging the wait staff.  The judges love the way it looks and tastes and they are impressed with how Carl stretched himself.

David did a grilled beef tenderloin in nori with purees and wasabi butter and it looks beautiful.  The judges are very disappointed in the taste.  Not-Padma calls it "offensive".

Meanwhile, in the storage locker of self pity, we're doing more math. "25% of us are going home today", "25% of us are getting $10,000".


All 4 chefs are called into the Blue Room of Death.  Carl wins the $10,000 and is assured of a spot in the finale.  Best of all for Carl, he gets to leave the Blue Room of Death and enjoy a domestic beer in the comfort of the storage locker of self congratulation.

Trevor is now named as the next finalist.  I can't believe it, but Headband and Crazy David are on the chopping block. Didn't imagine this happening at the top of the show. At. All.

After a brutal deliberation, Crazy David is sent home.  Thank the sweet baby jeebus.  Headband is in the finale!

David is gonna be OK.  He's going to spend the $20,000 he won on a ring for his girlfriend.  He's a romantic.  A crazy romantic.

Next week: judgement day!!!


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  2. Anonymous3:03 PM

    Away from Canada, but catching up on the Top Chefs left standing by reading your blog. Highly entertained, especially by the "storage locker of self pity" and the a bit hungry.

  3. Anonymous5:49 PM

    Enjoy reading your recaps and am enjoying the show. Getting a love-on for Canada as there is so much more comradery and focus on criticism as a learning opportunity (compared to the American version). The contestants seem humble and genuinely interested on creating the best dish opposed to winning via other means. I'm personally sad to see Crazy David go - you had to appreciate how much he embraced the challenges. And have you noticed how psyched Headband is for everything? I think that he always has the "this is so cool" comment after every quickfire challenge or strangely chosen quickfire judge.

  4. momtothreebeagles1:59 PM

    Miss Tracey Nolan, I just discovered your blog this morning. Your recaps had me so captivated, I put off making breakfast for myself, although I did have some strong coffee. :) Tragically, your "Not-Padma" moniker resulted in some of it being released onto my keyboard ... gales of laughter! :) I thoroughly enjoyed your commentary, your quips, your descriptiveness and your creativity. I ALMOST advised you to quit your day job but then I read your bio and realized, writing is part of your day job! You are very gifted. Keep up the tremendous work! Mia in Ottawa, ON.

    PS: I'm going to Headband's restaurant tomorrow for my birthday lunch.

    PPS: "A writer writes, always." ~ Various, "Throw Momma From The Train"

  5. ..I also just discovered your blog this afternoon while googling the line from Alan Thicke which Trevor Bird mentioned in his blog, you really made my day ;) funny and good writing!!
    looking forward to the finale, really who would have seen this coming, that David left, but every meal can kick you out..


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