Top Chef Canada Episode 13 Recap: The One Where Someone Wins


You should see what I look like right now.  Splint still on my right arm.  Half of Lenny's dinner on my yoga pants.  And now?  My right eye is pretty much swollen shut.  I AM WATCHING YOU CANADIAN TOP CHEFS! THROUGH THE SLIT IN MY RIGHT EYE!!!  

Why this isn't a video blog
OMG with the math again - "there's a 1 in 3 chance I could win 6 figures".  Wake me up when math class is over.  I'm here for home ec on steroids.

Welcome to the finale!  Enter the last 3 contestants that got kicked off to be sous chefs...we think.  Instead David, the only Frenchman in Calgary and Trista get a chance to get back in the competition.  WHAT?  The three of them now have to cook a meal from a bunch of PEI-centric food for guest judges - the top three.  WHOA.

Who? Will? Win?

"Don't expect a green salad from me today, it's gonna be lobster and butter" - the only French man in Calgary.

Seriously, he just melted like 2lbs of butter in that sauce pan.  Jeesus.

Meanwhile Trista is lowering a lobster into a pot of boiling water whispering, "don't fight it, embrace it..." 

Crazy David appears relatively calm. Until he burns himself.  He powers through and will no doubt have a scar to be proud of.  

Note to Trista - talking about shitting your pants is not appetizing.

Burn victim David's steak tartare with an egg and green beans pleases and then his seafood stew and gnocchi is also a big hit.  It's looking good for David.  

The only French man in Calgary does an oyster straight up, mussels and rare steak with a lobster tail on top.  Everyone seems to think the steak is too rare.  Shockingly, nobody mentions the litre of butter he cooked it in.

Trista presents oysters straight up, mussel and lobster soup and grilled tenderloin with a bearnaise sauce. Looks like she's redeemed herself for her plastic wrap fiasco, but beating Crazy David is going to be tough.

The top 3 are kind to everyone while they're eating and now they show that they ARE thinking strategically by voting for Trista.  Sheern and McEwan override that decision and David is back in.


Nice try, boys.


In Top Chef tradition they must create their ultimate 4 course meal.  Something that embodies their food philosophy. They're going to do all this up in beautiful Hockley Valley.

Trevor is one of those people that smiles when they freak out.

Little orphan not-Padma tells them they can get ingredients from the garden and then brings in Jimmy, Elizabeth, Trista and the only French man in Calgary to work as sous chefs.

Time to pull knives!

David gets the only French man in Calgary
Carl gets Trista
Trevor gets Jimmy
Headband gets Elizabeth

If anyone can work with her it's him.

My heart's with Headband, but the team of David and the only French man in Calgary is going to be tough to beat.

David's meal focuses on Toronto.

Trevor ca't define his style.  

The judges for the $100 000 meal are Vikram Vij from Van and some guys from Hockley Valley.

Headband's first course, Lobster 3 ways with a South Asian flare is very well received.  He's set the bar really high.

Carl's first course is a trout salad which is also very popular with the table.

David's first course is steamed pickerel with a french broth.  He calls it the Yorkville course.  To which all of Toronto says "huh?"  - they are not thrilled.  Nope.

Trevor's decided he wants his first course to be underwhelming.  Say what?  Fresh fig, goat cheese, raspberry and hazelnut.  Mission accomplished, guy.  They are tres underwhelmed.

"It's not top chef anymore it's top sous chef" says Jimmy Stewart.  Ha Ha Ha. Shut up.

Headband's second course is a braised pork belly salad with salad and a chili lime caramel sauce.  Elizabeth is killing it in his kitchen and offering him sage advice.  They are getting along like PEI clams.  Oh, Headband.  He knocks it out of the park again with this pork.  He knocks it out of the pork.

Carl's second course is roasted loin of elk which he carves tableside and serves with salad, pork belly and shallot rings. It looks super yummy.  They love it.  The elk is perfect.

Trevor's olive oil poached arctic char is also impressive.  They seem blown away. Maybe this is why he underwhelmed with his first course?

David takes them to Little Italy next with Tuna three ways.  It's contempo Italian, not College Street.  What Toronto does he live in?  Seems like David is choking.  

Third course time. Headband is doing beef panang curry, family style.  He tries it while plating it and says "it tastes exactly like what it is".  Will his conviction for family style eff up his chances at winning?  They all love the food, but McEwan HATES family style in this setting.  A lot.

David's talking about his risk taking again.

David has taken us to Little India with a biryani lamb dish...which once again falls flat.  Aaaaaaaaargoooooos!

Carl serves an Orange Sorbet for his thrid course which makes McEwan pop a blood vessel and inspires this bon mot from Tevor:

"This is a meal of a lifetime not a meal of laziness."

Somebody put that on a t-shirt.

The thing is, while the judges are skeptical about the choice they can't stop eating it.  "It's killer", Vikram says.  This is getting interesting. 

Trevor, who just quit his corporate job on TV, serves up a prosecco and olive oil granite (mmmm) and a veal tenderloin that might just be one of the best things of the night.  Looks like telling his corporate overlords to shove it was a good move.


David does a corn pudding, his ode to Kensington Market - which they love.  This is the David I was expecting to see. Too little too late?

Headband does a beignet with peach ice cream and blueberry ice that is FLAWLESS. But does it make sense in the progression of the meal?  

Carl's final plate is peach cobbler with ice cream.  It's a casual presentation (how are you supposed to make cobbler upscale?) but it also quite yummy.

Trevor presents the final plate of the competition, a blueberry tart with lemon curd and masarcapone cream which is met with a mixed reaction.  Shereen says "it's a really nice blueberry tart" and it sounds like she might as well be saying "it's a really nice mouthful of poop" - does that mean poor menu choice with good execution?  What will this do for Trevor's confidence? He already quit his job!


Headband's choice to serve family style inspired an argument at the table...which really puts the family in family style, no?

Carl's really into farmers and soil and things less robotic then himself. 

David's corn pudding was inspired by his corn soup during Restaurant wars...the one Susur thought was too sweet. That's kind of awesome.  Way to turn a failure into a win.

Trevor is tired of your bullshit, corporate oppressors!

Not-Padma's make up is gorgeous. I wonder how many Sponge Towels it would take to take off that smokey eye?

It's tense in the beer locker of self pity, tonight.  

"One of you is Canada's Top Chef" - Not-Padma says, causing the four remaining chefs to cry out in shock.  They thought they were competing to date her, maybe?

GASP! Headband and David are OUT! What????  Not Headband!!!!

Headband and David walk back into the empty beer locker of self pity and have a well deserved beer.  

Trevor is top two.  He's as shocked as can be.

And the winner is, CARL.  Golden Boy takes it.  The young, robotic, farm loving youngster.  Did I mention he's young? Good on ya, Carl.  Congrats.  I look forward to dropping a week's salary at your new Toronto restaurant, wherever it may be.

Thanks for reading along, friends.  This has been a blast.  Until next time...


  1. Congrats! You have a beautiful blog and I enjoy reading your posts. Your kitty picture is adorable.

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  2. That was awesome Tracer! You knocked it out of the Pork! I hope Vik Vij and Headband go into business developing some cool restaurants,a saged master and young maverick a killer combo!

  3. Anonymous1:10 AM

    how did i not discover this until now? you are fucking hilarious. thank you.

  4. Loved this, my thoughts exactly while watching! A new fan...


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