Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Recap of MasterChef Canada Episode 205 "Slice of Life" OR Like a (Truffle) Virgin

And the second Mystery Box Challenge this season is....


Sure, you can call it artisan. Or rustic, or whatever you want. You can slap just about any topping you want on it, but in the end, it's still pizza. And although a really good pizza is a hard-to-find commodity, I'm not quite sure it's worthy of a Mystery Box Challenge. There were a few variations and the judges called up the 3 home chefs they were most impressed with:

David and his "Fun Guy" Pizza
Jennifer and her "Summer Fresh" Pizza
Cody and his "Fifth Dimension" Pizza

The judges give the win to Cody. To be honest, I think Jennifer's looked so much better. I could almost smell it. Oh well. Perhaps they gave Cody the win because they had a feeling he would do something really dumb...

Cody is given immunity from elimination and then ushered into the pantry where last season's winner Eric Chong makes a guest appearance. Cody must choose between three luxury ingredients that the other 12 home chefs must cook with: duck; lobster; or black truffles. He says David is his biggest competition and he  would have a hard time with....truffles. But Cody loves truffles and is very jealous everyone gets to cook with them. So he does the most ridiculous thing ever. Yep, he gives up his immunity and joins the others in the kitchen. Everyone is stunned by this move, but no one complains - of course.

So why did Cody do this? It's his favourite ingredient. So what? He could have saved it until the finale - if he made it to the end, that is. Did he just do it to intimidate the others or prove his self-confidence to the judges? Who knows. Whatever his reasoning, it DID NOT go exactly as he planned.

Meanwhile, Line has a meltdown because he has never seen/tasted/cooked a truffle in her life. Claudio sets her back on track by getting her to identify it's flavour. Then there is Kristen. She failed to grab a protein for her dish and starts asking the others if they have anything to spare. Everyone seemingly ignores her like a pesky mosquito buzzing around their stations. Except Jon. He gives her a steak, explaining it would not be right for her to be eliminated like that.

Kwasi, who has also never used one before, gives a great description of black truffles. He tells us the first guy to ever taste a truffle had to be very adventurous...because they look like little turds. But he's right. Have you ever wondered about some foods like that? Think about it. Snails, frogs, bird nests. At some point, some guy looked at it and said, "Yeah, I can eat that."

The judges do their thing and taste everyone's dish. Once again, we don't see the judgement of some of the home chefs. This time: Jon, Andrew, Christopher and Tammy (I could have missed a few).

This week's winners are David and Sabrina. Here's a big hint: if you are presented with a luxury
ingredient in a challenge, you better damn well make sure it's the star of the dish. Think of it this way - if someone orders a dish with the word "truffles" in the description, they shouldn't have to wonder where the truffles are.

That is why the bottom 3 found themselves in their predicament:
  • Michael. He went on about the "negative space" style thing again. Quite frankly, I think the judges' patience is wearing a little thin with this. He called it a work of art. Abstract art. Michael Bonacini said, "Abstract artists have to learn to draw first." Yes there is a trend in presentation of this sort, but the food that IS on the plate IS a work of art. This wasn't.
  • Kevin. He ran out of time preparing his dish, so the whole thing became rather sloppy.
  • Cody. This was a typical case of sticking your foot in your mouth. His major mistake was using truffle oil, which Alvin was quick to point out, doesn't have a bit of real truffle in it.
The judges send Kevin home.

This week, I was impressed with Jennifer, David, Sabrina and Kwasi. In fact, Kwasi had the best line of the night when he declared that he had lost his truffle virginity. Sinking to the bottom of the pack are Michael, Cody and Line.

On the next episode: David and Sabrina captain their teams in a challenge at the University of Guelph, making poutine. Meanwhile Michael needs to put "some kid in his place". I don't know who the kid could be, but my best guess would be Cody. I suspect their failures this episode (both barely escaping elimination) will become an issue between them. Note: this episode is preempted again for the Juno Awards....hopefully it will air on March 22, but check your schedules.