Monday, 8 February 2016

Premiere Review: MasterChef Canada 3 "Yes, No, Maybe So"

Season 3 of MasterChef Canada raises the white apron. 

This year, the top 40 Home Cooks MUST score unanimous approval from Michael Bonacini, Claudio Aprile and Alvin Leung to earn their white apron and an automatic ticket to the MasterChef Canada Kitchen.

And there are only 14 spots to be had.

However, if a Home Cook receives one or two approvals from the judges, they aren't out of the running just yet. Instead, they must go head-to-head with each other to advance.

This new format works.

It's a "cleaner" presentation. We are left with little or no doubt the Home Cooks who automatically advance, deserve their aprons. 

Out of the 16 auditions we saw, four were eliminated: Nicole Olthius; Amanda Gill; Dru Davids; and Jose Torres. Here's hoping these people don't give up and perhaps they can audition again next year. Six more Home Cooks were given a second chance: Veronica Cham; Jacqueline Clark; Michelle Nault; Domingo Lumanog; Matthew Astorga; and Sean Hickey. If these six appeared last season, I am pretty sure they would have made the grade right off the bat. I found that many of the "NOs" from the judges seemed inconsequential. Sean's main criticism was the lack of salt. Of course, I wasn't there to taste it. Here's hoping all six get their second chance.

So far, there are only six white aprons handed out. They are:

Vince Spitale
Occupation: Contractor
Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
Currently Resides: Pickering, Ont.
Audition Dish: Eggplant Parmigiana
Food Dream: To own a family-style restaurant serving delicious traditional Italian food.
Twitter: @eatdrinklaughvs
Instagram: @eatdrinklaugh

Mary Berg
Occupation: Insurance Broker
Hometown: Pickering, Ont.
Currently Resides: Toronto, Ont.
Audition Dish: Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie
Food Dream: To make her mother proud and run a catering company, or work for a food publication and/or in food media.
Twitter: @mary_berg3 
Instagram: @mary_berg3
Jennifer Baglione
Occupation: Salon Manager
Hometown: Thornhill, Ont.
Currently Resides: Maple, Ont.
Audition Dish: Portobello and Cremini Risotto topped with Espresso-Infused Formaggio
Food Dream: To own a food RV and travel the country serving food.
Twitter: N/A at this time.
Instagram: @Signorinabee

April Lee Baker
Occupation: Homemaker
Hometown: Mundare, Alta.
Currently Resides: Calgary, Alta.
Audition Dish: Crispy Skin Duck Breast topped with Sweet Heat Alberta Honey and Kobacha purée
Food Dream: To own her own restaurant with its own garden and livestock; and to be the next big celebrity chef.
Twitter: @GardenDiosa
Instagram: @april_lee_b
Jeremy Senaris
Occupation: Building Plan Examiner
Hometown: Winnipeg, Man.
Currently Resides: Winnipeg, Man.
Audition Dish: Dynamite Roll with Spicy Mayo and Bonito Flakes
Food Dream: To be the Head Chef at his own restaurant.
Twitter: @chefonfiyah 
Instagram: @onfiyah
Terry Adido
Occupation: PhD Law Student
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Currently Resides: Edmonton, Alta.
Audition Dish: Spiced Pumpkin Roulade served with Pumpkin-Maple Truffles and Salted Caramel-Maple Sauce
Food Dream: To open his own baking studio.
Twitter: @grated_nutmeg
Instagram: @grated_nutmeg

These six White Apron Home Cooks delivered. If their signature dishes are any indication of what we can expect from the rest of the season, then MasterChef Canada has truly gone "next-level" and upped the ante. Canada can't wait to see these Home Cooks in action! The most impressive of this group? My money's on Terry Adido. I think he's taken the early lead. If he can cook as well as he can bake, then he is the one to beat. Besides, the judges thought so too, as did Twitter-verse. Bravo, Terry.

(Update: From the preview for Episode 2, it is very clear these six are the only Home Cooks who receive White Aprons with a unanimous vote. There will be 18 Home Cooks who must survive two challenges - and there are only 8 remaining White Aprons to be awarded)

To keep track of the results, visit my Top 40 Audition Results After that, you can look for my review of the Top 14 Home Cooks who will go on to compete in the MasterChef Canada Kitchen.

Upcoming Episodes:

Sunday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m. Episode 2 “A Cut Above” The 18 home cooks who earned a second chance at the auditions face two grueling culinary challenges. Their ability to chop, prep, and manage their time creatively will either send them home or propel them forward into the Top 14. In the end, the judges choose the most talented home cooks to advance in the competition.

Sunday, March 6, 7 p.m. Episode 3 “At Home and Abroad” The home cooks face their first Mystery Box Challenge with 13 ingredients from each of Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories. The winner of the Mystery Box gets to select one of three International cuisines that are near and dear to the judges’ hearts – and some of the home cooks get lost in translation.

***NOTE: MasterChef Canada is pre-empted on Feb. 28 due to CTV's coverage of The Oscars.