MasterChef Canada Back To Win Episode 2 recap: It’s been a slice

The second episode of MasterChef Canada: Back again To Earn opens up with the assure that this 7 days, our competition will be confronted with “the toughest elimination problem in MasterChef Canada background.” 

Acknowledging that this sequence is acknowledged for its theatrical flare, I have a feeling it will not be the very last time we hear that assertion this year.

Adhering to a quick reintroduction to the remaining house cooks, Michael Bonacini, ideal on cue, once all over again reminds the chefs that this year’s competitiveness will be extra difficult than preceding seasons and for the next straight 7 days we skip the regular pre-problem pleasantries and leap directly into elimination.

This week’s obstacle will choose our chefs throughout the Pacific to the island of Japan for 3 grueling difficulties that will examination the opponents procedure, precision, and finesse. The advantage Andre gained from winning past week’s problem is also discovered he is risk-free from elimination and heads straight up to the balcony.

I would be respiration a sigh of aid as Japanese delicacies is not an uncomplicated culinary style to tackle.

We’re also released to this week’s guest choose, the godfather of sushi in Canada, chef Shigeo Kimura. The dwelling cooks react as if they are in the existence of royalty and rightfully so, the Toronto-primarily based chef was 1 of the initial to introduce Canada to the notion of sushi back in the 1980s and continues to push the cuisine forward as the president of the Japanese Restaurant Affiliation of Canada and by his acclaimed cafe, Ginko.

To start with problem – Sashimi

The residence cooks are instructed to break down a snapper in order to prepare uzu sikuri (thinly sliced sashimi). Chef Kimura methods up to present the competitors how it is completed and the delicate manner with which he handles the snapper straight away reminds me of the gulfing course difference between a MasterChef finalist and a planet-course chef like Kimura. 

Regardless of the complex problem of the job at hand, equally Jeremy and Mai search markedly thrilled by the topic of today’s challenge. Jeremy states Japanese delicacies is his “favorite” and that he’s been learning Japanese food items for the earlier 10 decades. He suggests he’s thrilled to exhibit everybody what’s up and follows with an infectious smile from ear-to-ear.  

Alvin reiterates that developing a dish like this can get yrs of follow, but for this preliminary obstacle the chefs will be provided just 15 minutes. Chef Kimura and Claudio both seem to be astounded by the pace and depth with which Jeremy is functioning his way as a result of the fish. He’s the initial to finish the fileting course of action and he is completely ready to start slicing the sashimi. 

All the cooks seem to be executing relatively well, but April Lee is lagging at the rear of. She’s weakened her very first filet past repair service and she’s made a decision to start off performing on the other aspect. She says she’s incredibly nervous and it truly exhibits. If we’re to believe what the editing indicates, she has considerably less than five minutes to get her last product on the plate. 

Though all the chefs in the long run control to end on time, unsurprisingly, Jeremy is crowned the winner. The other a few cooks joining him are Mai, Andrew, and Thea. Andrew says he not often experienced the possibility to take a look at the balcony throughout his initial time but he could get employed to the sensation heading ahead. Again, it’s possibly significantly much too early to notify but I really feel like we’re witnessing a really diverse Andrew from the a single we observed in Season 2. 

2nd obstacle – Maki

Just before the second problem commences, we say goodbye to chef Kamura. Prior to leaving, the chef remarks that he was not expecting these types of high-quality from the MasterChef Canada: Again To Get rivals and he is absolutely not alone in that sentiment as neither was I.

For the next elimination challenge the cooks will have to put together maki. Claudio tells the cooks that the maki they’ll be tasked with generating will have to be customized to reflect their person personalities. Rolls ought to be in the uru maki fashion, that means rolled inside out with rice on the outside–don’t forget this one particular. At least 1 of the fillings have to be a tempura component alongside with a thinly sliced ingredient of their choice as the topping.

Outside of people parameters, Michael suggests the sky is the restrict. Frequently in cooking competitions like MasterChef, a lack of specificity can lead to overcomplication, so we’ll see which of the cooks control to show restraint. 

The cooks sprint toward the pantry, which is stocked with a slew of Japanese components. Anyone seems to have an strategy of what they want to cook. Some struggle finding components but the cooks all exit the pantry in brief succession and are cooking by the 3 moment mark. 

Andy is the initially to accept that the rice, even though simple to overlook, will probable be the key ingredient to this obstacle. Alvin agrees.

Claudio says the judges are searching for components that are clean, dazzling, cleanse and have a very good crunch to them. Andy’s generating a citrus-ahead scallop tempura with mango and a yellowfin tuna prime, inspired by his wife, which appears to be to match the judges’ parameters correctly. 

Barrie is also drawing on his spouse for inspiration when the 1st series of lockdowns subsided in B.C., the initially takeout dish he and his wife ordered was fish and chips. So he’s undertaking a fish and chips-inspired maki with tempura crab and asparagus, Japanese coleslaw, and crispy fried leeks. It seems ambitious but if it performs his creativity will definitely be praised.

April Lee says she’s drawing on a deli sandwich for inspiration and Alvin seems to be visibly disturbed. Her thinly-sliced ingredient appears to be a row of pre-packaged deli meats. Alvin reminds her that this particular element is meant to showcase her knife capabilities but she appears to be undeterred.

Jen is earning a togarashi and ginger spiced tuna poke roll with tempura asparagus and avocado. She seems flustered and the judges make two independent stops to her station to specific their problem. 

As opposed to some of the other chefs, Jen has experienced a reasonably modest total of qualified cooking working experience, but as a mom of two young children, she has lots of experience multitasking in significant strain circumstances. She carries on to press on and with 10 minutes left on the clock she appears to be in very good shape. 

Christopher looks the most composed of all the remaining cooks. He’s making a vegetarian maki making use of miso-grilled eggplant, enoki mushrooms, daikon and leeks. He also has drawn on a liked one particular for inspiration for this dish and as his eggplant begins to caramelize he would seem poised to head to the balcony.  

Barrie’s rice will come out soupy and the balcony reacts accordingly. If the rice part fails his dish will not stand a possibility. With 5 minutes on the clock he does not have time to start off over, so he sets it apart in the hopes that cooling it down will make the rice extra palatable. It is distinct that the possibility of failure is starting off to get to him because he returns to the wrong station and does not seem to detect. To make up for its soupy texture, Barrie double wraps his rice with nori and the camera pans to Mai who points out that the conclusion could direct to issues with the judges.

We have not found considerably from Marissa at all this opposition but for the first time this episode we’re addressed to a quick spotlight. She states she’s building a surf and turf-impressed maki with shrimp tempura and seared wagyu beef. The dish appears great but we transfer on fairly promptly and I’m still left seeking to see extra from the Montreal-based mostly chef. 

All 6 remaining chefs handle to submit done dishes but Christopher’s vegetarian maki is the evident standout. The judges praise him for each his presentation and flavour profile, and proceed to remark on the Ontario baker’s heightened command over savoury things compared to his Time 2 overall performance.  

April Lee’s “deli maki” appears to be better than I predicted, but Alvin’s reaction even now leaves me a bit anxious for her. He describes it as “interesting” and warns her that elimination could be in her future. In no way a excellent sign.

Andy and Marissa are both of those informed their maki tastes better than they search, when Jen is advised that her dish seemed greater than it tasted. Barrie’s fish and chips maki actually looks very gorgeous, but without the need of hesitation Michael factors out the identical most likely fatal flaw that Mai was worried about his double wrapped rice does not satisfy the obstacle specs. Barrie defends his choice but Michael continues to be unswayed and quickly the musical rating intensifies. 

Christopher and Jen are picked out as the leading two and they both of those head straight up to the balcony. The final chef to get immunity at this phase is beneath some contention, but the judges announce that Marissa has narrowly escaped the remaining elimination round. 

Closing obstacle – Okonomiyaki

For the remaining spherical the cooks are tasked with replicating a dish popularized in the Osaka area: okonomiyaki–Japan’s get on a savoury pancake. Michael describes it as a ease and comfort foods that can be loaded with just about anything you can think about, but the just one the chefs should replicate is created with eggs, dashi, shredded cabbage and shrimp, then coated in okonomiyaki sauce and topped with marinated grilled octopus, bonito flakes, pickled ginger and eco-friendly onion. 

Brief aside–His delivery is a bit tacky, but I could pay attention to Michael’s silky clean description of elements all working day. If he at any time decides to hang up his knives and apron, I could see a really profitable audiobook narration profession in his long term. 

Barrie’s adjust in demeanour has turn into fairly obvious. This is a replication obstacle and both April Lee and Andy have substantial experienced cooking experience, so subsequent guidelines should be fairly easy no matter of the complexity of the dish. 

The cooks dig into the demo dish and April Lee states she will make anything equivalent at house really regularly, even though Andy acknowledges the issues of the challenge but looks self-confident he’ll get as a result of it.

Barrie says he’s under no circumstances found, heard, or reported the word okonomiyaki in his whole daily life, but a pancake is a pancake.


At this point Andy is incredibly plainly in the zone and he tackles each move of the procedure with dedication and grace. April Lee is multitasking like we’ve nevertheless to see in this opposition and apart from a minor misstep flipping her pancake, she appears to be on observe. 

With five minutes remaining on the clock we have not genuinely viewed how Barrie’s dish has progressed, but he decides to begin plating just before the timer has expired and the determination is questioned by pretty much anyone in the home. He states he’s not operating out of time once more and would seem delighted with his dish. 


All a few cooks finish their dishes and at to start with look they all seem to have replicated the demo dish fairly correctly. 

Barrie is the to start with to step up to the judges’ podium. Alvin states he gave it a superior effort and hard work but the pancake is somewhat undercooked and dry because of to his choice to plate early. 

Claudio suggests April Lee’s flipping mishap has visibly impacted the pancake’s texture, but after getting one particular chunk his tone modifications. Equally her flavour profile and the cookery of the octopus are place on. As she starts to tear up in justified, joyous reduction I uncover myself commencing to seriously root for the Calgary-based executive chef.  

Andy’s last product is quite evidently the closest replication of the demo dish. Michael claims he’s reached a around-great texture but could use a far more aggressive solution to his seasoning.

The judges declare the determination was a shut one and all 3 cooks say they feel they’ll go on, but Barrie’s face tells a distinctive story. He is eradicated and evidently disappointed to have his competitors operate appear to an close, but as Michael reminds him, he has attained a a great deal so he exits the kitchen with his head held large.

Kitchen area Scraps

As a fellow Calgarian I’m fairly ashamed to admit that immediately after the 2nd challenge of this episode, I was completely ready to produce April Lee off. Even with a comparatively rocky start out, as the episode progressed so as well did her confidence and composure. If that development proceeds she could incredibly nicely be a pressure to be reckoned with afterwards in the opposition. 

I was also thoroughly impressed by each Jen and Thea, who just about every elevated their activity to clearly show a stage of finesse and dedication I was originally skeptical they could generate. It was good to ultimately get a likelihood to abide by Jen a little bit additional intently, and it would be good to see a related concentrate positioned on Thea and Marissa in upcoming episodes. 

Just after last week’s episode I chosen Jeremy as a chef to look at, but primarily based on his performance in this week’s obstacle I assume it is safe to say that he has catapulted himself into a major contender. For me, Jeremy, Christopher, Andy, Andrew, and Mai have every solidified their status as elite opponents.

Nonetheless, if past week’s episode has taught us everything, it is that we really really don’t nevertheless know what these chefs are able of and that anything at all is probable in the MCC kitchen. 

MasterChef Canada: Back To Acquire airs Sunday nights on CTV.  

Barbara J. Miriam

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