Top Chef Canada
Season 9
No. of contestants11
WinnerErica Karbelnik
Country of originCanada
No. of episodes8
Release
Original networkFood Network
Original releaseApril 19 (2021-04-19) –
June 7, 2021 (2021-06-07)
Additional information
Websitehttp://www.foodnetwork.ca/shows/top-chef-canada/
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 8
List of episodes

The ninth season of the Canadian reality competition show Top Chef Canada was broadcast on Food Network in Canada.[1] It is the Canadian spin-off of Bravo's hit show Top Chef. The program takes place in Toronto and is hosted by Eden Grinshpan. Season nine features 11 chefs of various backgrounds considered to be the next generation of culinary stars in Canada. The season premiered on April 19, 2021. The season was won by Erica Karbelnik, who defeated runner up Kym Nguyen in the finale, which was shot at the Four Seasons hotel in downtown Toronto.

Contestants

Eleven chefs competed in season 9. Contestants are listed in the alphabetical order of their surnames.

Contestant progress

No. Contestant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
No. Quickfire
Winner(s)
Erica Galasa Kym Alex
Kym
N/A Josh Josh N/A
1 Erica HIGH WIN HIGH LOW IN IN LOW WINNER
2 Kym WIN LOW IN WIN WIN WIN HIGH RUNNER-UP
3 Andrea IN LOW HIGH WIN HIGH HIGH HIGH OUT
Josh HIGH WIN LOW WIN HIGH LOW WIN OUT
5 Alex LOW IN IN LOW LOW HIGH OUT
6 Emily IN IN WIN LOW LOW OUT
7 Aicia IN IN LOW WIN OUT
8 Galasa IN LOW IN OUT
9 Siobhan IN WIN OUT
10 Jae-Anthony IN OUT
11 Steph OUT


  (WINNER) The chef won the season and was crowned Top Chef.
  (RUNNER-UP) The chef was a runner-up for the season.
  (WIN) The chef won that episode's Elimination Challenge.
  (TEAM WIN) The team that won that episode’s Elimination Challenge.
  (HIGH) The chef was selected as one of the top entries in the Elimination Challenge, but did not win.
  (IMMUNE) The chef was immune from elimination, and exempted from cooking during this Elimination Challenge.
  (LOW) The chef was selected as one of the bottom entries in the Elimination Challenge, but was not eliminated.
  (OUT) The chef lost that week's Elimination Challenge and was eliminated from the competition.
  (IN) The chef neither won nor lost that week's Elimination Challenge. They also were not up to be eliminated.

Episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
841"Phoenix Rising"April 19, 2021 (2021-04-19)

The new crop of chefs get to know each other briefly in the Top Chef Canada kitchen before getting a short introduction from Host Eden Grinshpan and Head Judge Mark McEwan and being thrown directly into their first Quickfire Challenge.

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs were given thirty minutes to create a dish that showcased their personal brand. The winner received immunity from elimination.

  • WINNER: Erica (Seared Scallops with Fennel Pistachio Puree and Pistachio & Za'atar Dukkah)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs were tasked with creating a dish that showcased a component of fire using either a smoke, ash or flame element. The chefs cooked and served their dishes at the Casa Fuego restaurant in downtown Toronto.

  • WINNER: Kym (Roasted Squab Breast and Shishito Peppers with Lotus Root, Onion Soubise and Bordelaise Sauce)
  • ELIMINATED: Steph (Spicy Wilted Greens with White Beans, Bison Rib-Eye with Spruce Tip Gastrique and Pickled Chanterelles)
852"Harvest Picnic"April 20, 2021 (2021-04-20)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs randomly picked a classic diner dish and were tasked to reimagine it using only plant based ingredients. The guest judges for the challenge were chef and restaurateur Suzanne Barr and Canadian radio personality George Stroumboulopoulos. The winner received immunity from elimination and got an advantage in the elimination challenge.

  • WINNER: Galasa (Mushroom "Meatloaf" with Caramelized Onion Puree, Spicy Greens and Croutons)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs were divided into groups of three and were tasked with creating a cohesive picnic meal with portable, outdoor friendly dishes highlighting either apples, corn or pumpkin. As the winner of the quickfire challenge, Galasa chose which team he wanted to work with. The chefs had time to shop at a local farm for their featured produce before serving the judges at Toronto's Botanical Gardens. The guest judges for the challenge were chefs and owners of Montgomery's restaurant Guy Rawlings and Kim Montgomery Rawlings.

  • WINNERS: Team Pumpkin: Erica, Josh, Siobhan
  • LOSERS: Team Apple: Jae-Anthony, Kym, Galasa, Andrea
  • ELIMINATED Jae-Anthony (Bison Tartare with Haitian Green Seasoning, Apple Salsa and Smoked Gouda)
863"Holiday Potluck"May 3, 2021 (2021-05-03)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs were tasked with making a Top Chef quality dish using Quaker Oats branded oat flour. Each dish also had to have either a baked, flipped (using the griddle) or fried element. The winner received immunity in the elimination challenge along with a $5000 dollar (CAD) cash prize from Quaker Oats. The guest judge for the challenge was chef and restaurateur Mandel Hitzer. This was the last challenge where immunity could be won from a quickfire challenge.

  • WINNER: Kym (Corn, Jalapeno & Cheddar Fritter with Corn Succotash)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs were tasked to create a dish based on a holiday meal or food memory. The chefs served their dishes at the Old Mill Toronto restaurant, one of Toronto's longest running eateries. Guest judges included celebrity chef and TV host Christine Cushing and Quebecois entrepreneur and restaurant owner Stefano Faita.

  • WINNER: Emily (Cod with Baked Potato Gnocchi and Sauerkraut Beurre Blanc)
  • ELIMINATED: Siobhan (French Toast, Lavender & Rose Petal Yogurt, Balsamic Strawberries, Cardamom Green Apples and Candied Bacon)
874"Takeout Wars"May 10, 2021 (2021-05-10)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs were given thirty five minutes to create a restaurant concept and one supporting dish for judges Mark McEwan and Janet Zuccarini. Two winners, chosen by Mark and Janet would come to life in "Takeout Wars," a spinoff of the classic Top Chef challenge Restaurant Wars. The two chefs who won would get to select their teams and manage the service of their concept.

  • WINNER #1: Kym (Dashi: Pan-Asian cuisine. Koji Orange Radishes with Hondashi Emulsion)
  • WINNER #2: Alex (Root: Plant focused cuisine with minor meat components. Cauliflower Salad-Cauliflower Puree, Roasted Cauliflower and Shiitake XO.)

Elimination Challenge: Kym and Alex became team captains and chose the other chefs they would like to have on their team.

  • Dashi: Kym, Josh, Andrea and Aicia
  • Root: Alex, Golasa, Erica and Emily

The teams were tasked with creating a menu that reflects their concept and conducting a ninety minute takeout service. The judges ate at resident judge Janet Zuccarini's house and were joined by guest judges Nuit and Jeff Regular.

Dashi's menu

  • Kombu-Cured Tuna & Salmon Tartare with Hondashi Mayo and Lotus Root Chips (Kym, Appetizer)
  • Mushroom Dumplings with Fermented Mushroom Dashi (Aicia, Appetizer)
  • Japanese Green Curry with Seared Sole and Fresh Cucumber (Josh, Main Dish)
  • Steamed Rice with Furikake (Andrea, Side Dish)
  • Braised Pork Belly with Tea Egg and Asian Pear Kimchi (Andrea, Main Dish)
  • Mango Panna Cotta with Coconut & Lime Tapioca (Josh, Dessert)

Root's menu

  • Corn Arancini with Huitlacoche Aioli and Queso (Erica, Appetizer)
  • Smoked King Oyster Mushrooms, Beets, Beet Hummus and Feta Mostarda (Emily, Appetizer)
  • Eggplant Steak with Marinated Quinoa, Mushroom Demi-Glace and Chermoula (Galasa, Main Dish)
  • Vadouvan Curry-Roasted Carrots with Cardamom Yogurt (Emily, Side Dish)
  • Chocolate Avocado Pecan Tart with Candied Pecans and Parsnip Date Caramel (Alex, Dessert)


  • WINNERS: Dashi: Kym, Josh, Andrea, Aicia
  • LOSERS: Root: Alex, Galasa, Erica, Emily
  • ELIMINATED: Galasa (Eggplant Steak with Marinated Quinoa, Mushroom Demi-Glace and Chermoula)
885"Eat Local"May 17, 2021 (2021-05-17)

Quickfire Challenge: The three losing chefs from last week's challenge (Erica, Alex and Emily) were tasked with competing against three previously eliminated chefs (Galasa, Siobhan and Jae-Anthony) in a mise-en-place challenge to stay alive in the competition. The challenge included peeling fifteen cloves of garlic, breaking down two heads of cauliflower and skinning and deboning three chicken legs. The two in competition chefs who complete the challenge first will be safe while the last in competition chef will be forced to complete a sudden death cook off against the winning eliminated chef.

  • IN COMPETITION LOSER: Erica
  • ELIMINATED WINNER: Galasa

Erica and Galasa were forced to cook against each other in a sudden death cook off. They had thirty minutes to use chicken legs, cauliflower and garlic to create a top chef quality dish to stay in the competition. The chef who won the cookoff received $5000 (CAD) and reentered the competition.

  • WINNER OF SUDDEN DEATH COOKOFF: Erica (Chicken Shawarma, Cauliflower Couscous, Tahini, Mint Salsa Verde and Pomegranate)
  • LOSER OF SUDDEN DEATH COOKOFF: Galasa (Grilled Chicken with Crispy Skin, Espellette-Roasted Cauliflower and Yogurt Dressing)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs were tasked with creating a dish inspired by a local dish or restaurant. The dish must be elevated and pair with Mill Street beers. The dishes were served at a Mill Street brewery pub in the distillery historic district of downtown Toronto. The guest judge for the challenge was restaurateur Paul Toussaint.

  • WINNER: Kym (Sake Katsu Scallops with Smoked Apple & Tonka Bean Puree and Soy Cabbage)
  • ELIMINATED Aicia (Pan-Fried Cod, Corn, Shishito Peppers and Charred Eggplant and Roasted Garlic Puree)
896"Indigenous Ingredients"May 24, 2021 (2021-05-24)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs were virtually paired with youth from across Canada and tasked to elevate their favorite dishes. The guest judge for the challenge was celebrity chef and Canadian food icon Anna Olson.

  • WINNER: Josh & Aariya (Chicken Biryani with Fresh Mango, Spun Cucumber and Basmati Rice.)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs were tasked with creating dishes to honor the indigenous peoples of Canada using traditional indigenous ingredients. The chefs were randomly paired with either beans, pheasant, wild rice, elk, artic char or Tuscarora corn to highlight in their dishes. The guest judge for this challenge was indigenous chef and restaurant owner Christa Bruneau-Guenther.

  • WINNER: Kym (Wild Rice Salad with Mushrooms, Sumac, Creme Fraiche and Milkweed Pods)
  • ELIMINATED: Emily (Sumac & Kombu-Cured Fillet and Stewed Char Broth with Pine Mushrooms & Strawberries)
907"Game, Set, Match"May 31, 2021 (2021-05-31)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs were tasked to create dishes that pair perfectly with Stoneleigh branded Sauvignon Blanc wine. In a twist, head judge Mark McEwan would cook his own wine pairing dish. The time it took him to complete his dish would be the amount given to the chefs. After his cook the chefs received 14 minutes and 22 seconds for the challenge. The winner received a $3000 (CAD) cash prize from Stoneleigh wines and got an advantage in the elimination challenge.

  • WINNER: Josh (Pan-Seared Halibut with Berbere-Spiced Piri Piri Sauce and Crispy Kale)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs were tasked with creating a dish inspired by a tennis-related prompt they picked randomly.

  • DOUBLES: Combine two previous dishes you made in the competition into one cohesive dish. (Alex)
  • LOVE: Take a dish you liked from a competitor and reimagine it into a new dish. (Kym)
  • FAULT: Take an unsuccessful dish you made previously in the competition and reimagine it. (Erica)
  • BREAK: Cook a dish inspired by the your turning point in the competition. (Andrea)

Note: As the winner of the quickfire challenge, Josh got to pick any prompt he wanted. He chose love.

The chefs cooked and served their dishes at the Canada Tennis Center, home to the Canadian Open, where the judges would eat at half court. Guest judges for the challenge were tennis grand slam champion Daniel Nestor and Asian fusion chef and Canadian culinary icon Susur Lee.

  • WINNER: Josh (Seared Scallops with Coconut Curry, Raisin Puree and Fennel Salt)
  • ELIMINATED: Alex (Octopus 'Bolognese' with Gochujang, Hand-Rolled Gnocchi, Shaved Parmesan and Basil Oil)
918"A Winner Rises"June 7, 2021 (2021-06-07)

The Final Challenge: The final four chefs were tasked with creating a cohesive five course tasting menu that included an amuse bouche, appetizer, two main courses and a dessert. In a twist, after the appetizer course two chefs would be eliminated based on the performance of their first two dishes and would become sous chefs to the remaining two chefs. The sous chef who aided the winning chef would get a cash prize of $5000 (CAD) dollars. All the chefs got to shop for ingredients at Toronto's famous Kensington Market before serving their meals at the Four Seasons hotel in downtown Toronto.

Andrea's Amuse Bouche and Appetizer:

  • Jamaican Mussel Escovitch, Orange Emulsion, Sea Buckthorn Gel, Green Onion & Cilantro Oil
  • Scallop Kinilaw with Coconut, Bird's Eye Chili, Ginger, Green Onion & Cilantro Oil

Josh's Amuse Bouche and Appetizer:

  • Red Snapper Tartare with Tostones
  • Lobster, King Crab and Asparagus with Plankton & Mussel Sauce

Kym's Amuse Bouche and Appetizer:

Erica's Amuse Bouche and Appetizer:

  • Raw Smoked Salmon Tartare, Green Apple, Horseradish Crème Fraiche and Caviar
  • Matzo Meal Kreplach Stuffed with Chicken Liver & Foie Gras Mousse and Fresh Truffle
  • ELIMINATED: Josh & Andrea

Notes on the eliminations: While the judges enjoyed Josh's tartare and remarked on how fresh and vibrant it was, his appetizer "fell flat" and the flavor of the lobster and king crab were lost. As for Andrea, even though her appetizer was praised for its bold flavor, balance of acidity and technical excellence, her amuse bouche had a sauce that lacked acidity and overpowered the flavors of the seafood.

The chefs who were eliminated were pared with Kym and Erica and tasked to assist them in assembling their final three dishes. Josh was paired with Erica and Andrea was paired with Kym.

Kym's Main Courses and Dessert:

Erica's Main Courses and Dessert:

The judges deliberate on who of the two chefs should be crowned Canada's top chef.

  • RUNNER UP: Kym

TOP CHEF: Erica

Erica was named Canada's 9th Top Chef. The judges praised her for her continuous showing of powerful Middle Eastern flavors throughout the challenges and her consistency and technical skills in the final challenge. Erica marks the second women to win the competition in 9 seasons.

References

  1. ^ "'Top Chef Canada' in top form for new season". Retrieved 2021-05-08.