Tuesday, June 12, 2018 / Toronto, ON, Canada

Behind The Scenes of MasterChef Canada Season 5 Episode 11: Pop-Up Star

When I got asked if I was available to be a guest on MasterChef Canada Season 5, there was no other response I could think of than "YES CHEF!"

7 months ago, I got the opportunity to visit the MasterChef Canada set in Toronto and be a part of the show in the best way I knew how - obviously not cooking haha. I'm leaving that up to the pros. Alongside 30 other blogger and influencers, we had no idea what we were in for until we got there. I was just excited to meet with the MasterChef Canada judges, Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung, and Claudio Aprile.

Once we arrived, we were quickly briefed that we would be in the Top 3 Home Cooks episode of MasterChef Canada and that we were going to be tasting their dishes and critiquing one of them. I was beyond excited. I've always wondered how they film cooking shows. When do they do commentary of the process and their dishes? Do the cooks actually get the correct allotted time as we see it on TV? Is it as stressful as they make it seem? I couldn't wait to find out for myself.

We watched a little from the backstage, which was basically a wall of a million cameras (so cool). And then, we got to walk through the MasterChef pantry in order to get onto the main set. When we were walking through, all of us could barely keep quiet from the excitement. We took a couple pictures, hence the picture of me behind the MasterChef Canada table/sign with a huge, fat grin on.

Once we walked on set and were being filmed, it goes a bit blurry haha. I low key blacked out a bit because I was so overwhelmed by how cool it was and also starstruck from the three judges. Because I sat right in front of the stage, I got to hear and watch the judges closely. I got to hear Chef Michael Bonacini and Chef Claudio Aprile chat about the home cooks on the stage (that's when they do their commentary!) and I remember them repeating certain phrases just to get their comments with the correct emphasis haha. Loved seeing that! And yes, we also got to witness Chef Alvin Leung yell "1 MORE MINUTE!!" haha. It was honestly such a crazy experience already.

The Top 3 home cooks did an amazing job under pressure, and it was so fun to watch them in action. Yes, they do work really quick and I swear they run up and down their stations at least 20 times in the last couple minutes! Congratulations to the top 3 for making it this far - Andy Hay from Nova Scotia, Michael Griffiths from Richmond Hill, and Beccy Stables from Alberta.

And then, it was our turn. The theme of the Season 5 Episode Episode 11 "Pop-Up Star" was that the top 3 home cooks would be opening their own 'pop-up restaurant' on set, with 10 influencers at each pop-up restaurant. We were served our dishes and we got working right away. We took our photos, and then it came time to taste the food. Chef Alvin Leung came to our table to ask us about what we thought about the food. If I am being honest, I don't even remember what I said! I seemed to have forgotten how to speak English LOL oops. Either way, before I knew it, we all finished eating our dishes and we were ushered to walk back out while the judges deliberated.

And that's a wrap! From being backstage, to walking through the MasterChef pantry, to meeting the 3 incredible judges, to watching these talented home cooks show off their skillz, & to just see how the whole production comes to life... To just say this was an amazing experience would be an understatement. A huge thanks to MasterChef Canada, Proper Television, and CTV for this opportunity. I'll never forget it!

Curious to see who's delicious lamb dish I got to taste? Tune in at 9pm tonight on CTV!

Here I am on MasterChef Canada!!! It was exactly what I had hoped for - a quick clip of me just eating haha. I'm looking way too serious though! Trust me when I say I was probably screaming from excitement on the inside :P What an experience!


Thursday, June 07, 2018 / Toronto, ON, Canada

French Affair at Gare De L'Est

If you decide to adventure to the east side of Toronto, I hope you end up on the patio of Gare De L'Est. GDL Brasserie is located on the corner of Dundas E and Carlaw St. Stepping into the restaurant, I immediately felt Parisian vibes. The interior is gorgeous and the smells were so aromatic due to their open concept kitchen. GDL serves up modern, authentic French cuisine and it is sure to whisk you away to France.
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