10:30 p.m., Jan. 25)
Youth wins out over wisdom as Orléans chefs do
battle on Chopped Canada
By Fred Sherwin
chefs François Lavalée and Qamar
Masood made it to the final two on the Jan.
23rd episode of Chopped Canada. File photo
it comes to their personalities, Orléans chefs
François Lavalée and Qamar Masood are polar
opposites, but when it comes to food they share a common
qualities were laid bare for all to see when the two men
appeared on the popular Food Network show Chopped
Canada on Saturday night.
graduating from Garneau high school in 2003, Lavalée,
31, studied the culinary arts a Algonquin College. While
there he did a co-op placement at the Fairmount Chateau
Laurier which hired him to work in the kitchen. Since
then, hes worked his way up through the ranks to
become the hotels banquet chef de partie.
husband and father of a young son went on the show to
validate the 15 years hes been working in the food
63, Masood is the oldest contestant to ever appear on
Chopped Canada. The owner of Dewan Catering wanted to
showcase his Pakistani fusion brand of cooking and to
prove that a man is only as old as he feels.
men wanted to win the $10,00 first prize to take their
families on the vacation of a lifetime.
the show unfolded, it became apparent that Lavalée
and Masood have vastly different styles. Lavalée
was a bundle of nervous energy, frantically preparing
his dishes, while the much older Masood was calm, cool
one point in the show, Lavalée compares their different
styles to that of the rabbit and the tortoise.
complete opposites... the rabbit and the tortoise. I just
hope that this ends in the rabbit's favour, said
Canada is actually three competitions in one in which
four chefs must make three different dishes an
appetizer, an entree, and a dessert incorporating
five mystery ingredients in each dish.
four chefs are whittled down to three after the appetizer
round, then two after the entrees before tackling the
panel of three judges select which chef will be chopped
after the first two rounds and then chose a winner based
on their overall performance.
and Masoods competition were a young chef from Vancouver
named Ashley Dolbec, and Kate Dean, a chef de partie at
a resort in Parksville, B.C.
and Masood both survived the appetizer round in which
duck confit was the main ingredient, when Dean neglects
to wash her mushrooms.
makes a critical error during the entree round when he
forgets to use the pickle juice mystery ingredient, but
he`s saved when one of the judges notices several drops
of sweat drop into Dolnec's dish.
the final dessert round, Lavalée and Masood both
decided to make a cantaloupe sorbet which led to one of
the lighter moments in the show when they are both forced
to wait Lavalée for the blast chiller and
Masood for the ice cream maker.
the end, Masood was the last chef to get chopped and Lavalée
was awarded the $10,000 first prize.
Masoods undoing, besides not using the pickle juice,
was in serving rice with both his appetizer and his entree,
thus the title of the episode, Rice Twice.
show was actually taped in early December with the contestants
having to swear to secrecy on how it turned out.
had to tell my wife, obviously, if I wanted to stay under
the same roof, but nobody else knew, said Masood
after watching the show at home with 50 to 60 family members.
Everyone was there... all my cousins, my nieces
and nephews. The house was packed and I had to cook for
the actual television show is only an hour long, the taping
took from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
anyone who wants to go in the acting business, no way
man. It was exhausting, but I really enjoyed myself. It
was the experience of a lifetime, said Masood.
and Lavallée only met each other for the first
time while they were waiting for the limousine to take
them to the studio.
got along very well. He is a wonderful young man. Honestly
when we were waiting to find out who the winner was, I
knew it was him because of the bloody pickle juice. Can
you imagine? All I had to do was open the pickle juice
and put a few drops in my dish. Oh well, at least the
money went to a guy from Orléans," laughed
the show aired, Lavalées cell phone started
blowing up with voice and text messages.
were so many I had to stop answering them. When I woke
up in the morning I had 150 messages. Im still answering
them, Lavalée said during an interview on
Lavalée didnt have any problems with any
of the mystery ingredients, he was most worried about
the dessert round.
havent made a dessert since college, said
Lavalée. I had a couple of ideas going into
it and I just worked with the ingredients we were given.
Ive never made sorbet before in my life."
most contestants on Chopped Canada face a certain amount
of pressure, Lavalée had to deal with the added
ressure of representing an internationally renowned hotel
pressure was unbelievable and it showed, but my colleagues
have been nothing but proud of me, says Lavalée..
Masood, Lavalée was happy with the way the he was
portrayed on the show, especially the part when he wins.
chef from Orléans will get a chance to win $10,000
when Chef Mark Steele from OCCO Kitchen appears on the
show on March 12.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
www.orleansonline.ca's main page