So, Canada, you’ve savoured the smoky Korean meatballs, downed a decadent amount of dulce de leche brownies and gobbled up a heap of golden toffee nut gems. Did you like them? Did you buy them again and again? Did you recommend them to your food-loving friends? And most importantly, did your favourite new food product come out on top in season two of Recipe to Riches?
Well, if you voted for Rick Matharu and his fusion of Indian and Italian flavours, then count yourself among the majority. The Brampton, Ontario home cook went home $250,000 wealthier last night. Now you’ll be able to find Rick’s butter chicken lasagna at Loblaws stores forever and anon!
Surely you watched last night’s Recipe to Riches finale in all its envelope-opening glory, so we’ll forgo a full blow-by-blow recap. Suffice it to say that while the episode marked the end of a journey for six of our seven category winners, the hour was anything but somber. Everyone seemed to be having a fine old time, and heck, we even learned a few fun new tidbits about some of the contestants.
- Tracey Rigden (dulce de leche brownies) was the only contestant that batch-up challenge mentor Dave Burnett managed to see through to the overall final.
- B.C.’s Don Harquail (he of the golden toffee nut gems, this year’s deserving runner up) seems to carry his late father’s chefs hat everywhere—to his audition, to his Loblaw test kitchen tasting, even to the finale. I guess we’ve all got a good luck charm, haven’t we? And if it’s a truly meaningful one like Don’s hat, that’s all the better.
- Remember the Travelocity gnome? Well, now there’s the Stephen Childs caricature. Apparently friends of the chipotle chili bites creator cut out his little package caricature and took it with them across Canada, snapping photos along the way.
- Apparently Cathy Ferguson’s mixer mishap was the worst of the season. In episode seven, her Montreal deli dip exploded all over batch-up mentor Maggie McKeown—in her hair, on her clothes, everywhere. I seem to recall at least two stand-mixer meltdowns occurring this year, but if Maggie says this was “the big one,” who are we to argue?
And finally, we were reminded that Rick is a pretty strong Bhangra dancer (relatively speaking, anyway). Unfortunately, he didn’t break out any “Punjabi style” moves upon learning that he’d won two hundred and fifty large. Perhaps he was in shock at being anointed Canada’s favourite home cook. I know I would be!
Craig is an editor at a Toronto-based city magazine. He also writes about all manner of cultural topics, including food culture.
by Craig Moy