JUDGE | LAURA CALDER
The finalists in the condiments and dips category were all very different. I felt like Courtney’s Gourmet Mushroom Topping was leaning too much towards the high-end of the market. By the time you try to make something high-end people actually want to eat it in a restaurant or make it themselves at home. So I think it would have been a lot of harder to sell it as a product.
Kayode’s Hot Sauce surprised me! It tasted so healthy and had unbelievable texture. It wasn’t just a shot of heat and when I think of hot sauce I think of sauces that are there to mask the flavour of the food you are eating. But Kayode’s had such a complex taste it felt very healthy.
Cathy's Montreal Deli Dip spread was a fun concept and it really did pack an image of a whole place and culture into one pot.
Montreal Deli Dip
JUDGE | DANA McCAULEY
The condiments and dips category turned out to be way more interesting than I thought it was going to be. When I first found out we were having that category I thought we’d be brought salad dressings, chutneys and jams but we ended up getting three very unique recipes. The hot sauce was the only one that was close to being traditional but Kayode did it in such a unique way that it was brand new and fresh as well.
That meant going into batch-up, I wasn’t sure what we would get. It would either be a walk in the park or a complete nightmare. It was interesting to see that each competitor had a unique set of challenges.
I was a bit surprised that Kayode was so incredibly confident in the kitchen and brought such an ease to his recipe it just shows how well he knows it, and how he was such a deserving candidate.
I was also surprised that Courtney had trouble with her roux and getting the texture to be perfect even after we had talked about it. Her recipe had looked like it would have been the simpler of the two recipes to put together, but nothing is ever as it seems.
Cathy’s recipe was the kind of thing that you looked at on paper and thought it would be a slam-dunk but she also had her own challenges. It was interesting to see what a big kitchen does to these home cooks psychologically.
Gourmet Mushroom Topping
JUDGE | TONY CHAPMAN
I thought that the Condiments and Dips category was a difficult one to judge because we had recipes that couldn’t be further apart from one another.
Cathy brought us an innovative idea of combining a Montreal Deli Sandwich into a dip and the judges had a lot of questions if this would be served fresh or in a jar. In her product launch challenge she brought in a food truck and created her own deli on the streets. But she didn’t advertise the fact that you could serve it hot or cold or the different ways in which you could use the dip. Yes it was a deli but there is so much more to her recipe than that one aspect.
Kayode brought us a hot sauce, which you automatically think “Does the world need another hot sauce?” but it was delivered in such a unique way with wonderful texture and a lot of heat. But I wasn’t happy with Kayode’s name because he focused so much on heat and didn’t get across the texture of the product. But in his product launch challenge he took the HEAT and created one of the most successful launches I’ve seen on the show. Not only did he have fire-eaters, but he let consumers take the heat challenge which was a lot more interesting then just a simple taste test.
It was very difficult to decide and I think the scale tipped to the Montreal Deli Dip because of its originality.
Tobman's Hot Sauce
If you missed it, you can watch the full episode here.
Look for Cathy Ferguson's President's Choice Montreal Deli Dip in grocery stores this weekend.
by Souzan Michael