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 Souzan

Recipe to Riches: Finale Recap

Posted By: Craig Moy, 12/13/2012 10:50:55 AM

 

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!

butter-lasagna  

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.

For instance:

- 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?

rick 

 

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 Moy

Craig is an editor at a Toronto-based city magazine. He also writes about all manner of cultural topics, including food culture. 

 

 

 

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 Souzan

Recipe to Riches Finale

Posted By: Souzan Michael, 12/10/2012 11:39:16 AM

Recipe to Riches fans, the day you've all been waiting for is almost here! After 3 days of voting last week, the polls are now closed and the results are in!

recipe-to-riches-finale 

The much-anticipated Recipe to Riches season finale will air this Wednesday, December 12th at 9pm ET/8pm PT on Food Network Canada and repeat Saturday, December 15th at 7pm ET/PT on Global TV. Tune in to see who takes home the $250,000 grand prize!

Recipe to Riches is produced by Temple Street Productions.  

 

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 Souzan

Recipe to Riches Voting is Now OPEN

Posted By: Souzan Michael, 12/5/2012 12:33:17 PM

Recipe to Riches fans, the day you've been waiting for is finally here: the voting poll is officially open! After seven weeks of challenges and surprise outcomes, we want you to be the judge and have your say in who goes home with the $250,000 grand prize!

r2rvotepost 

Voting closes on Friday, December 7th at 4:59pm ET. During this time, you can vote for your favourite recipe here.

 

The much-anticipated Recipe to Riches season finale will air December 12th at 9pm ET/8pm PT on Food Network Canada and repeat Saturday, December 15th at 7pm ET/PT on Global TV. Tune in to see who takes home the grand prize! Recipe to Riches is produced by Temple Street Productions. 

 

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 Terry

Recipe to Riches Vote

Posted By: Souzan Michael, 11/29/2012 11:25:16 AM

We hope you've been loving Recipe to Riches this season! Now that all seven episodes have aired, the competition really begins. After seven weeks of challenges and surprise outcomes, we want you to be the judge and have your say in who goes home with the $250,000 grand prize! The voting poll opens on December 5th at 12:01pm ET and closes on December 7th at 4:59pm ET. During this time, you can vote for your favourite recipe at recipetoriches.ca. Then on December 12th, tune in to watch the season finale at 9pm ET/8pm PT to see which of the finalists will take home the grand prize!

 

You can also catch up on all the episodes during a marathon on December 5th from 3pm ET/12pm PT until 10pm ET/7pm PT.

r2rvote 

The seven category winners eligible for the grand prize vote are:   
Jason Keary, Nerepis, NB – Honey Cheese Pastries (Cakes, Puddings and Pies)
Stephen Childs, Victoria, BC – Chipotle Chili Bites (Savoury Snacks)
Tracey Rigden, Etobicoke, ON – Dulce de Leche Brownies (Cookies and Squares)
Jackie Koh, Vancouver, BC – Smoky Korean Meatballs (Hors d’Oeuvres)
Rick Matharu, Brampton, ON – Butter Chicken Lasagna (Entrées)
Don Harquail, Burnaby, BC – Golden Toffee Nut Gems (Candies and Chocolates)
Cathy Ferguson, Gloucester, ON – Montreal Deli Dip (Condiments and Dips

 

The much-anticipated Recipe to Riches season finale will air December 12th at 9pm ET/8pm PT on Food Network Canada and repeat Saturday, December 15th at 7pm ET/PT on Global TV.  Recipe to Riches is produced by Temple Street Productions.

 

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 Souzan

Recipe to Riches: Episode 7 Recap

Posted By: Craig Moy, 11/29/2012 11:12:26 AM

It was an all-Ontario battle last night on Recipe to Riches, as your favourite home-cooking competition introduced a brand-new category: Condiments and Dips. So who were these Premiers of puree, these Sultans of sauce?

-Hard-working TorontonianCourtney O’Leary offered her “gourmet mushroom topping,” a ready-made serving for adding something extra to a variety of meats.
-Gloucester’s Cathy Ferguson captured the experience of eating a Reuben sandwich in her “Montreal deli dip.”
-Hamilton resident (and aspiring filmmaker) Kayode Atobatele spiced things up with his “Tobman’s hot sauce.”

condiments-group 

(Above from left: Cathy Ferguson, Kayode Atobatele, Courtney O'Leary) 

Batch-Up Challenge
As we’ve come to expect, our competitors were uniformly unprepared for the sheer scale of cooking required of them in the first of their two tests. All three seemed to be most comfortable eyeballing their measurements, which is definitely not the way to go in the commercial kitchen, where different cooking devices—and occasionally even different ingredients—can mess with one’s recipe. That said, I liked the way Kayode handled things: instead of “batching up” directly from his home recipe, he first made a small test batch in the R2R facilities, and only when he was satisfied with that version did he up-size to the required 75 litres. The method served him well, as our judges agreed that Kayode’s sauce was even better than what they tasted in his audition.

Courtney’s mushroom topping, however, was not. She had some trouble getting the right consistency for her roux, which, frankly, is a fatal flaw when you have to serve it to Laura Calder, a bona fide expert in classical French cooking. Though conceptually sound, Courtney’s goopy final product was the least promising, and so her Recipe to Riches journey came to a close.

deli_dip 

(Above: President's Choice Montreal Deli Dip)  

Product Launch
Sometimes I wish we as viewers got to see a bit more of the “product development” portion of each R2R contest. In a way, the show is just as much about food marketing as it is about actual cooking; the former has a significant bearing on each episode’s ultimate outcome.

In this particular product launch we saw two opposite strategies. Kayode’s marketing team talked him into focusing very specifically on a target audience of 25- to 45-year-old men, presumably the largest demographic for extra-spicy hot sauce consumption. As a result, his product was rebranded rather aggressively (as “Tobman’s Fire Starter” sauce) for the young, male market. The judges criticized Kayode’s decision to go masculine, noting that it undersold the distinctiveness of his sauce. There are dozens of “heat for heat’s sake” hot sauces, they chided. The appeal of Kayode’s product was its complexity of flavours and textures. It should’ve been a gourmet sauce, not just something you’d eat on a dare.

The creative types, on the other hand, were unable not sway Cathy. She felt she knew exactly what her product was and to whom it would appeal, and stuck to her guns accordingly. While both her recipe and Kayode’s were well received at the launch event in front of Queen’s Park, it was revealed that Cathy’s Reuben-by-the-scoopful offering, though decadent, had broader appeal among the streetside samplers. Our four judges don’t often miss a good product when it’s right in front of them, and they never overlook a niche that’s waiting to be filled. In this case they agreed with public opinion. You’ll be seeing Cathy’s meaty Montreal Deli Dip on Loblaw’s store shelves this weekend.

 

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.

 

 

Craig Moy

 

 

 

 

Craig is an editor at a Toronto-based city magazine. He also writes about all manner of cultural topics, including food culture. 

 

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