Grateful Top Chef Canada winner Carl Heinrich says that if you really want to get technical about it, the show should have a different name.
“I’ll be honest with you, the show is called Top Chef, but it really is top cook,” said Heinrich, who won Top Chef Canada in the dramatic second-season finale Monday night on Food Network Canada. He is pictured above right, with runner-up Trevor Bird.
“To run a kitchen (as a chef) is incredibly challenging. It’s not just cooking and putting food on the plates. In fact, when you run a kitchen, you don’t really cook at all.
“You don’t get to that position of being a chef until you have proven yourself in the ranks of being a cook.”
So THAT’s the difference between a chef and a cook. Where does “mess hall sergeant” rank?
By the way, the story I wrote about Top Chef Canada for Sun Media/QMI Agency, where Heinrich humbly suggests there may have been a little luck involved in his victory, can be found here.
In any case, Heinrich – who currently lives and works in Toronto, but originally is from Sooke, B.C. – said the cooking wasn’t the hardest part of competing on Top Chef Canada.
“The hardest part was just the longevity of the show and trying to stay focused throughout,” he explained. “It’s TV, so it’s a lot of hurry up and wait, which always is a challenge for anybody who’s not used to it.
“Viewers got to watch the show week after week, but for us it was five intense weeks, very secluded, a big lifestyle change. It was a challenge of perseverance.
“It’s tough to prepare a dish, knowing it’s going to be judged. Sitting in that room, just tearing apart your own dish in your brain, it’s mentally tough, more than the challenge of cooking.”