Whistler really has its fair share of Top Chef television these days.
It started with the resort learning that Jimmy Stewart was chosen for the show called Top Chef Canada, which is primarily filmed in Toronto. That news was followed quickly by word that Top Chef: Texas was coming to Whistler to do some filming.
The Top Chef: Texas episode has come and gone, along with the subsequent episode filmed in Vancouver. The Whistler episode featured scenic shots from the top of Whistler Mountain and Whistler Olympic Park. The next episode, which was primarily shot in Vancouver, featured numerous additional flashback scenes from Whistler.
The visit by the Top Chef: Texas production has inspired Tourism Whistler and Tourism Vancouver to pull together a culinary-themed contest to celebrate the television show and its swing through Vancouver and Whistler.
The contest is being billed as "a chance to eat, sleep and play like a Top Chef." The prize package includes roundtrip airfare for two from any major North American airport, two overnight stays for two in a deluxe suite at Fairmont Hotels in Vancouver and Whistler along with a private culinary tour of Granville Island Public Market, a $150 restaurant gift card for dinner at COAST or Black+Blue in Vancouver, the Biathlon Experience at Whistler Olympic Park, two lift tickets for Whistler Blackcomb along with a lunch certificate at Christine's on Blackcomb and a $100 gift certificate for dinner at one of Whistler's top restaurants.
Those who watched the Top Chef: Texas episode in Whistler will recognize that the prize package mirrors what happened in the two episodes filmed in Whistler and Vancouver.
Contest entrants just need to go to tourismvancouver.com/topchef.
When the show rolled into Whistler there were four people left in Top Chef: Texas and by the time the production concluded in Vancouver the Top Chef was crowned.
Paul Qui was named the winner in the finale. He is the executive chef at Uchiko restaurant in Austin, Texas.
While Top Chef: Texas is but a distant memory now, sous chef Jimmy Stewart is very much top of mind. Our very own cheftestant in Top Chef Canada almost made his exit from the show last week when he landed in the bottom four in the main challenge.
The upstart 23-year-old from the Bearfoot Bistro learned his lesson and vowed he won't be preparing any more dishes using foam.
Top Chef Update
Stewart was under the radar this week on Whistler's new favourite Monday night television show.
The Bearfoot Bistro sous chef competing on Top Chef Canada made only a few appearances in the episode. The cast of 16 is still quite large so there just isn't very much screen time available for every cheftestant at this point. This was an episode that focused more on the weak contestants than the talented participants.
The group's quick fire challenge was made complicated by the fact that they had to use the tools of celebrity guest judge Mike Holmes. According to Stewart, the super star carpenter is a really cool guy.
"Between tapings he was chatting people up," says Stewart.
Stewart's bacon and eggs with avocado and artichoke dish made with carpentry tools was one of many the editors opted not to show in the episode.
The oldest contestant on the show, Kunal Ghose, is now off the show. Stewart says Ghose, 39, gave him a rough time for being young and employed at a "fancy restaurant" in Whistler.
"He had a hard time dealing with the youngest competitor," says Stewart. "That's where the drama comes in."
During the episode this week, Jonathon Korecki gave his fellow contestants buffs he makes as a hobby. Stewart says he has one but chooses not to share anything more because he wears the buff in future episodes.
With the group down to 14 now, Stewart says next week is going to be a good episode. Of course, he can't expand on that but he reassures that the show next week is going to be particularly good.
Stewart's restaurant is screening each episode and he wants Whistler residents to get in on the fun so there's a special designed to draw in more people interested in watching the show with him as it airs on the big screen at the Bearfoot Bistro.