Can Albertans make Top 10 of MasterChef Canada?

After five grueling episodes, Alberta will find out this Sunday, March 27 if two of our own home cooks make it into the official Top 10 of MasterChef Canada, Season 3.

“I just hope that I do Alberta proud,” said Edmonton contestant Terry Adido. “I hope Alberta is watching what April Lee and I are accomplishing in that kitchen.”

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Last Sunday, March 20, Albertan contestants April Lee Baker and Terry soared to the top of the competition.

A total of 12 home cooks competed in a mystery box challenge that resulted in contestants having to team up in pairs to cook one dish for the judges. Both April Lee and Terry’s dishes were awarded top 3 dishes of the challenge.

Terry worked with Jennifer Baglione from Ontario to wow the judges with their prawn farfalle pasta salad with pistachios, peas and kale. Judges loved the appearance of the dish, and the loved the flavours even more calling the dish a true original and calling Terry a “clever man.”

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“I was a little nervous. I knew we had an amazing dish but it only matters what the judges think,’” Terry said. “It felt good to finally be recognized and have the judges taste my food and appreciate it.”

April Lee paired up with Julia Mark of British Columbia and through teamwork and dedication produced a stunning and delicious dish of peach-glazed grilled prawns with an Asian slaw and parsnip chips. Judges acknowledged their outstanding teamwork and said they worked like a “well oiled machine.”

“We were really proud of that dish,” said April Lee who became emotional on the show as judges complimented their food. “Hearing that positive feedback from the judges was a confidence booster. We both needed to up our game and prove it was our time to shine.”

At the end of the tasting, judges awarded Terry and Jennifer with the top dish of the evening giving them both immunity in the next cooking challenge and an even more significant advantage.

Terry and Jennifer would now decide the fate of the remaining home cooks by assigning various fish to each contestant to cook for their next dish. The types of fish ranged in levels of difficulty for cooking. Terry and Jennifer used strategy to pair the strongest home cooks with the most challenging types of fish.

And they certainly challenged April Lee by assigning her hake – one of the most difficult fish among the selection to cook.

“Fish has never been something that I was strong at,” said April Lee. “When I saw they assigned me the Hake, I really had to dig deep in that moment and find that strength within myself. It got me out of my comfort zone and that was such an amazing moment for me to grow and learn.”

For Terry, assigning her that challenging fish was all about pushing April Lee past her limits.

“April Lee is a talented home cook and I thought it was time she pushed herself further,” he said.

And it worked.

April Lee took a fish she had never worked with before and turned it into a delicious pan-fried hake with a watercress and radish salad and citrus sesame ginger dressing. In the words of Chef Claudio, she “nailed it.”

“It’s so amazing to have those moments where you come out of your comfort zone and show yourself what you’ve got,” she said. “At the end of the day, Terry and Jennifer assigning me that fish was a compliment and I thank them for that.”

Her dish saved her another day in the kitchen but contestants had to say goodbye to Sean Hickey from Ontario.

On the next episode, the remaining 11 home cooks will compete in another team challenge cooking for the country’s top fashion elite!

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