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Two “Top Chef Canada” contestants and two delicious recipes

Andrea Nicholson and Patrick Wiese from “Top Chef Canada” create two fabulous meals that live up to judge Mark McEwan’s standards.

Two Top Chef Canada contestants stopped by the show off their fine-dining styles.
*Note: these chef recipes are untested.  Measurements may not be exact.

Cornmeal Crusted Pickerel

Andrea Nicholson, 28, Toronto
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 6 oz pickerel
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal

Melt butter and oil in a shallow pan. Meanwhile season the fish with salt and pepper.
Coat with cornmeal and pan fry the fish. Start with the skin-side first. Cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Sunchoke Puree


  • 1 cup sunchokes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  1. Boil all of the ingredients in a saucepan until sunchokes are soft.
  2. Strain the milk into a bowl, put aside.
  3. Blend the sunchokes in a food processor. Add milk if desired.

Zucchini balls


1 zucchini
1 tbsp butter
Boil zucchini until tender, place in salted water for two minutes. Slice open zucchini.
Using a melon baller, scoop out little balls of zucchini.
Place in a pan with melted butter and sautee for 2 minutes. Season with salt and serve.
To plate this dish, spoon out the sunchoke puree. Lay crusted pickerel overtop, place zucchini balls around the fish. A great sauce for this dish is an olive tapenade.

Roasted Quebec Duck Breast

Patrick Wiese, 40, Toronto


  • 10 oz duck breast
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat pan to a medium-high heat. Meanwhile, score the duck breast, make a few slices on the fatty side of the meat.
  2. Rub with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place duck breast in pan skin-side down. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. This allows the fat to render out of the breast. Flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. Place on a plate and let the duck rest.

Pickled Hash

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp hazelnut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced parsnip, blanched
  • 1/3 cup English peas, blanched
  • 2 Kumquats, thinly sliced

Pickling liquid

  • 2 tsp cider vinegar1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp minted thyme 

Truffled Maple Syrup

  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1 truffle, minced
  1. Add minced truffle to maple syrup. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat pan to a medium-high heat. Melt butter and oil. Add garlic and shallots. Let cook for a few minutes. Add parsnips, peas and kumquats. Toss mixture over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the pickling liquid. Let cook until the liquid is absorbed.
To plate this dish scoop out the pickled hash in centre of the plate. Make four slices in the duck breast, but leave them connected at one end. Fan out the duck slices over the pickled hash. Top with truffled maple syrup.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011