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The Top Chef Canada exit interview: episode 4, the offal truth

The Top Chef Canada exit interview: episode 4, the offal truth
(Image: Top Chef Canada)

This season, we’ll be chatting with each week’s eliminated chef after they get the boot (or, rather, after their boot-getting episode airs—this stuff was recorded months ago). This week’s eliminated chef: Montreal’s Sergio Mattoscio.

First things first—that quickfire taste test challenge looked brutal.

It seems easy, but once you’re blindfolded and tasting a whole bunch of different meats, it’s really, really tough! I was always second-guessing myself.

But you did really well.

I guess I wasn’t sure of myself, but at one point I started to trust my first instinct.

For your elimination challenge, you got beef tongue: not the best, but not the worst.

I was actually pretty pleased to get that meat.

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You ever cooked with it?

Not that often, but I have cooked it before. I was pretty excited to have that offal.

Do you think it was a mistake to hedge your bets by cooking two different dishes at the same time?

Not at first, because I think everybody is sort of torn at some point. But the length of time that I was torn for? Definitely.

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Mark McEwan really disliked the fries on your poutine—he thought they were stubby and unappealing. Is that a fair assessment?

You know, the fries were fries! I think that the fact that they’re shorter makes it easier to eat.

And then there’s the gravy. The judges kept complaining about the gravy. They said it tasted like a bouillon cube dissolved in cream. Do you want to defend it?

My gravy was a demi-glace, a classic demi-glace, so definitely not a bouillon cube! It’s just a simple veal stock, which was reduced for a while, and it is creamed a little bit at the end, with certain fresh herbs. So, not bouillon cubes! But everyone’s entitled to their opinion [laughs].

It must be a little difficult to be a Quebec chef and go out on the poutine.

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Yeah, it sort of sucks. But shit happens, you know?

You did make some pretty good-looking stuff in earlier episodes.

Yeah, I was actually really proud of myself in the episodes past, you know? I feel like I did well, I feel like I showcased certain things.

You turned down a job as head chef at Toronto’s Scarpetta. Why?

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The timing was a little off. I had a 10-month-old son, and my girlfriend was pregnant for the second time, and it just seemed too hard to pull off at that time.

As a born-and-raised Montrealer, would moving to Toronto have been tough for you, too?

Well, I do like Toronto. I go there as often as I can. I really think they’ve come a long way, restaurant-wise.

Have you cooked beef tongue since?

No I haven’t actually. But I’m definitely planning to redeem myself and put it on my menu. We have a Wednesday night event at the restaurant where I make up five platters and people just order the platter menu. In the coming weeks, one of the platters is gonna be beef tongue poutine. And I hope Chris Cosentino comes and tries it [chuckles].

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