Top Chef Canada returned for an All Star epic battle, and Nicole Gomes of Calgary emerged the winner in a tense cook-off finale that aired Sunday night.
Gomes, who earned the nickname “Tasmanian devil” for her quick kitchen moves, is beloved in her hometown of YYC as a caterer and her Southern fried and French style rotisserie chicken take-out restaurant called Cluck N’ Cleaver.
In the Top Chef Canada finale, Gomes first survived an elimination quickfire that found Vancouver’s Trevor Bird (Fable, Fable Diner) sent home. The final head-to-head was between Gomes and Toronto’s Dustin Gallagher.
Gomes took the win with her five-course menu:
- Amuse-bouche – Lemon arancini with truffle fonduta
- Appetizer – Beef carpaccio with pine nut aïoli, arugula pesto, and crispy capers),
- First entrée – Goat cheese tortellini with preserved lemon, ricotta salata, peas, and pancetta in a butter sauce
- Second entrée – Sea bream with fingerling potatoes, crispy capers, and beurre blanc
- Dessert – Vanilla bean panna cotta with strawberry compote and almond cantucci crumble
Gomes first appeared on the Canadian franchise of Top Chef in its third season, and she was one of the two chefs–both women–representing Calgary in the show’s fifth season “all star” re-boot, featuring new host Eden Grinshpan, and new judge, Vancouver-based super foodie Mijune Pak.
- Mijune Pak: From food blogger to Top Chef Canada judge
- Top Chef Canada reboots franchise with new All Stars edition
- Top Chef Canada winner joins JRG restaurant group
As it so happens, Gomes is also the first female chef to take the title of Top Chef Canada in the franchise’s five-season history.