Danielle Cardozo: Eric 'lucky' he got me off MasterChef Canada

Danielle Cardozo (Handout)

Danielle Cardozo (Handout)

Jim Slotek, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:09 PM ET

And another dessert takes a bite out of MasterChef Canada.

Onetime favourite, Danielle Cardozo was on a morning TV show Tuesday, hearing from a doctor about the unhealthiness of Baked Alaska – the dish that eliminated her from the show this week.

“I think he was just trying to make me feel better,” Cardozo said with a laugh later in a phone interview. “It’s a sweet dessert, it’s not health food. It definitely wasn’t good for my health on MasterChef Canada.”

In fact, the Cranbrook, B.C., single mom was the only contestant who even knew what she was looking at when the judges unveiled it, “and I don’t think it did me any favours that I knew what it was. MasterChef Canada, a lot of it is a mental game.”

It can also be an unfair game. The best time manager on the show, Cardozo found time to take two stabs (both unsuccessful) at baking a sponge-cake crust for the ice-cream-filled dessert, and is still a little rankled that competitor Julie Miguel got through with raw flour in her crust. “I was definitely shocked,” she said. “I thought raw flour in a cake would be a deal breaker. You’d never serve that to anyone, at a restaurant or at home.”

Her elimination also shed some light on Eric Chong, the underdog who may just win by whining.

Possessed of a permanent hang-dog look, and outwardly moaning about his inability to handle most assignments, Eric put Danielle in a position to be eliminated with his handling of their team challenge – a Tacos vs. Meatball Sub food-truck competition at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square.

At one point, Danielle was seen practically talking the panic-stricken captain Eric down from the ledge. Later, the team lost when Eric allowed a raw meatball to be served.

In the elimination challenge, however, the still-whinging Eric somehow managed to produce a textbook Baked Alaska dish he’d never seen or even tasted.

“The raw meatball made a huge difference,” Cardozo agrees. “But when it comes down to it, it’s a team challenge. Whatever happens, happens. I don’t have hard feelings against Eric, whatsoever. He’s lucky he got me out of the competition.”

We noticed, however, that he often seemed incompetent in team challenges and would skate through the eliminations. “Y’know what? It was the same story with me,” Cardozo says. “I had a weakness when I was team captain. I sunk my ship and had to battle my way out.”

That said, she says, fake incompetency may be part of Eric’s plan. “It’s a red herring,” she says. “He says one thing and proves another. Without a doubt, he’s thrown us for a loop.”

Despite failing to win, Cardozo is already getting set up in her foodie dream, heading to Tel Aviv in a few weeks to study with Israeli chef Alexander Lachnish. “I’ve just launched a website, daniellecardozo.ca and all of my adventures in Tel Aviv are going to be on that website.

“As well, I’m currently being mentored by executive chef Dave Bohati, of Market Restaurant in Calgary.”

Of her rep as the most organized MasterChef contestant, Cardozo says, “I’ve spent the last couple of years as a single mom of three with a fulltime career and then some. Time management is number one in my life.

“So coming into the (MasterChef) kitchen, I always felt prepared. It’s funny there were a couple of challenges where I was done 10 minutes before the challenge was up. And you kind of stand there and everybody’s still rushing around.”

 

Twitter: @jimslotek

Jim.slotek@sunmedia.ca


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