Ousted MasterChef hopeful talks humiliating steak

Winnipeg's Mike Green made it into the top five of MasterChef Canada.

Winnipeg's Mike Green made it into the top five of MasterChef Canada.

Mark Daniell, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:28 PM ET

It should have been a slam dunk for any meat lover. Monday night’s pressure test on MasterChef Canada found contestants Mike Green, Eric Chong and Kaila Klassen being asked to cook the perfect steak frites with an accompanying bearnaise sauce.

One hitch, judges Claudio Aprile, Michael Bonacini and Alvin Leung cautioned: the steak had to be cooked medium-rare.

After making sense of Nanaimo Bars (“I don’t make desserts and I hate Nanaimo Bars, so right off the hop, I didn’t know what I was going to do with that.”), Green thought he would nail the challenge. But once Bonacini cut into a bloody, undercooked steak, Green’s MasterChef Canada dreams came crashing down.

“It’s definitely the most humiliating thing to go out on,” the Winnipeg-based journalist says in a conference call Tuesday afternoon. “A medium-rare steak is something I cook all the time... and nail.”

Green did have a spark of hope after Chong botched his bearnaise sauce and Klassen’s french fries underwhelmed judges. He found himself in the pressure test after losing the 'Family Style' team challenge to Sudbury's Marida Mohammed and Calgary teacher Tammara Behl.

“At first, when I saw Michael cut into my steak, I thought, ‘I’m out for sure.’ But when I saw the other components, especially Eric’s disaster of a bearnaise sauce, I thought that might keep me safe for sure... I thought I had a chance,” he admits.

Green was the only home cook to put his steak in the oven during the pressure test, a move, he says he regrets.

“I knew as soon as I took that steak out of the oven... when I felt it... in that moment, I had already said my goodbyes in my head.”

The thing that stings the most, Green says, was the fact that the judges actually liked his steak.

“I like my steak cooked rare, and I tasted it at the end and that was kind of the kick in the ass because all the judges actually loved the taste of the steak,” he says. “It was perfectly seasoned; it was a perfect rare steak... That’s how I eat my meat for sure. There’s nothing sadder than seeing grey meat. Even medium to me is a waste. I would have been perfectly happy with that steak if I was still on the show, but I’m still kind of kicking myself about it now.”

Having outlasted dozens of competitors, Green is surprised that Josh Gale and Carly Tennant were ousted so early on.

“Just talking to (Josh), he was super passionate about food and super driven about it. But that cheesecake took him down. As well, I don’t think Carly got as much credit as she deserved... She had really good food knowledge and I don’t know if that came across when you watched the show.”

Green made it to the top five in the inaugural season of MasterChef Canada, and before he left the competition he declared that Behl will win it all.

He’s still picking Behl, but he won’t put money on it.

“You can tell she’s really focused. But the thing is, with the format of the competition, every day (is something different). So the next thing could be something she has never seen before and she could blow it. To see someone like Eric, who is up and down, all over the place and Marida, who is always composed, and Kaila, who doesn’t get fazed... It’s kind of a gamble.”

Twitter: @markhdaniell

mark.daniell@sunmedia.ca


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