By BILL HARRIS
Special to The Lede
None of the competing home cooks on MASTERCHEF CANADA ever wants to be sent home, but perhaps it’s even more painful when it’s something other than how your food tastes that eliminates you.
Rozin Abbas, a digital marketer from Toronto, found himself in that position in a new episode of MASTERCHEF CANADA that aired Monday on CTV. While the other home cooks had sized up Rozin as one of the biggest threats in the competition, he was tripped up when he failed to grasp all the elements of a tricky replication challenge.
As Season 6 of MASTERCHEF CANADA continues, airing Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV, we spoke with Rozin about the high points and low points of his lively experience on the show:
Q: What was the best piece of advice you got on MASTERCHEF CANADA, and who gave it to you?
Rozin: “Chefs Michael (Bonacini), Alvin (Leung), and Claudio (Aprile) told me to manage my time better and learn to edit myself. I still have a long way to go there, but I think about that advice every time I cook.”
Q: Was there an element of appearing on MASTERCHEF CANADA that was harder than you thought it would be, or harder than it looks on TV?
Rozin: “All of it? Ha ha! Seriously! Creating multi-component dishes, and finishing them with enough time to plate properly, and not ruin anything, is really hard, especially if you have a squirrel brain like me! In the end, the time and yourself are your two biggest enemies.”
Q: Looking back, what would you have done differently in the replication challenge? You're a creative cook who likes to take chances, so is replication possibly the hardest kind of cooking for you? It seems as if it's just as much a memory test as a cooking challenge. How would you have changed your strategy?
Rozin: “What I would have done differently is remember that 50% of a replication challenge is the looks. I was so focused on the taste that I forgot that replication is more than just flavour. Replicating will always be the hardest kind of challenge for me, because I was born wanting to do things differently, and I never grew out of it. I really just needed to remind myself that the look was 50% of the score. Seems so obvious, but I'm the king of lacking common sense. Going home for the non-cooking aspect is a tough pill to swallow.”
Q: With this experience under your belt, what's next for you in the cooking world?
Rozin: “I'm going to really take the time to hone the craft of cooking by staging at restaurants and patisseries, learning how to replicate day in and day out, and improving my technique. From there, private dining, then hopefully a quaint, 15-seat diner that I'll run with my brother that explores the awesomeness of food (especially Canadian cuisine!) with a heavy focus on desserts. Dessert will always be a breakfast, lunch, and dinner thing for me.”