"I CAN OVERCOME ANYTHING THAT'S THROWN AT ME."
KELOWNA – Despite being dismissed as a contender early by other competitors, Kelowna’s Kaila Klassen continues to show the Masterchef Canada audience what it means to overcome difficult challenges.
Masterchef Canada is a competitive cooking game show on CTV that pits 16 home cooks against each other in a series of competitions involving different types of food. Each week, at least one of the chefs is sent home, based on a variety of real life cooking challenges.
Klassen is a realtor and amateur chef who was selected for the show in late August of 2013. She has survived seven episodes, despite being disregarded by many of the other contestants.
The seventh episode, titled Brains before Beauty, aired Monday night. Disaster struck early when Klassen’s rival, Eric Chong from Oakville, Ont., won the mystery box challenge. The win gave him the chance to select parts of an Alberta cow for each of the remaining home chefs to cook. He wasn’t kind to Klassen.
The cow parts ranged from the mundane, like rib eye, flank steak and kidneys to the more exotic, such as tongue and sweetbreads. Eric’s choice for Kaila: cow brains.
“I want to see if she has what it takes,” he said when his choice for Kaila was revealed.
Right from the second episode Eric, as well as many of the other home chefs, appeared to write Kaila off, despite consistent wins.
Chefs Claudio Aprile, Michael Bonacini and Alvin Leung agreed that the brains were the most difficult to prepare.
“Personally I think you had the toughest ingredient to work with,” Claudio Aprile told Klassen after he tasted her buttermilk soaked, crispy brain with polenta. “You continue to raise the bar.”
“At that moment it was just so surreal,” she says. “I think a lot of people were underestimating me and I really felt like I was able to prove people wrong and show that I can overcome anything that’s thrown at me.”
Alvin Leung made the most astute observation of the show.
“Eric chose the brain especially for you,” he said. “He thinks you lack them but you can tell him from me, (he’s) wrong.”
Despite getting the most difficult ingredient, or more likely because of the way she handled it, Klassen was declared the winner of the elimination challenge, making her one of the two captains in next week’s team challenge. That gives her a definitive advantage over Eric.
Klassen can’t discuss what happens on the next episode, but says “the gloves come off.”
Kaila Klassen's Masterchef rival Eric Chong.
Image Credit: Masterchef Canada/CTV
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