Danielle Cardozo (front right) is pictured in the confines of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto along with Team Blue

Danielle Cardozo (front right) is pictured in the confines of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto along with Team Blue

Cranbrook MasterChef contestant helps win team challenge, through to the next round

Toronto Maple Leafs choose Team Blue, just for the halibut

Cranbrook’s Danielle Cardozo cooked for the Toronto Maple Leafs in Monday night’s episode of MasterChef Canada.

Read on if you don’t mind knowing the outcome of the episode.

After progressing in Feb. 10’s episode four, Danielle is now among the final 13 home cooks in the CTV reality series.

This episode, the contestants were tasked with cooking a nutritious pre-game meal for the Maple Leafs and alumni at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

“It was one of the most exciting meals I have ever cooked!” Danielle told the Townsman. “MasterChef Canada really put together a great challenge. I was honoured to cook for hockey greats such as Wendel Clark and Darryl Sittler. I am also not going to complain that the handsome Colton Orr liked my halibut!”

The cooks were split into two teams: the white team and the blue team. The leaders of each team got to choose their teammates. While Danielle was picked last, she said she was just happy not to be on the obstinate Dale Kuda’s team.

“It’s true, I did not want to be on Dale’s team. I think everyone can see what I see; he’s a dramatic individual. He’s not exactly a team player, and that is not who you want as a captain!” Danielle said.

She was actually pleased to be picked last, Danielle went on.

“It’s not about when you are picked. It’s about the team you end up on. I was very happy to be on Pino (Di Cerbo’s) team! I knew we’d all work well together, and that Pino would put trust in us to execute a dish. It also made it clear to me that they underestimate my abilities. In this competition, it’s okay to be underestimated. It’s not a bad thing to stay off your competitors’ radar.”

Each team was asked to cook a fish dish and a pasta dish. While the white team struggled with deboning trout and finessing a herb pesto, the blue team sailed through with Danielle’s poached halibut.

“Overall, our whole team was extremely happy about how our team cooked. It’s true that our team worked like a well-oiled machine. We were extremely happy with how things went,” said Danielle.

And indeed, so did the feasting Maple Leafs, with the majority choosing the blue team’s meal as the winner of the challenge.

That meant that Danielle was safe from elimination this week and has made it through to the top 13.

“This experience so far has been amazing,” she said. “It has brought so much more to my life. It opened up my passion for cooking more than I ever knew existed. I always thought that MasterChef Canada was the ultimate goal for a home cook. It’s still surreal that I am a part of this amazing experience. I’m starting to realize that MasterChef Canada has a real impact on its viewers, and it has opened up a number of doors for me.”

The white team – with the exception of Dale Kuda who saved himself – was forced to cook to save themselves in the pressure test. They were asked to cook raviolo al uovo, a complicated fresh pasta stuffed with an egg yolk that must be runny when the pasta is cut open.

The challenge proved too much for Brooke Feldman, who was eliminated from the series.

Meanwhile, back home in Cranbrook while the series airs, Danielle Cardozo is continuing her culinary career with two upcoming projects.

As well as preparing a dish from MasterChef every Monday night at the Heid Out, where she works as a sous chef, Danielle is also collaborating with Dave Bohati of Market Restaurant to prepare a multiple course dinner at his Calgary restaurant on March 23.

“Dave is a part of an initiative called The Syndicate. It’s a group of extremely talented chefs across Canada who have dedicated themselves to mentoring young chefs. I have been blessed to have him to turn to for culinary advice. I am honoured that he’d invite me into his kitchen,” said Danielle.

She also said that we should stay tuned for another project she is working on with Cranbrook’s Genex Marketing.

“I’m not going to say too much at this point, but it’s definitely something I am excited about. More will be announced in coming weeks!”

MasterChef Canada next airs on CTV on Monday, Feb. 17.