Cactus Club chef Matthew Stowe wins Top Chef Canada season 3

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      A B.C. chef has done it again. Matthew Stowe of Cloverdale won Top Chef Canada season 3, following in the footsteps of season 1 winner Dale MacKay and season 2 runner-up Trevor Bird. At the end of tonight's (June 10) finale episode on Food Network Canada, Stowe beat out Quebec's Danny Smiles to take the top prize. 

      The Cactus Club Café product development chef was raised in Surrey and received his training at New York's Culinary Institute of America. He nabbed the last spot to compete against Smiles and Ontario's Jonathan Goodyear in the three-person finale after nearly being eliminated on last week's episode. During tonight's finale, filmed in Calgary for the first time, Goodyear was eliminated during the first challenge—which had the chefs whipping up food cart-style dishes. Stowe made two types of tacos and earned a spot in the final challenge.

      To determine a winner, Stowe and Smiles were asked to each create a five-course menu that best represented who they were. Previous Top Chef winners MacKay and Carl Heinrich—who was born in Sooke but works in Toronto—joined the final two competitors as sous chefs. Stowe, who worked with Heinrich, mainly stuck with fish and seafood dishes—except for a Mediterranean-style lamb dish right before a deconstructed s'more for dessert.

      Smiles, who was assigned MacKay, highlighted his Montreal and Egyptian roots by using maple syrup, Middle Eastern spices, and foie gras. The judges, which included regulars Mark McEwan, Shereen Arazm, host Lisa Ray, as well as guest judge Connie DeSousa—a Calgary chef and Top Chef season 1 finalist—enjoyed the flavours in Smiles's dishes, but were consistently wowed by Stowe's elegant presentation. 

      In the end, Stowe, who demonstrated precision and consistency throughout the competition, was ultimately declared the winner, and was greeted by his wife and son during the announcement. Stowe has won a $100,000 prize and a kitchen valued at $30,000—and, of course, the title of "Top Chef Canada".




      Jun 11, 2013 at 10:37am

      Congratulations Matt, for winning TOP CHEF you deserve it and we were rooting for you from the very beginning.
      From a fellow Vancouverite and foodie. PS. Congratulations to your wife who also deserves praise for supporting you in this endeavor.


      Jun 11, 2013 at 11:02am

      One more reason to hit the Cac. Pounding some coldies while scoping some hotties over their off the hook appies like chicken tenders and lettuce wraps. Awesome times!


      Jun 11, 2013 at 4:24pm

      Both great Chefs however I was surprised that Mathew won after, at best tying Danny on most dishes. From the judges comments Danny bested Mathew in most of the dishes save for the fish dish and in my opinion won the finale. In my opinion the scales were tipped in Mathews' favour given he has a wife and a young son which makes for better "emotional viewing" (read ratings).


      Jun 12, 2013 at 3:16pm

      wondering how this guy is doing nowadays since this was filmed months ago


      Jun 16, 2013 at 9:46pm

      Really Food network? As if this was your choice....Just what Vancouver needs, another restaurant producing safe, boring food. No doubt his dishes were likely tasty, but if I wanted a beet salad I'd make it at home, or go to one of the other 100 restaurants pumping out this type of food-lame.

      Chef Danny's food looked amazing, unique and extremely creative, Hope to see this young chef open his own place soon. So disappointed with the final decision.


      Jun 17, 2013 at 6:21pm

      This win will lead to more boring food being "developed" at the lousy & overpriced Cactus Club.

      billy fung

      Jun 17, 2013 at 7:59pm

      What I can say is DISAPPOINTED. Boring food won "Top chef canada".