Ever since former Globe & Mail restaurant critic Chris Nuttall-Smith’s farewell column ran in late September, he has been coy about his upcoming plans. “I can’t tell you, but it’s big,” has been his official line.
Well, we can tell you.
And we could say it’s big.
Or we could just tell you he’s signed on as co-host of season 5 of the local spinoff of a decade old American TV series, now taping its 14th season.
That’s right. Nuttall-Smith is the new top judge on the renewed Top Chef Canada, which after being cancelled in 2014 was earlier this year renewed for a 5th season, to air on Food Network Canada in the spring. Taping was scheduled to conclude this month. Neither Network nor show producer Insight would comment. But we can tell you that Mark McEwan is back, this time as MC.
We presume that Nuttall-Smith’s insertion as a judge is intended as something of an echo of the Ted Allen role on Chopped. For it was Chopped that took the temporarily fatal bite out of the last round of Top Chef Canada.
Most chefs are more interested in who his successor at the Globe might be, or if there is to be one, than what happened to Nuttall-Smith. His reviews were sometimes entertaining but often confounding, especially to people who had eaten in good restaurants before. Hard to forget that rant about the “terrible” pommes Anna at NAO, the ones that arrived at the table “…with no apparent sign of having been sauced”?
Pommes Anna doesn’t have sauce, Chris.
No matter. He has the courage of his convictions, and that’s a good quality for television.
Photo courtesy CBC