A decade of One Chef One Critic


10 years of cuisine and conversation

A decade. Ten years. … I’m looking at what I just typed. It feels like a mistake. But no, I’ve done my sums and it’s true. Tomorrow evening – Sunday, September 17th at 7 p.m. on Channel 9 (Rogers TV) – we launch the tenth season of “One Chef One Critic” with chef Steve Watson and yours truly.

As I think back on all the guests and chefs who’ve appeared on the show, it gets easier to believe the number, 10, is accurate. So, who’s been on the show since we started? Everybody. At least, that’s what it seems like. Certainly, we’ve had people of every description, varied backgrounds and from many different walks of life, a policy carried forward with enthusiasm this season.

Mark Critch on OCOC 2008

There have been few repeat guests, except, Mark Critch became a semi regular on the show over the years. In our upcoming tenth season, we have two generations of the Critch family represented.

(L-R) Karl Wells, Mark Critch, Jacob Critch, Steve Watson

Mark is joined by his talented son, Jacob. Jacob Critch aspires to become a professional musician, not a comedic actor like his dad. He’s written, composed and performed his own music.

Karl, Azzo Rezori, Steve Watson

Other tenth season guests include former Telegram and CBC TV journalist, Azzo Rezori, who helps prepare poached salmon in mustard sauce, while filling us in on a life that took him from postwar Europe to a career in Canadian newspapers, beginning in Western Canada.

Karl, Krissy Holmes, Steve Watson

CBC Radio Morning Show co-host, Krissy Holmes, appears to recount her time as the original producer of “One Chef One Critic.”

(L-R) Karl Wells, Elinor Gill Ratcliffe, Steve Watson

Among other women who’ll appear on the show this year are St. John Ambulance CEO, Glenda Janes, and well-known Canadian philanthropist, Elinor Gill Ratcliffe. Gill Ratcliffe is known for her donations to multiple cultural institutions and charities. She explains why she decided to give away so much of her wealth.

Karl, Robert Chafe, Steve Watson

Author and playwright, Robert Chafe, joins us to talk about, among other topics, his stage adaptation of Wayne Johnston’s novel, “The Colony of Unrequited Dreams.”

Karl, Philip Goodridge, Steve Watson

Theatre is a main subject when we host actor, Philip Goodridge. Goodridge has appeared in many local productions, especially musicals. Recently he turned his hand back to playwriting. He’ll tell us what first sparked interest in penning his own plays.

(L-R) Karl Wells, Chris LeDrew, Steve Watson

Singer, Chris LeDrew, appears to give us a glimpse into his life as a musician, songwriter, teacher and photographer. Dr. Ian Sutherland – another guest with qualifications in music and education – is the Dean of the School of Music at MUN. He’ll talk about his experience as a music educator in Europe and about the new challenges ahead of him here in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In addition to the mouth watering entrées we’ll prepare with our guests, we’ve invited chefs from over a dozen different St. John’s restaurants to prepare an appetizer or dessert on each episode.

Fushka by Jamil Hossain, NJ’s Kitchen

Jamil Hossain of NJ’s Kitchen makes fushka, a “traditional Bangladeshi or Indian subcontinental street food.” A deep-fried shell, made from semolina dough, is filled with cooked yellow peas, tamarind sauce, shredded egg, cilantro and lemon zest. It’s seasoned with five-spice, sugar and salt. You pop one entire fushka in your mouth and it creates an explosion of flavours and textures.

Steve, Bob Hallett, Karl

Restaurateur and musician, Bob Hallett, of Tavola shows up determined to demonstrate an easy dessert, as he puts it, “that’s gonna say to your guests, I tried.” It’s a French style pear tart made with puff pastry, pears, butter, sugar and marmalade. Hallett reveals himself to be a very good cook, as well as entertainer.

Steve, Kevin Chitray, Karl

Kevin Chitray, chef at YellowBelly Restaurant, is from Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean. He makes eggplant and potato fritters, explaining, “this fritter is very common in my country and we serve it with coriander, onion, tomato and chili chutney.”

Steve, Tak Ishiwata, Karl

Tak Ishiwata, owner and chef of Basho makes one of his favourite home comfort dishes, a Chinese noodle soup called, Tong Mein. It includes noodles, chicken stock, a variety of vegetables and a key ingredient, bacon. He confirms, “it’s easy to prepare at home and all of the ingredients are locally available at any grocery store.”

Achiote pork tortilla by Mark McCrowe

Mark McCrowe, who plans to open a southern style BBQ restaurant, slow cooks a full pork shoulder known as, Cochinita Pibil. It’s made with a marinade featuring achiote paste – a mixture of annatto seeds and a variety of herbs and spices. The result is a spicy, succulent hunk of the most delicious meat you’ll ever taste.

Cloud 9 by Sheldon O’Neill

Mixologist, Sheldon O’Neill, returns to make another of his original cocktails. This time it’s a drink he developed for Basho called, Cloud 9. O’Neill tells us, “it’s basically a vodka based drink using fresh muddled black peppercorns, star anise and some fresh strawberries. It’s given some fresh lemon juice and a turbinado simple syrup and then finished off with a Calpico float.” (Calpico is a Japanese soft drink. In this case it’s the milk flavoured, non-carbonated variety.)

yyMaking a tenth season of “One Chef One Critic” wasn’t something we could have imagined back in 2007 when the seed of an idea for a series evolved, yet here we are, with 14 brand new episodes ready to go. Special thanks to all of you who’ve watched the show these past 10 years and to all the companies and organizations who’ve supported us. We hope you enjoy what comes Sunday night and following Sunday nights this fall and winter.