Kelowna chef puts aside her crush to crush competition in Top Chef Canada

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Evelynn Takeoff prepares bull testicles for the Top Chef Canada judges.

You could be forgiven for mistaking Top Chef Canada with The Bachelorette.

But it seems Kelowna chef Evelynn Takeoff‘s crush on Toronto chef Vittorio Colacitti is over — at least for now.

The relationship between the two competitors had become so noticeable that chef Shelley Robinson, who was eliminated this week, noted at the beginning of the episode that Evelynn seemed lost in her relationship with Vittorio.

Evelynn, chef de cuisine at Micro Bar • Bites in downtown Kelowna, admitted the infatuation was getting in the way of winning the $100,000 prize.

“I wasn’t 100 per cent focused on cooking; I was distracted,” she said. “It’s game on from here.”

Her renewed focus paid off. Evelynn placed in the top three chefs this week, even taking home a $3,000 prize for her medieval themed artichoke mascarpone. Though the guest judge, Bob Bulmer from the Food Network’s World’s Weirdest Restaurants, wasn’t impressed with her other dish, a lavender infused lamb loin with southern potato.

“If you want to make food that tastes like grandma’s underwear, that’s great,” snarked Bulmer.

Things didn’t go as well in the quickfire challenge, where the chefs were tasked with creating mouthwatering dishes with stomach turning ingredients, like live crickets and meal worms.

Evelynn got her hands on bull testicles. She said that growing up on a farm, she was familiar with castration. (Maybe it’s a good thing for Vittorio that things didn’t work out?)

“I have bull testicles… They’re pretty large,” she confessed to the camera. Turning to competitor Rich Francis, she quipped, “Rich do you want to taste my balls?”

Her buttermilk poached testicles didn’t win the challenge. Bulmer noted the testicles “didn’t come together” on the dish or the palate.

Evelynn is now in the final six chefs, along with Vittorio, who narrowly survived the medieval-themed challenge at Ontario’s Casa Loma with his blood-rare venison.

She took time in the episode to give a shout out to Kelowna Chef Rod Butters from RauDZ Regional Table.

“I really want to do a good job to show my mentors what a great job they’ve done.”

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Kelowna Now hires AM 1150 host

Twitter

Twitter

Kelowna Now looks to be bolstering its local news coverage.

The site has hired Wendy McLoed, who formerly hosted and reported for Kelowna talk radio station AM 1150.

“New Year means New job. Beginning Jan 2nd I will be the News Director at Kelowna Now,” she tweeted.

McLoed was yanked from the air last year during the B.C. election after CBC revealed she had been volunteering as a communications person for local BC Liberal candidate Norm Letnick.

Kelowna Now, which also goes by the name Welcome to Kelowna, seems to be looking for a slice of the Okanagan’s dwindling online news pie. Castanet, of course, has the biggest bite. While founded in 2000, the site was really born in 2003 of fire. The Okanagan Mountain Park fire drove residents by the thousands to Castanet for the latest news during that crisis.

Recently, InfoTel has also made a push into the Valley with local news portals for Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton and Kamloops.

But how many online news sources can the Okanagan possibly sustain? These three online-only news sources are already competing with websites maintained by the traditional news outlets here.

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Okanagan a hot bed of gaming start-ups

Kelowna start-up Hyper Hippo is developing Mech Mice, a tactical game for kids.

Kelowna start-up Hyper Hippo is developing Mech Mice, a tactical game for kids.

The Okanagan is continuing to grow into a busy hub for video game development in B.C.

The leader of the local pack has for years been the massively multiplayer online game for kids, Club Penguin. Founded in Kelowna, the company was bought in 2007 by Disney for $350 million. It still operates out of Kelowna and has millions of users.

However, there are a growing number of small companies popping up in the region looking to match Club Penguin’s success.

Accelerate Okanagan, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of tech companies in the region, caught up with some of the emerging start-ups and posted about them here.

“Kelowna proves that not only can tech hubs emerge outside the metropolis, but world-class companies can thrive here. The growing tech, gaming and animation hub in Kelowna is helping to put the interior on the map,” said Accelerate Okanagan.

The new companies are working on projects for some of the industry big boys, including EA Games, Nickelodeon, Twentieth Century Fox, DreamWorks and Sony Pictures.

Keep an eye on Hyper Hippo. The company was founded by Lance Priebe, who co-founded and created of Club Penguin, and Pascale Audette, the former studio head and vice-president of global operations for Disney Online Studios. The studio is focused on developing children’s games.

This summer the studio is planning on launching the beta for Mech Mice. Just the title alone sounds cool. It’s a tactical game for kids who are 10 and up. The web browser version will hit the market first, followed by tablet versions.

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