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Danielle hangs up her MasterChef apron
After an amazing run, clocking up win after win, all while maintaining her composure, Cranbrook's MasterChef Canada contestant Danielle Cardozo has been eliminated from the CTV reality series.
In the cook-off television show's 10th episode, Danielle's undoing was one of the toughest desserts ever: a Baked Alaska. With two other contestants also failing their attempts, Danielle's was the dish the judges chose to send her home.
"That was seriously tough to watch," she told the Townsman after the episode.
The Monday, March 24 episode opens with the eight remaining contestants participating in a Team Challenge that requires two teams of four to man food trucks and serve the hungry hordes in Toronto.
Danielle is on a team led by Eric Chong, alongside Kaila Klassen and Julie Miguel. They decide to serve a meatball sub from their Italian food truck, against the blue team's steak tacos from a Mexican food truck.
Eric is in such a frenzy trying to run the operation that eventually Danielle just steps in to take control, worried that the lack of organization will be their undoing. Eric admits that Danielle is making crucial decisions and helping everyone stay calm – a role he should have been playing.
In fact, the red team is so efficient that their line wears down while customers at the Mexican truck are waiting 25 minutes to be served. So Kaila goes out to poach customers from the line. Soon Pino Di Cerbo on the blue team returns the favour, stopping by tables where customers are eating Italian and convincing them to buy a taco, too.
It's an effective move; in one of the closest team challenges yet, the blue team wins by only three dishes. The red team is sent into another elimination challenge; Danielle's third.
The judges tell Eric, Kaila, Julie and Danielle that no one will be saved from this challenge, which they admit is the toughest yet. They drop the hint that they will be making a dessert named after the coldest American state. Danielle's face says it all: it's Baked Alaska–a sponge cake, topped with ice cream, the whole thing wrapped in meringue and somehow baked without the ice cream melting.
Danielle ran Crumbs Cakery in Cranbrook and the Elk Valley with her sister, who has since taken over the business. She was horrified that a cake led to her demise.
"The first person I called when I got my cell phone back from MasterChef Canada was my sister, who I started Crumbs Cakery with almost three years ago. I confided in her how I went home. She of course laughed and joked, "Of course you did! How did that happen?!" When I explained that it was a Baked Alaska, she granted me sisterly amnesty."
While at first it seems Danielle will sail through this challenge as she has in the past–she's the only cook who even knows what a Baked Alaska is–her sponge cake inexplicably fails.
The first cake to come out of the oven is too moist, so Danielle ditches it and somehow finds the time to make and bake another. Unbelievably, it's just as bad. She tells the camera that she's definitely worried.
But she nails the ice cream and the meringue and gets the dish into the oven with time to spare. It gives her a little bit of hope.
Meanwhile, Julie Miguel failed to listen to judge Michael Bonacini's advice and has cooked a sponge with clumps of uncooked flour in it. Kaila's sponge is more fudge than cake, and she resorts to blow-torching the meringue when she runs out of time to bake it.
But when the judges cut into Danielle's Baked Alaska, the gooey cake has failed to insulate the ice cream in the oven, and it melts.
Somehow, Julie and Kaila are saved, and it's Danielle who is shown the door.
"Your three kids back in Cranbrook must be very proud of you because their mother is a force to be reckoned with," Bonacini tells Danielle. Oh gee, where are the tissues?
Danielle gives parting words of advice to the camera: "If you want something, work for it. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something."
Danielle spent Tuesday in Toronto making the rounds of national TV and radio talk shows. But she did have time to share this message with Cranbrook.
"My journey ends at Top 8. I want to thank everyone for their support. The journey has been amazing," she told the Townsman.
"It's been so incredibly exciting to have the community behind me. I've loved the gatherings at the Heid Out! I wish I could have been there tonight.
"I mean it when I say the end of the show was just the beginning of my opportunity. This is not the last Cranbrook will be hearing of me in the culinary industry."
Stay tuned to the Townsman in coming days as we feature everything Danielle has been up to since filming MasterChef Canada.