Quidi Vidi Village’s own Todd Perrin is returning to Top Chef Canada (on The Food Network Canada) for their All-Stars season. Things are both the same and different this time around for the chef.
Since his first time on Top Chef, Perrin took on a labour of love, restoring the 18th century cottage which is now Mallard Cottage, where he is chef and owner. Currently, he’s keeping busy with the restoration and revitalization of the Quidi Vidi Village waterfront. With the opening of the new inns is still a couple of months away, there’s still plenty to do.
However, according to Perrin, back in 2011, he left for Top Chef feeling that the restaurant biz might not be where his heart was. His goal was simply to “have a bit of fun,” but it was his experience on the first season of Top Chef Canada that inspired him to come back home to Newfoundland and devote himself to his restaurant endeavours.
To be honest, Mallard Cottage wouldn’t be here without Top Chef … and these two inns wouldn’t be here without Mallard Cottage. So it was a jumping off point for getting into food and tourism.”
“It changed my whole life,” says Perrin. “It refocused me on my restaurant side. To be honest, Mallard Cottage wouldn’t be here without Top Chef … and these two inns wouldn’t be here without Mallard Cottage. So it was a jumping off point for getting into food and tourism.”
So, what’s his goal this time around? For Perrin, the focus is still the fun of it. “I’m just going to do my thing and have a little fun,” he says. “Not many people get asked to do this kind of thing,” he says. “I’d be silly not to. It’s for shits n’ giggles … see some old friends, and meet some new ones.”
On TV and at Mallard, Perrin’s trademark has been local ingredients in traditional and non-traditional ways. “We always fly the flag of local ingredients…” says Perrin. As for what’s in his goodie bag this time around, viewers will have to wait and see.
It’s been over five years since Perrin’s first appearance on the show, and the need to have a strong social media presence has only grown. With the addition of social media personality Mijune Pak (@FollowMeFoodie) to the judge’s table, the competitors will need to bring it in terms of their brand and presentation, as well as flavour and technique.
Since it opened, Mallard Cottage has been active online, especially on Instagram, where you can get a peek at what’s on the go at Mallard, from the catch of the day to their deluxe cake table at weekend brunch.
“What we try to do is not especially thought out… it’s all pretty much run through my phone,” says Perrin. “We want to give people a window into what we do here, and in the village. We try not to overproduce, and just show what’s going on.”
Top Chef Canada premieres April 2 on the Food Network Canada.