Chef Connie DeSousa at Appliances Unlimited

Just in time to launch the second season of Top Chef Canada, Calgary-based Chef Connie DeSousa of CHARCUT was in Edmonton last Sunday to help promote the kick-off, as well as one of the show’s major sponsors. Appliances Unlimited, one of two vendors in the city that offer the GE Monogram line of appliances, hosted the appearance. The hour-long session saw Connie demo not one, but two dishes.

Connie DeSousa at Appliances Unlimited

Chef Connie DeSousa

The Edmonton Journal’s Liane Faulder did a wonderful job of mc-ing the morning, asking Connie a variety of questions spanning her career, time on Top Chef, and home cooking habits.

Connie DeSousa at Appliances Unlimited

Liane Faulder on the mic!

Five things I learned about Connie that I didn’t know:

  1. She has a background in ballet.
  2. If she had a choice, she would take on Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America.
  3. Hot chocolate is her vice.
  4. Her favourite home appliance is her immersion blender and stand mixer (plus all of its attachments).
  5. She has dined at both D’Lish and Corso 32 in Edmonton.

Connie demoed two applications of her recipe for homemade goat cheese. The first was a goat cheese-topped roasted beet salad. This dish really showcased CHARCUT’s philosophy of “evolving simple ingredients” – trying to highlight the best of what quality, local ingredients have to offer.

Connie DeSousa at Appliances Unlimited

Roasted beet salad with goat cheese and lemon-infused olive oil

I particularly liked her second dish, a no-bake cheesecake that layered preserved cherries and graham crackers between the whipped goat cheese. At CHARCUT, these desserts are served in half-cup mason jars, but whatever the vessel, I could see myself making this at home!

Connie DeSousa at Appliances Unlimited

No-bake goat cheese cheesecake with cherry preserves

Edmontonians might be seeing more of Connie in the near future. We asked her about rumours that Charpop (CHARCUT’s wildly successful pop-up restaurant concept that took Calgary by storm) would be setting up shop in Edmonton, and though she wouldn’t confirm (or deny), I’d like to think it’s a safe bet with the number of fans she has in this city.

Connie DeSousa at Appliances Unlimited

Connie with two of her fans

Thanks again to the event organizers for the invitation!

You can take a look at my full photoset here. Liane and Chris recapped the demos as well.

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