Top Chef Canada sparks outrage with horsemeat episode


Top Chef Canada is stirring up controversy with an upcoming episode that will feature contestants cooking horsemeat.

Top Chef Canada, which airs on the Food Network, is a reality show in which chefs compete to win $100,000 and a new kitchen. The chefs are issued a culinary challenge in each episode, and create dishes based on a theme or using specific ingredients.

The theme for the upcoming May 16, 2011 episode is classic French cooking, and some chefs were required to cook horsemeat and foie gras as part of the challenge.

Following a televised preview of the episode, commenters have flooded the Top Chef Facebook page with objections to the inclusion of horsemeat on the menu.

Food Network Canada posted a reply late Wednesday on its Facebook page, which read, in part:

“Please be assured it is not our intention to offend our viewers. The challenge in this episode involves having the competitors create a truly authentic, traditional French menu. One of the most traditional French foods is horsemeat. Horsemeat is also considered a delicacy in many cultures around the world. While we understand that this content may not appeal to all viewers, Food Network Canada aims to engage a wide audience, embracing different food cultures in our programming.”

Continue reading at the Global Saskatoon >>

President’s Choice sponsors Top Chef Canada. You can find contact information for President’s Choice here.

The French eat many types of dishes. Having been there numerous times I would not describe horse meat as a classic French dish. Does anyone recall Julia Child cooking it? The way foie gras is produced is equally despicable. ~Ed.

3 thoughts on “Top Chef Canada sparks outrage with horsemeat episode”

  1. Thoroughly shameful and disgusting that a TV station should indulge such practice for entertainment and personal gratification!

    Horses are transported in appalling conditions that wouldn’t be tolerated in many countries and on huge journeys to Canada. They’re held in small pens and being flight and fright animals they suffer immense stress during the process from sale to slaughter.

    Furthermore there’s absolutely no regulation regarding what medications or drugs have been administered prior to them going in the food chain.

    The meat market is served by owners of domesticated riding horses that are discarded by people who’ve tired of the responsibility and treat them as if a consumer item.

    Disgusting that the managers of the TV station and these chefs are enabling what is a disgusting and inhumane process for there own ends.


    1. Thomas

      I agree with you totally, but must point out one of your statements just to define what goes on in terms of horse slaughter in NA. You say;

      “Horses are transported in appalling conditions that wouldn’t be tolerated in many countries and on huge journeys to Canada. ‘

      Well, the many countries you refer to do not include the US because this is exactly where many if not the majority of the horses slaughtered in Canada come from.

      Yes Canada is guilty of the deed and I do not condone that but the US is equally as guilty for the carnage. If those horses were not allowed to cross the border, they would not be subject to slaughter in Canada.

      I think this is a critical point in the quest to curtail horse slaughter in NA. The latest polls about horse slaughter in Canada versus the US are pretty much on par – well over 70% in both countries are against it. There is no difference in the beliefs, but rather the laws.

      Canada lags behind the US in the slaughter laws no doubt but is struggling to change that. You have to recognize that we have a tenth the population and so a tenth the number of advocates yet we have a government who, in relative terms, is as powerful and controlling as your own. Economy of size I suppose.

      If things are to change we must work together to put an end to both the transport and slaughter of these beautiful creatures; we cannot take sides because we are one and the same in our convictions – not saying you are personally but I have seen many comments that do (not here but elsewhere).

      The whole issue concerns both sides of the border. In this case, you also have to take into account this is a “reality show” -pure garbage- remember “Fear Factor” and eating pigs kidneys or whatever – all in very bad taste (no pun intended).

      This is not meant to take away the horror associated with this by any means and I find it abhorrent that a Canadian show would stoop this low as well as the sponsors. I will find it hard to step inside a store that sells PC products.

      This does not represent the typical Canadian in any way, nor is this post directed to you Thomas in any negative way, just venting.


  2. If the show goes on featuring horsemeat, I will never buy anything with a President’s Choice label again. One out of 3 thoroughbreds goes for slaughter. They are medicated with carcinogenic drugs such as bute, banamine, wormers etc to name only a few. There are enough people dying now without feeding them meat that is contaminated.
    Please reconsider.
    Thank you.


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