Toronto chef Lynn Crawford chopped from 'Top Chef Masters' after five episodes

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TORONTO - Lynn Crawford, the lone Canadian chef among the 13 competitors in "Top Chef Masters," has been asked to pack her knives.

Crawford made it to the fifth episode, titled "Restaurant Wars," where the chefs were divided into two teams and tasked with opening eateries with a Los Angeles theme to impress special guest judges, actress Busy Philipps and editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine Dana Cowin, and the other critics.

The chocolate brownie in Crawford's decadent sundae, which included roasted bananas and ice cream, was deemed too sweet by some of the judges.

Crawford's exit from the program, shown on Food Network Canada, means that sous chef Lora Kirk, who works with her at their Toronto restaurant Ruby Watchco, is also done.

The twist in the fifth season was that each master chef could choose a sous chef, who would duke it out in their own competition, "Battle of the Sous Chefs," hosted by Canadian celebrity chef Hugh Acheson. The results of each online episode (on directly impacts the on-air "Masters" competition, awarding them advantages or disadvantages depending on their sous chef's performance.

The series is hosted by chef and author Curtis Stone. For this season, the head critic of the chefs is Toronto-bred Gail Simmons. Returning judges James Oseland, Ruth Reichl and Francis Lam have been joined by new judge, food and dining editor Lesley Suter.

Crawford, who's had more than 25 years of culinary experience, including at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto and New York City, chose the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital as the recipient for any of her winnings in honour of a dear friend who died 1 1/2 years ago of the disease.

Crawford's second cookbook, "At Home with Lynn Crawford," is scheduled to come out in September and she is a judge on the new "Chopped Canada," which Food Network Canada hopes to premiere this winter. Crawford is also doing a Christmas special for her two-time Gemini-nominated show "Pitchin' In."

Organizations: Food Wine magazine, Four Seasons Hotel, Odette Cancer Centre Sunnybrook Hospital

Geographic location: Toronto, Los Angeles, New York City Canada

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