Top Chef Canada to heat up Food Network Canada in Spring 2011

Canwest Broadcasting today confirmed an agreement with NBC Universal to produce a Canadian adaptation of the international smash hit Top Chef and has joined forces with Canadian production powerhouse, Insight Productions, on the development of the series. The inaugural season of Top Chef Canada will premiere in spring 2011 exclusively on Food Network Canada.

Top Chef is the number one food show on cable in the United States and an Emmy and James Beard Award-Winning series for Bravo in the US. Since Top Chef’s premiere on Food Network in fall 2006 it has become a landmark program on the schedule, consistently ranking in Food Network’s top 10 programs. The series has continued to gain momentum with each new season and this past fall Top Chef: Las Vegas hit it big with viewers, setting an all-time audience high for the channel among 2+ and A25-54 for a single-viewing.

“Top Chef is a proven performer and audience favourite on Food Network and we are delighted to team up with NBC Universal and Insight Productions to launch the format in Canada,” said Karen Gelbart, SVP Content, Lifestyle Channels, Canwest Broadcasting. “Canadians are passionate about food and as our culinary landscape across the country continues to grow, so does the opportunity to showcase our wealth of talent ranging from amateur cooks to trained chefs.”

“We’re honoured to be onboard, working alongside Canwest and NBC Universal on the Canadian production of such a top-rated international series,” said John Brunton, President, Insight Production Company Ltd. “There is a strong pool of talent to draw from in this country and we are committed to discovering the best of the best and producing an outstanding program.”

“We are delighted to add Canwest to our growing list of international productions of Top Chef,” said Yvonne Pilkington, EVP, International Format Sales, NBC Universal. “The search to find the Top Chef of tomorrow has become nothing less than a phenomenon and its international success looks set to continue.”

Staying true to the original show format, Top Chef Canada will not only challenge the competitors’ skills in the kitchen, but also uncover if they have the customer service, management and teamwork abilities required of a top chef. The intensity builds each week as the competitors vie for their shot at stardom and avoid elimination. Top Chef Canada will have audiences tuning in to watch the drama unfold as Canadians compete to determine who will be crowned Canada’s first Top Chef.

Details on casting and production will be revealed in the weeks ahead.

Top Chef Masters 2 currently airs Mondays at 9pm ET/10pm PT on Food Network.

Top Chef has been recently broadcast by M6 in France, and local production rights have been sold to Fremantle in Mexico, Brazil, and India.

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