Recipe to Riches' 21 finalists and signature recipes revealed

It’s a dream come true for 21 Canadian home cooks!  

Food Network Canada and Temple Street Productions revealed today the 21 finalists competing in the highly anticipated original competitive reality series Recipe to Riches.

The inaugural season of Recipe to Riches will premiere October 19, 2011 at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network Canada.

After an exhaustive cross-Canada search for the most delicious home recipes, 21 finalists were chosen among thousands of hopefuls to compete in seven different food categories ranging from appetizers to entrees to desserts.

The winners of each category will receive a $25,000 cash prize and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for their recipe to be developed into a President’s Choice® branded product available in select Loblaw banner stores across the country.

Each week, Canadians will have the chance to sample category winners’ products in-store. After all category winners have been determined viewers will have the opportunity to vote online for the best of the best and, during the exciting finale, witness who will take home the $250,000 grand prize – the largest cash prize in Canadian reality television history.

The 21 chosen finalists by category are:

Sweet Puddings and Pies

·         Glo McNeill, 82, Lunenburg, NS – Luscious Lemon Pudding

·         Brad Gash, 32, Gatineau, QC – Maple Pudding Chômeur

·         Mijune Pak, 25, Surrey, BC – Canadian Pie-in-a-Jar



·         Jacqui Keseluk, 22, Fall River, NS – Multi-Layered Peach Cake

·         Melissa Lam, 38, Calgary, AB – Banana Chocolate Cake

·         Crystal Peach, 33, Kentville, NS – Orange Chocolate Silk Cake



·         Sara Bradeen, 41, Montreal, QC – Mini Tourtières

·         John Grass, 49, Riverview, NB – Grilled Chicken Skewers

·         Diana Petrini, 35, Woodbridge, ON – Stuffed Olives


Savoury Pies

·         Melaney Gleeson-Lyall, 45, Burnaby, BC – Bannock Hazelnut Pie

·         Wayne Reid, 45, Brampton, ON – Salt Fish & Ackee Pie

·         Tikka Smiley, 37, Toronto, ON – Vegan Pot Pie


Sweet and Savoury Snacks

·         Donna Feir, 27, Vancouver, BC – Pancake Breakfast Cookie

·         Natasha Langevin, 42, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC – S’mores Treats

·         Sonya Walos, 31, Whistler, BC – Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie


Frozen Treats

·         Rosy Soobrattee, 43, Milton, ON – Creamy Kulfi

·         Mark Tagulao, 31, Burnaby, BC – Teapolitan Ice Cream

·         Audrey Tannant, 33, Vancouver, BC – S’mores Frozen Treat



·         Eva Fong, 38, Burnaby, BC – Lobster Macaroni & Cheese

·         Robert Luft, 39, North Vancouver, BC – Pulled Pork

·         Scott Usheroff, 29, Montreal, QC – Braised Lamb Shanks with Orzo


Hosted by former The Bachelor star Jesse Palmer, the competition is judged by a panel of experts including Laura Calder, host of French Food at Home; Tony Chapman, Founder and CEO of leading advertising agency Capital C; and Dana McCauley, Culinary Director of Janes Family Foods.  Making a special appearance as a weekly guest judge is Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited.  The judges are looking for Canada’s most mouth-watering, original, and delicious home recipes, but taste alone isn’t enough to win a place for their winning recipe on store shelves across the country.  Each week, a series of challenges will determine whether or not the contenders’ recipes can be mass produced and if they have the marketing potential to fly off the shelves. 

“We couldn’t be more excited to give everyday home cooks the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have their recipes produced as a product and distributed nationally on the shelves of Canada’s largest food retailer,” says Barb Williams, Senior Vice President of Content, Shaw Media.  “Equally exciting, Recipe to Riches marks a significant milestone in how Food Network engages with its viewers.  Inviting them to ultimately choose the winner makes them an integral part of the show’s journey.” 

“Recipe to Riches is a new and exciting, original format.  Canadian audiences will go on a culinary adventure with our finalists. We’re excited to see how Canadians respond to this life-changing experience for home cooks across Canada,” said David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg, Co-Presidents of Temple Street Productions.

For images and biographies of the 21 finalists, please visit  To keep tabs on what Canadians are saying about Recipe to Riches, check out the Recipe to Riches page on Facebook at or follow @RecipetoRiches on Twitter.

Recipe to Riches will premiere October 19, 2011 at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network Canada and repeat Saturdays at 8pm ET/PT on Global TV. 

About the author