Food Network's blog

Josie WeitzenbauerLéché Desserts Inc. (Montreal, Quebec)

Assistant: Craig McIntosh, Josie’s boyfriend

Josie attended the Professional Pastry Making Program at Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec before travelling to Europe to work at Michelin star restaurants. Josie owns her own donut shop, Léché Desserts Inc.

Grayson ShermanJelly Modern Doughnuts (Calgary, Alberta)

Assistant: Rosanne Tripathy, a co-owner of Jelly Modern Doughnuts

Grayson has a wealth of experience in the food service industry, having worked as an Executive Chef and owner of fine dining restaurants in Calgary and having spent 10 years as a caterer in New York City. Grayson originally learned how to make donuts from his grandmother, and has now designed over 120 donut flavours. Grayson once entered a contest where he spent 36 hours creating a donut gingerbread house – and won.

Grant RummelChez Boris (Montreal, Quebec)

Assistant: James Barrington, Grant’s colleague

Grant started making donuts when an ex-girlfriend’s father taught him nine years ago. Since then, he has been perfecting his recipes for yeast donuts, cake donuts and churros. He handles stress in the kitchen by singing, dancing, and occasionally by playing the trombone.

Rachel PelletEmma’s Country Kitchen (Toronto, Ontario)

Assistant: Heather Mee, friend and business partner

Rachel has known she wanted to be a chef since she was five and has worked extremely hard to get to where she is today. She fell in love with donuts while attending chef school, and has even traveled to Belgium to learn about the production of oliebollen (Dutch donuts). Rachel ran a BBQ/smokehouse restaurant for three years, and during that time would often incorporate smoked meat items into her donuts.

Rags NarineCartem’s Donuterie (Vancouver, BC)

Assistant: Jordan Cash, co-owner of Cartem’s Donuterie

Rags has been working in kitchens for over 10 years now, most notably in the Olympic Village for the 2010 Olympics. He began working solely as a pastry chef two years ago and has been honing his donut skills at Cartems Donuterie ever since the shop opened in 2012. His creative imagination allows him to come up with wild and crazy donut ideas. In addition to making donuts, Rags is also a dance club DJ who plays a mix of funk, soul and Motown.

Isabelle LoiaconoJ’Adore Cakes Co. (Woodbridge, ON)

Assistant: Angela Barone, Isabelle’s friend

Isabelle worked as a cake decorator, pastry chef and cake design teacher before opening her own shop. She handles stress in the kitchen by breathing in deeply and listening to country music.

Amanda HamerBarque Smokehouse (Toronto, Ontario)

Assistant: Gerardo Diaz, manager of Barque Smokehouse

Amanda has spent 20 years in the hospitality industry and was previously a food presentation specialist at Pusateri’s Fine Foods. She has spent the last four years as a pastry chef, and frequently sharpens her donut-making skills by practicing for her kids. Her favourite donut to prepare is a dulce de leche donut with toasted pecans.

Michelle EdgarThe Sweet Escape Patisserie (Toronto, Ontario)

Assistant: Desiree Szeto, colleague at The Sweet Escape Patisserie

Michelle is a whimsical and experimental donut maker who opened The Sweet Escape Patisserie over four years ago. Her previous pastry experiences include stints at Anna Olson’s Olson Foods & Bakery store, Sassafraz Restaurant, Bistro 990 and Brassaii. She excels at combining savoury flavours with sweet ones. Michelle once built a 6.5 foot high gingerbread house.

Rachelle CaldwellDough By Rachelle (Toronto, Ontario)

Assistant: Dawn Nita, Rachelle’s friend

Rachelle first began making donuts when she was just 10 years old. A graduate of George Brown College’s Baking and Pastry Arts Management Program, Rachelle describes her donut-making style as “classic, clean and precise.” She previously spent three years working with Jamie Kennedy and another two years at the Gidleigh Park Hotel in England, a two-time Michelin star recipient.

She has most recently been making and selling how own donuts for two years now, with her most impressive donut being “The Godfather,” an almond-amaretto filled donut topped with bourbon icing.

Kristen BoatesJohn & Sons Oyster House (Toronto, Ontario)

Assistant: Sheryl Yu, kitchen supervisor at John & Sons Oyster House

Kristen is currently a pastry chef in Toronto. Since attending the Barry Callebaut Chocolate School and Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute, she has garnered over nine years of experience throughout Canada, France and England. Her specialties include beer-braised apple fritters and a deconstructed Boston cream pie donut.