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Together with Insight Production Company Ltd., Food Network Canada is bringing its top rated series back for a second season with bigger, more intense challenges and surprise twists that take 16 new chefs out of their comfort zones and into the country’s fiercest food fight.  

The new season of Top Chef Canada will premiere March 12, 2012 at 10pm ET/PT exclusively on Food Network Canada.

Top Chef Canada will challenge 16 competitors’ culinary skills to see who can cut it as Canada’s Top Chef, taking home the grand prize of $100,000 sponsored by SpongeTowels® paper towels and a GE Monogram kitchen worth $30,000.

Hosted by celebrated actress and self-confessed foodie Lisa Ray, the competition is judged by Head Judge, Chef and restaurateur, Mark McEwan, as well as Resident Judge and LA restaurateur, Shereen Arazm.  Season two of Top Chef Canada ups the stakes in this competition, delivering addictive drama that will inspire viewers to cheer on their favourite competitors each week.

The 16 chosen competitors hail from far and wide across Canada with unique culinary backgrounds and expertise. Click on each competitor’s name below to learn more about each chef.

·         Joel Aubie, 27, Tofino, BC (Originally Bathurst, NB)

·         Trevor Bird, 28, Vancouver, BC (Originally Montreal, QC)

·         David Chrystian, 37, Toronto, ON (Originally Toronto, ON)

·         Gabriell Cruz, 25, Dundas, ON (Originally Hamilton, ON)

·         Ryan Gallagher, 33, Toronto, ON (Originally Toronto, ON)

·         Kunal Ghose, 39, Victoria, BC (Originally Victoria, BC)

·         Carl Heinrich, 26, Toronto, ON (Originally Sooke, BC)

·         Jonathan Korecki, 27, Ottawa, ON (Originally Caledon, ON)

·         Xavier Lacaze, 30, Calgary, AB (Originally Auch, France)

·         Curtis Luk, 28, Ottawa, ON (Originally Markham, ON)

·         Sergio Mattoscio, 30, Montreal, QC (Originally Montreal, QC)

·         Elizabeth Rivasplata, 31, Toronto, ON (Originally Lima, Peru)

·         Trista Sheen, 29, Toronto, ON (Originally Toronto, ON)

·         Jimmy Stewart, 23, Whistler, BC (Originally North Vancouver, BC)

·         William Thompson, 30, Caledonia, ON (Originally Caledonia, ON)

·         Sarah Tsai, 30, Toronto, ON (Originally Taipei, Taiwan)

 

A taste of some of the esteemed guest judges this season includes: Chef Marcus Samuelson (Top Chef Masters winner), Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes, Canada’s Handyman Challenge); Toronto Maple Leaf forward Colby Armstrong; actor Alan Thicke; Spencer “Spenny” Rice (Kenny vs. Spenny); and country music star Johnny Reid.

“When a series comes out of the gate an instant hit and top performer, as Top Chef Canada has done, the heat is on for the next season to really step it up,” says Barb Williams, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media.  “Working once again with our production partner Insight Productions, we’ve brought in stars from the worlds of sports, entertainment and music to be guest judges and make this season more exciting than ever before.”

“We are thrilled that Top Chef Canada is back and we’ve got a whole new group of amazing chefs that are here to prove they have what it takes to be Canada’s Top Chef.  With the success of season one winner Dale MacKay, they all have big shoes to fill,” says John Brunton, Executive Producer, Insight Production Company Ltd. “It’s a tough competition that you won’t want to miss.”

To keep tabs on what Canadians are saying about Top Chef Canada, check out the official Top Chef Canada page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/topchefcanada or follow @TopChefCanada on Twitter.

The new season of Top Chef Canada will premiere March 12, 2012 at 10pm ET/PT exclusively on Food Network Canada.

Food Network Canada and Temple Street Productions announced today that the powerhouse competitive reality series Recipe to Riches is returning for a second season and diving into a cross-Canada search for the best recipe from a Canadian home cook.  

The original Food Network series offers Canadians with exceptional recipes a once-in-a-lifetime shot at having their recipe developed into a President’s Choice® product and a chance to ultimately win the grand prize of $250,000.  

The national casting call for Recipe to Riches begins today with information available at recipetoriches.ca.

In each episode of Recipe to Riches, three home cooks compete in one of seven food categories ranging from appetizers and snacks to entrées and desserts.  

A series of challenges determines whether or not the contenders’ delicious recipes can be mass-produced and if they have the marketing potential to fly off grocery store shelves.  

Each category winner receives $25,000 and their recipe is developed into a President’s Choice product made available at select Loblaw stores across the country just days after the episode airs.  

After all category winners are chosen, it’s up to Canadian viewers to vote online for the best-of-the-best and ultimately decide who will truly make the journey…from recipe to riches.

“Recipe to Riches had a groundbreaking first season that encouraged viewer engagement like no series before, as recipes went from TV screen to store shelves just days after airing and offered Canadians the rare opportunity to vote online to determine the grand prize winner,” says Barb Williams, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media.  “We’re thrilled to work with Temple Street and Loblaw again to bring this captivating series back with a brand new season.”

“Recipe to Riches’ success marks a significant milestone in Temple Street Productions’ original format programming,” say David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg Co-Presidents of Temple Street Productions.  “We are pleased that we had the full support of a strong broadcast partner in Shaw Media and an equally great sponsor in Loblaw to be able to bring Canadians a program that they felt engaged in from the audition process through to voting for their favourite finalist.  Now we’re ready to do it all again!”

 

Contestants will compete in one of seven culinary categories including:

 

1.    Hors d’oeuvres

2.    Cakes, puddings and pies

3.    Savoury snacks

4.    Entrées

5.    Condiments and dips

6.    Candies and chocolates

7.    Cookies and squares

 

Interested contestants are encouraged to register for their audition city, date and time at recipetoriches.ca.

 

Auditions will be held in four cities on the following dates:

 

·         Halifax: February 11

·         Vancouver: February 18

·         Montreal: February 25

·         Toronto: March 4 

 

Evaluating the auditions in each city will be esteemed Recipe to Riches judges 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. 

TO SUBMIT A RECIPE AND REGISTER ONLINE: please visit recipetoriches.ca.  To keep tabs on what’s new and what Canadians are saying about Recipe to Riches, check out the Recipe to Riches page on Facebook at facebook.com/recipetoriches or follow @RecipetoRiches on Twitter.

Lunenburg-based 82-year-old Glo McNeill’s Luscious Lemon Pudding has earned her the coveted grand prize on Food Network Canada’s newest competitive reality series, Recipe to Riches, as revealed in the emotional season finale that aired Wednesday night.  

Having received the highest number of votes from Canadians, Glo takes home the grand prize of $250,000, the largest cash prize in Canadian reality television history.

“Winning the Recipe to Riches grand prize is truly a dream come true for me and I can’t thank Canadians enough for giving me their vote,” says Glo McNeill, Recipe to Riches winner.  “It’s an honour to have proven that seniors can truly move mountains when given the opportunity.”

Pitted against fellow category winners Jacqui Keseluk (Cakes) of Fall River, Nova Scotia; John Grass (Appetizers) of Riverview, New Brunswick; Melaney Gleeson-Lyall (Savoury Pies) of Burnaby, BC; Rosy Soobrattee (Frozen Treats) of Milton, Ontario; and Robert Luft (Entrees) of Vancouver, BC, Glo and her Luscious Lemon Pudding won the hearts and taste buds of Canadians.  Glo’s winning recipe, along with all other category winners’ recipes, have been developed into President’s Choice® products and are currently available in select Loblaw banner stores across the country.

Canadians voted for their favourite finalist during three days of intense online voting at recipetoriches.ca and chose Glo McNeill to take home the $250,000 grand prize and truly make the journey from recipe to riches.  Hosted by former The Bachelor star Jesse Palmer, the competition was 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 guest judge was Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited.

Living with her husband in a heritage home in historic Lunenburg, Glo is not only a talented baker but also an avid painter, poet and barbershop singer.  The recipe for her Luscious Lemon Pudding is inspired by her childhood in post-war England and the happy memories that thoughts of her mom’s lemon curd still evoke.

Glo will be available for media interviews on Thursday, December 15th.

Baby, it might be cold outside, but things are heating up on Food Network Canada with a new lineup of deliciously entertaining programming beginning the week of January 1st.  

Jam-packed with brand-new competitive reality series, fun and fresh food adventure series, and nine new seasons of returning favourites, Food Network’s winter programming is sure to liven up those chilly nights.

Join the cross-Canada comfort food tour of a lifetime in You Gotta Eat Here!  In this brand new food adventure series, comedian John Catucci gives viewers a hilarious behind-the-scenes look into the country’s most legendary local joints and hidden gems that absolutely must be visited.  

If there’s a craving for competition that needs satisfying, this season’s offerings are fierce. In Rachel vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off, two of the network’s biggest icons coach two teams of multi-talented celebrities through a series of intense culinary challenges leaving one contestant standing who wins $50,000 for the charity they’re playing to support.  It’s no piece of cake on Sweet Genius, a new competitive reality series from the creators of Chopped, pitting America’s top pastry chefs against each other for the coveted $10,000 prize.  In Chef Hunter, the prize at stake is an executive chef position and out-of-work chefs endure the most stressful night of their lives to prove they’re worthy of the job.  

The winter slate also introduces two new delicious series featuring favourite Food Network stars … and the most recent Food Network Star!  Guy Fieri, Anne Burrell and other celebrity chefs and cookbook authors reveal the secrets to their family recipes or best dishes off their menus in The Best Thing I Ever Made.  Fresh from his victory on Food Network Star, Jeff Mauro is the Sandwich King who will tempt your taste buds with more inventive sandwich recipes than imaginable.  

Coming this February, I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cold Cash!  This brand new, highly entertaining Canadian original series premiering February 10 is the network’s first foray into the game show format.  Unsuspecting pedestrians suddenly become contestants when suped-up ice cream bicycle-riding host Joe Motiki challenges them to witty food-related trivia in exchange for cash. 

Returning fan favourite series include: Chopped; Chopped Champions; Iron Chef America; Bitchin’ Kitchen; Worst Cooks in America; Restaurant: Impossible; The Best Thing I Ever Ate; Top Chef: Texas; and Pitchin’ In.

 

Brand New Series:

 

Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) (6×60 mins)

Sundays at 10pm ET/7pm PT beginning January 1

Two of Food Network’s biggest icons, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, square off against each other for culinary bragging rights in Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off.  In this six-episode competition series, the Emmy®-winning talk show host Rachael Ray and best-selling cookbook author and successful restaurateur Guy Fieri, each serve as coaches and mentors to eight multi-talented celebrities, all of whom are passionate about food and cooking.  Divided into ‘Team Rachael’ and ‘Team Guy’, each episode features celebrity contestants battling it out in a fun, fast-paced culinary fight-to-the-finish, with the two bottom-rated contestants from the losing team going head-to-head in a blind tasting elimination challenge. In the end, the last contestant standing is crowned king or queen of the Celebrity Cook-Off and wins $50,000 for the charity they are playing to support.

 

Sweet Genius (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) (8×60 mins)

Wednesdays at 10pm ET/PT beginning January 4     

Sweet Genius is a sugar-packed competition series that challenges America’s premier pastry chefs to create magical and inventive desserts given inspiration, surprise ingredients and a finite amount of time.  The chefs must compete in three unique pastry challenges judged by New York City’s famed Ron Ben-Israel, the Sweet Genius himself, who will critique their work and determine who will receive the $10,000 cash prize.

 

The Best Thing I Ever Made (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) (6×30 mins)

Thursdays at 12:30pm ET/9:30am PT beginning January 5 repeating Sundays at 10am ET/7am PT

Acclaimed chefs, cookbook authors and Food Network personalities – people who have spent their lives obsessing over food reveal not only what they love to eat, but what they love to make. From personal family recipes to favourite dishes off their own menus, these food experts share their secrets and show us how to cook what they consider to be The Best Thing I Ever Made.

 

Chef Hunter (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) (6×60 mins)

Thursdays at 11pm ET/PT beginning January 5

In Chef Hunter, out-of-work chefs audition for a coveted executive chef position and experience the most pressure-filled night of their lives. Getting the job could change their fate — and the fortunes of a top restaurant. Teeming with emotion and incredibly high stakes, Chef Hunter looks behind the kitchen door at a uniquely cutthroat interview process that tests culinary skill, business acumen and the tenacity required to be an executive chef. 

 

Sandwich King (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) (6×30 mins)

Fridays at 12:30pm ET/9:30am PT beginning January 6 repeating Sundays at 9:30am ET/6:30am PT

Join Food Network Star Season 7 winner Jeff Mauro as he shares his passion for all things sandwiches. For Jeff, sandwiches are much more than something eaten between two pieces of bread, and you’ll quickly see why he’s fond of saying, “you can make any meal into a sandwich, and any sandwich into a meal.”

 

You Gotta Eat Here! (World Broadcast Premiere) (26×30 mins)

Fridays at 9pm ET/PT beginning January 6

John Catucci is a funny man who takes his food seriously. He’s on a quest for Canada’s most delicious, mouthwatering, over-the-top comfort food. He’s visiting great joints, greasy spoons, and legendary restaurants to taste the food that made them famous and to meet the colourful characters that make them institutions. John dives into the kitchens to find out what makes these signature recipes so good. Health food? Not on this show, baby. Bring on the cheese, bacon, and barbecue!

 

Ice Cold Cash (World Broadcast Premiere) (14×30 mins)

Fridays at 9:30pm ET/PT beginning February 10 

Ice Cold Cash travels around the summer-lovin’ city on a suped-up ice cream bicycle challenging a series of people to correctly answer witty and fun trivia questions about food in exchange for cash.

 

New Seasons of Returning Favourites:

 

Chopped (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) (8×60 mins)

Tuesdays at 9pm ET/PT beginning January 3

 

Chopped Champions (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) (5×60 mins)

Tuesdays at 10pm ET/PT beginning January 3

 

Iron Chef America (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) (13×60 mins)

Wednesdays at 9pm ET/PT beginning January 4

 

Bitchin’ Kitchen (World Broadcast Premiere) (13×30 mins)

Back-to-Back Episodes Thursdays at 7pm ET/4pm PT and 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT beginning January 5

 

Worst Cooks in America (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) (8×60 mins)

Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT beginning January 5

 

Restaurant: Impossible (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) (17×60 mins)

Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT beginning January 5

 

The Best Thing I Ever Ate (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) (4×30 mins)

Fridays at 9:30pm ET/PT beginning January 6

 

Top Chef: Texas (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) (18×60 mins)

Back-to-Back Episodes Mondays at 9pm ET/PT and 10pm ET/PT beginning January 9

 

Pitchin’ In (World Broadcast Premiere) (13×60 mins)

Back-to-Back Episodes Mondays at 11pm ET/PT and 11:30pm ET/PT beginning January 9

Food Network Canada is embarking on a deliciously entertaining cross-country tour of the country’s best comfort foods.  

In each half hour episode of the brand new Canadian original series You Gotta Eat Here!, food-obsessed funny man John Catucci (@JohnCatucci) takes viewers through the doors of three great joints, greasy spoons, and legendary institutions across Canada to taste the food that made them famous and meet the colourful characters that made them big.  

You Gotta Eat Here! premieres Friday, January 6th at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network Canada.  

At each stop along the series’ journey, John rolls up his sleeves and dives into the kitchens of local landmark restaurants to help them cook their signature dishes.  John meets the owners, chefs and patrons who make each restaurant a destination you’d insist on dragging a friend to. He hears their stories, learns their family traditions and experiences their passion for good food. These are busy joints, and appetites wait for no one.

“You Gotta Eat Here! is a hilariously good time and I meet some really interesting folks along the way,” says John Catucci, host, You Gotta Eat Here! “Having discovered so many great restaurants in my travels across Canada as a comedian, and having grown up working in restaurants, the show is the perfect fit because it really parallels my life.”

“John has a real curiosity and down home passion for food, but it’s his witty sense of humour that will keep our viewers coming back for more,” says Barb Williams, SVP Content, Shaw Media. “This show, like no other, shines a spotlight on our country’s most legendary eateries and their most over-the-top, crowd pleasing-comfort foods that we all love.”

“It’s now no secret how many great places there are to find fabulous home style cooking across Canada,” says Michael Geddes, President of Lone Eagle Entertainment Ltd.  “You Gotta Eat Here! will make Canadians proud and passionate about these restaurants that are doing it right!”

 

The first two world broadcast premiere episodes include:

 

You Gotta Eat Here!: Boomers Gourmet Fries, Relish Burgers, John’s Place

Friday, January 6 at 9pm ET/PT

With 12 delicious, mouth-watering poutine combinations at Boomers Gourmet Fries in Stratford, ON, host John Catucci indulges in a classic favourite with a twist.  At Relish Burgers in London, ON, John samples over 40 gourmet burger selections including one heart-stopping option named after the local ER.  Then he’s off to John’s Place in Victoria, BC, to try more than 10 varieties of brunch’s best friend, ‘Eggs Benny.’

 

You Gotta Eat Here!: Pizzeria Napoletana, Floyd’s Diner, Haugen’s Chicken & Ribs

Friday, January 13 at 9pm ET/PT

In Montreal, QC, host John Catucci crushes tomatoes by hand at the family-run Pizzeria Napoletana.  Then it’s high stakes fun for a chef’s preference mystery meal at Floyd’s Diner in Victoria, BC. Lastly, at the legendary Haugen’s Chicken & Ribs in Port Perry, ON, John samples their top secret dipping sauce.

Food Network Canada’s newest Canadian original competitive reality series Recipe to Riches has narrowed down the cross-country search for the best home cook to six contenders and now it’s time for Canadians to vote for the best of the best.  

Starting December 7th at 12:01am ET until December 9th at 11:59pm ET, Canadians can cast their vote online at recipetoriches.ca. In the much-anticipated December 14th season finale at 9 p.m. ET, viewers will witness who will take home the $250,000 grand prize and truly make the journey … from recipe to riches.     

For those who may have missed episodes of Recipe to Riches, Food Network is airing an exciting marathon recapping all episodes on December 7th from 4pm ET until 11pm ET.    

In each episode of Recipe to Riches, the category winners each received $25,000 for their winning recipes which have been developed into President’s Choice® products available in select Loblaw banner stores across the country.  Last night’s “Entrees” episode winner Robert Luft’s Slow & Low Pulled Pork will be the final winning recipe to hit store shelves this weekend, giving Canadians ample time to sample all six winning products eligible to win when voting opens up on December 7th.

The six category winners eligible for the grand prize vote are:   

·  Glo McNeill, 82, Lunenburg, NS – Luscious Lemon Pudding Cakes (Sweet Puddings and Pies)

·  Jacqui Keseluk, 22, Fall River, NS – Rock n’ Peach Bliss Cheesecake (Cakes)

· John Grass, 49, Riverview, NB – Chicken Grenades (Appetizers)

· Melaney Gleeson-Lyall, 45, Burnaby, BC – Savoury Bannock-Topped Pie (Savoury Pies)

· Rosy Soobrattee, 43, Milton, ON –Kulfi Karma Ice Cream (Frozen Treats)

· Robert Luft, 39, North Vancouver, BC – Slow & Low Pulled Pork (Entrees)

 

Hosted by former The Bachelor star Jesse Palmer, the competition was 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 was Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited.  The judges sought out Canada’s most mouth-watering, original, and delicious home recipes, but taste alone wasn’t enough to win a place for their winning recipe on store shelves across the country.  Each week, a series of challenges determined whether or not the contenders’ recipes could be mass produced and if they had the marketing potential to fly off the shelves.

In Wednesday (Nov. 30th) night’s episode of Food Network’s newest Canadian original reality competition series Recipe to Riches, investment advisor Robert Luft from Vancouver, BC, was declared the winner of the “Entrees” category. 

As the winner of his category, Robert will receive $25,000 and his Pulled Pork will be a new President’s Choice® product, available in select Loblaw Companies Limited banner stores across the country starting this weekend.  For a list of where President’s Choice® products are sold across Canada, please click here.

Robert’s competition in the “Entrees” category was software trainer Eva Fong (38, Burnaby, BC) with her Lobster Macaroni & Cheese and web designer Scott Usheroff (29, Montreal, QC) with his Braised Lamb Shanks with Orzo.  The three finalists competed in a series of challenges that evaluated their recipes’ taste, quality, commercial viability and the entrepreneurial prowess of a potential product launch.

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 at Janes Family Foods. Making a special appearance as a weekly guest judge is Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited.  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® product available in select Loblaw banner stores across the country.

Now that all category winners have been determined, it’s up to Canadian viewers to vote for the best of the best.  Food Network will air a marathon recapping all seven episodes on December 7th from 4pm ET until 11pm ET and Canadians can vote online at www.recipetoriches.ca beginning at 12:01am ET on December 7th until 11:59pm ET on December 9th.  During the exciting December 14th finale, viewers will witness who will take home the $250,000 grand prize – the largest cash prize in Canadian reality television history.

In Wednesday (Nov. 23rd) night’s episode of Food Network’s newest Canadian original reality competition series Recipe to Riches, childcare professional Rosy Soobrattee from Milton, Ontario, was declared the winner of the “Frozen Treats” category. 

As the winner of her category, Rosy will receive $25,000 and her Creamy Kulfi Ice Cream will be a new President’s Choice® product, available in select Loblaw Companies Limited banner stores across the country starting this weekend.

Rosy’s competition in the “Frozen Treats” category was real estate agent Audrey Tannant (33, Vancouver, BC) with her S’mores Frozen Treat and entrepreneur Mark Tagulao (31, Burnaby, BC) with his Teapolitan Ice Cream.  The three finalists competed in a series of challenges that evaluated their recipes’ taste, quality, commercial viability and the entrepreneurial prowess of a potential product launch.

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 at Janes Family Foods. Making a special appearance as a weekly guest judge is Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited.  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® 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, it’s up to Canadian viewers to vote for the best of the best.  Food Network will air a marathon recapping all seven episodes on December 7th from 4pm ET until 11pm ET and Canadians can vote online at www.recipetoriches.ca beginning at 12:01am ET on December 7th until 11:59pm ET on December 9th.  During the exciting December 14th finale, viewers will witness who will take home the $250,000 grand prize – the largest cash prize in Canadian reality television history.

In Wednesday (Nov. 16th) night’s episode of Food Network’s newest Canadian original reality competition series Recipe to Riches, bar manager Sonya Walos from Whistler, British Columbia, was declared the winner of the “Sweet and Savoury Snacks” category. 

As the winner of her category, Sonya will receive $25,000 and her Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie will be a new President’s Choice® product, available in select Loblaw Companies Limited banner stores across the country starting this weekend.

Sonya’s competition in the “Sweet and Savoury Snacks” category was PhD student Donna Feir (27, Vancouver, BC) with her Pancake Breakfast Cookie and stay-at-home mom Natasha Langevin (42, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC) with her S’mores Treats.  The three finalists competed in a series of challenges that evaluated their recipes’ taste, quality, commercial viability and the entrepreneurial prowess of a potential product launch.

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 at Janes Family Foods. Making a special appearance as a weekly guest judge is Galen G. Weston, Executive Chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited.  

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® 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, it’s up to Canadian viewers to vote for the best of the best.  Food Network will air a marathon recapping all seven episodes on December 7th from 4pm ET until 11pm ET and Canadians can vote online at www.recipetoriches.ca beginning at 12:01am ET on December 7th until 11:59pm ET on December 9th.  

During the exciting December 14th finale, viewers will witness who will take home the $250,000 grand prize – the largest cash prize in Canadian reality television history.

Food Network Canada and Insight Productions announce that actress, model, host and philanthropist Lisa Ray (Water, Bollywood Hollywood) will host the second season of Top Chef Canada.

The first season of the Canadian adaptation of the international smash hit premiered in April 2011 to unprecedented audience numbers making it the top rated series in Food Network Canada’s history.

Top Chef Canada season two – which sees Canada’s top culinary talent face-off for the grand prize of $100,000 sponsored by Kruger Sponge Towels, a GE Monogram kitchen worth $30,000, and the coveted title of Canada’s Top Chef – premieres March 12, 2012 at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network Canada.

Lisa Ray will replace season one’s host Thea Andrews who recently celebrated the birth of her second child.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lisa Ray on board as the host of Top Chef Canada. As the channel’s top rated series, we expect to see some tough competition between the chefs in season two and Lisa Ray is the perfect host to lead the charge,” says Barb Williams, Senior Vice President of Content, Shaw Media. 

“It’s amazing to have Lisa Ray as part of the Top Chef Canada family.  Lisa has sampled cultures and cuisines in her travels around the world and she brings that experience and sense of adventure to the judges’ table each week,” says Mark Lysakowski, Supervising Producer, Insight Productions.

Canadian Lisa Ray is a well known actress, former model, host, and philanthropist who was raised in Toronto by an Indian father and Polish mother. An iconic figure in India and abroad, Ray is a successful cover model and award-winning actress. With starring roles in Bollywood Hollywood and Water to name a few, Ray has achieved overwhelming success internationally and locally appearing in over 27 film and television titles. Her hosting experience spans from her own entertainment show in India to co-hosting award shows such as The Genies and The Giller Prize. She was present at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival for her starring role in Cooking with Stella. In 2009, Ray also publicly shared her diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma. Her work for this cause earned her the Voice Achievers Award in 2009 and the Hope Award in 2010. Ray also helped raise funds to establish the first research chair for Multiple Myeloma at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. Her latest business venture includes partnering with the co-owners of Moksha Yoga Brampton, which opened earlier this year.

“I am a big fan of the Top Chef series and thrilled to help spotlight some of the amazing culinary talent right here in my hometown,” said Lisa Ray, host, Top Chef Canada. “I’m looking forward to a challenging yet delicious season.”

Viewers who missed season one of Top Chef Canada can watch episodes online at topchefcanada.ca. More information about the eagerly anticipated second season of Top Chef Canada, premiering March 12, 2012, at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network Canada, will be revealed in the coming months.