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Chopped Canada

Chopped Canada is a high stakes culinary competition show where four chefs compete before a panel of expert judges. Armed with skill and ingenuity chefs race against the clock to turn mystery ingredients into an extraordinary three-course meal. Course by course the chefs will be chopped from the competition until only one remains. There’s $10 000 on the line in this cut-throat competition and everybody wants to win. Who will survive the chopping block?

With each course, the chefs go head to head bringing only their knives and knowledge to the table as they fight against time to create a dish that will keep them in the competition. The baskets are filled with mystery ingredients and change with every course. Icewine for appetizers? Maple fudge for entrées? Fiddleheads for desserts? Under the watchful eye of the expert judges, the chefs have only minutes to whip up their creation and get it plated. The tension mounts as the chefs approach the chopping block for judgment. Each dish is judged on presentation, creativity, and ultimately taste.  After each course, the judges decide who will survive the chopping block and who will be chopped from the competition.

Chopped Canada’s host guides the viewer through this high-stakes, pressure-filled competition. In each episode only one chef will survive the chopping block, earning the title of Chopped Canada champion and taking home the $10,000 prize. Who will make the cut?

Michael Smith

Host: Michael Smith

Chef Michael Smith, one of Canada’s best-known chefs is a passionate advocate for simple, sustainable home cooking and an inspiration for families creating their own healthy food lifestyle.  An honors graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York, his career has spanned the globe from stints in a Michelin three-star restaurant in London to South America, the Caribbean, North America and some of Manhattan’s finest kitchens.  He’s the host of Chef Abroad, Chef at Home and Chef at Large seen on Food Network Canada and in more than 100 other countries.
Michael is Prince Edward Island’s food ambassador, an award winning cookbook author, newspaper columnist, professional chef and home cook. He led the team of chefs that cooked for the world’s Olympians in the Whistler Athletes Village in 2010. His sixth cookbook, Fast Flavours, is a smash hit across Canada and he has been breaking new ground online with his food media production company, Culinart Limited.
Although Michael is a true chef at large his favourite role is Dad, home on Prince Edward Island with his partner Chastity, Gabe, Ariella and their new baby Camille! Michael is an avid map collector, long-time windsurfer and novice kite sailor.

 

Dean McDermott

Host: Dean McDermott

Dean McDermott, actor, television personality and 'Gourmet Dad,' opened his home to America during the six seasons of the hit Slice™ show Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, along with wife Tori Spelling. Tori and Dean created the show and served as executive producers alongside Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato of World of Wonder Productions. Born and raised in Toronto, Dean is the winner of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off season 2 and recently returned to his hometown to host the highly anticipated Food Network Canada series, Chopped Canada. 

A self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, the father of five is an avid adventurer, mixed martial arts enthusiast, races motorcycles, and is also a phenomenal cook and master DIY-er. He appears regularly on a variety of daytime talk and entertainment shows, is a regular contributor to Parenting.com and is concentrating on growing his Gourmet Dad brand as he continues his culinary arts studies at the Art Institute of California’s Culinary School. Dean shares his experiences and knowledge on his website DeanMcDermott.com. From family and relationships, to projects and hobbies, the site serves as a pit stop for dudes and dads of any age who want to talk shop about man-of-the-house stuff. Recently, Dean finished production on Tori & Dean: Cabin Fever, a series that follows Tori and Dean and their four kids while they renovate an Ontario lakeside cottage into their dream vacation home. As a modern-day renaissance father, Dean keeps family, food and fun his primary focus. Dean is currently working on his first cook book, which will be released next year in time for Father's Day.

Lynn Crawford

Host: Lynn Crawford

Chef Lynn Crawford, 'the Renegade Cuisine Queen' has the pedigree and the style. Whether competing against Bobby Flay in Iron Chef America, or hosting Food Network's Restaurant Makeover, Chef Crawford received tremendous media attention as the executive chef of Four Seasons Hotel in New York City, where she was the only female executive chef for a Four Seasons property in the world. Lynn is a tremendous culinary presence in North America.

Susur Lee

Host: Susur Lee

One could say that internationally acclaimed Chef Susur Lee was born with a spoon in his mouth— but it would be a tasting spoon, not a silver one.
 
From inauspicious beginnings as a 16-year-old apprentice at Hong Kong’s elegant Peninsula Hotel to his atlas stride atop the fickle universe of celebrity chefdom, Susur has never deviated from a consuming passion: to create tantalizing dishes that blend textures and flavours in glorious harmony. Balancing the epicurean traditions of China with the classical techniques of French cuisine, Lee improvises a daring and original culinary aesthetic. 
 
Praised as one of the “Ten Chefs of the Millennium” in 2000 by Food & Wine magazine, Susur is still at the top of his game. Between helming two restaurants in Toronto, Lee and Bent, and overseeing his prestigious Club Chinois in Singapore, Lee makes numerous television appearances and travels the globe as guest chef and consultant.  He recently became a media sensation on Food Network’s Top Chef Masters, where he vanquished 20 competing chefs and crossed filleting knives with chef Marcus Samuelsson in a kitchen showdown. He’ll also be a judge on Food Network Canada’s Chopped Canada.
 
Susur’s newest “boutique” restaurant, Bent, represents a new chapter in the career of the global super-chef: his sons, Levi and Kai, have joined the management team.  For Susur, good food is a family affair.

Roger Mooking

Host: Roger Mooking

Roger has developed a culinary philosophy built on perfect execution of globally inspired culinary traditions. As a third generation restaurateur and chef, he began his formal training through the George Brown Culinary Management Program where he earned his Top Student Honors diploma and is now the Chair of the Professional Advisory Committee. Roger continued his training at Epic Dining Room in Toronto’s world renowned Royal York Hotel before co-owning and consulting on many food and beverage operations.

Chuck Hughes

Host: Chuck Hughes

Chuck loves food.  So much so his favorites are tattooed on his arms: bacon, lemon meringue pie, lobster and arugula just to name a few.  

Growing up in Montreal, it was Chuck’s mom who inspired his love of cooking.  She regularly had him join her in the kitchen where he did everything from prepping vegetables to washing up.  During a successful but unfulfilling job in advertising, it was she who suggested he go to culinary school.  After attending one in Montreal he immediately started working in some of that city’s hottest restaurants such as Globe, Tapeo and Time Supper Club.   His first job?  He was chef garde manger – the guy who prepares the cold appetizers.  From there he quickly rose up through the ranks.

In 2006 he partnered with his two best friends and opened their first restaurant, Garde Manger, to rave reviews and packed seating.  Last summer Chuck and his partners opened their second restaurant in Montreal, Le Bremner, to great success.

For Chuck, cooking is about keeping it simple, using fresh ingredients and having fun.

Vikram Vij

Host: Vikram Vij

Chef Vikram Vij was born in India and lived in New Delhi and Bombay for 20 years. He studied Hotel Management in Austria and worked and lived in Salzburg and Vienna until 1989, when he moved to Canada to work at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta.
 
Vikram and his wife Meeru own and operate Vij’s Restaurant and Rangoli, a second restaurant and market, both located in Vancouver. In June 2012, he launched Vij's Railway Express, the mobile food truck based on Vikram's travels by rail throughout India. EnRoute magazine recently awarded it the People's Choice Award (2013) as Canada's best new restaurant. Vikram also owns Vij’s packaged gourmet curries, original popular recipes from Vij’s restaurant which are cooked by hand. Vij’s at Home packaged meals are available throughout Canada.With Meeru, Vikram has penned two cookbooks: Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine, which won Cuisine Canada’s 2007 Gold Award for Best Cookbook, and Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey. On the television side, Vikram appeared as a guest judge on seasons one and two of Food Network Canada's Top Chef Canada.
 
Vikram has won many awards including the Rising Star Award from BC Food Processors Association and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Pacific Region’s Hospitality and Tourism category. Vikram is past president and an active member of the Chef’s Table Society of British Columbia. Additionally, he has been involved with Farm Folk City Folk Organization, Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood, UBC Farm fundraisers and the Green Table Society. In addition, his work as president of the Cambie Village Business Association and contributing chef to the Vancouver Food Vendor Pilot Project has helped support the growth of local businesses in Vancouver. Vikram also lends his support to organizations such the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society. Vikram and his wife Meeru live in Vancouver with their two daughters.

John Higgins

Host: John Higgins

Chef John Higgins has cooked for the Queen at Buckingham Palace, on the Royal Yacht Britannia, for heads of state in Washington and for celebrities around the world.
 
At the beginning of his culinary career, he apprenticed at the Michelin Star Restaurant in Glasgow, Malmaison, and then worked at the world-famous, five-star luxury hotel in Scotland, Gleneagles. Upon immigrating to North America, John worked for the Four Seasons Hotel in Canada and the United States and his final stint in the hotel industry was at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto. 
 
Now, John is the director of one of North America’s best cooking schools, George Brown Chef School in Toronto. Since arriving in 2002, John has steered the school through a massive expansion due to an explosive demand in enrolment. With his Scottish brogue, keen wit and passion for teaching, John is leading the way for the next generation of talented chefs. He has traveled the world, from India to Italy and Sao Paulo, promoting Canadian cuisine.
 
John has made several television appearances including, Food Network’s At the Table With and he was also a guest judge on the first season of Top Chef Canada. He has a long list of accolades, including being the first chef to receive the Toronto Arts Culinary Award and he was captain of the Canadian Culinary Olympic Team at several different international and worldwide competitions. In this era of celebrity chefs, he reminds his students that being a chef is hard work that requires passion and dedication.

Anne Yarymowich

Host: Anne Yarymowich

Having served as executive chef at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s vast Food and Beverage operation for 17 years – including the AGO’s renowned FRANK Restaurant which opened in 2009 – Chef Anne Yarymowich recently made the switch to culinary educator at George Brown College, pursuing a career-long dedication to mentoring and shaping a new generation of cooks and chefs.
 
Born in Montreal, to parents of Ukrainian descent, Anne’s passion for cooking began at an early age. Influenced by her exposure to the French-Canadian traditions and her own ethnic heritage, Anne has incorporated both of these cultures into her culinary repertoire. As a member of Slow Food and supporter of local producers, Anne focuses on all aspects of sustainability, producing a cuisine which she dubs contemporary comfort cuisine.
 
Anne has earned her stripes as the recipient of a number of accolades, including Chef of the Year, awarded by Ontario Hostelry Institute in 2009 at the annual Gold Awards Ceremony; Winner of the Bronze Medal at the Gold Medal Plates competition in November 2009, competing against nine of Toronto's most respected chefs; and she was named No. 3 in Toronto Life's Top 10 New Restaurants in 2009.
 
Working with the AGO was a natural fit for Anne, who began with a fine arts degree in visual arts and photography from the University of Ottawa. Deciding to switch from art to a culinary career, Anne graduated from the George Brown College Chef School in May 1989. As one of Toronto's leading chefs, Anne is deeply committed to the concept of mentorship, the practice of apprenticeship and the vocation of teaching, striving to shape a new generation of cooks and chefs with strong principles of sustainability, fair trade and culinary excellence.

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