Top Chef Canada
The smash hit series Top Chef Canada is back for a fourth season and it’s the most extreme season ever! Fourteen of Canada’s best and brightest chefs will face off in a series of adrenaline-pumping challenges that will test them mentally, physically and emotionally. For the first time ever, an equal number of men and women compete for the title of Canada’s Top Chef and $100,000 in the ultimate battle of the sexes showdown. At the centre of the gruelling competition is critically acclaimed chef and restaurateur Mark McEwan who resumes the role of head judge. Joining Chef McEwan at the Judges’ Table are internationally acclaimed actress and series host Lisa Ray and no-nonsense L.A. restaurateur Shereen Arazm, who returns as resident judge.
Produced by Insight Productions, Top Chef Canada airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT beginning March 10 on Food Network Canada.
From his early years as Canada’s youngest ever, executive chef at Toronto’s upscale Sutton Place Hotel to his latest endeavor, trendy resto bar Fabbrica, Mark McEwan is never content to rest on his laurels.
Mark has led the restaurant scene in Toronto for many years. He joins the ranks of the truly innovative with groundbreaking Toronto standards from North 44 to Bymark to the always interesting ONE, a staple for the “see and be seen” crowd in Yorkville. With Fabbrica, he has taken another turn and captivated customers with rustic Italian fare in a warm, yet contemporary setting at The Shops at Don Mills.
But, it doesn’t stop with dining – in early 2009 he turned his attention to upscale food and opened McEwan, a gourmet marketplace, at The Shops at Don Mills - always attentive to the changing needs of the consumer.
His best selling cookbook Great Food at Home added author to his resume and he hasn’t stopped there. In late 2011, Mark, with the help of Jacob Richler once again wowed us with Fabbrica the cookbook based on the recipes featured in his latest restaurant.
Mark’s first show for Food Network, The Heat, was a riveting behind the scenes look at North 44 as well as the building of the McEwan grocery store. He returns to Top Chef Canada as head judge for a fourth consecutive season.
Mark’s cookware line by Fresco is sold nationally across Canada and with his chef’s stamp of approval for a high quality product in the kitchen.
In 2013 Mark paired with OTG Management to consult on menus for two restaurant concepts that were built at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Fetta and Nobel have received many accolades since their openings that year. Mark’s grocery store McEwan also took on the task of feeding commuters…there are now 10 grab-and-go stations in the airport that feature a selection of sandwiches, salads, snack boxes and mini meals all made and shipped daily from the store to the terminals.
Lisa Ray is an internationally-acclaimed film actress, TV host, model and ardent food lover. Raised in Canada by an Indian father and Polish mother, she was discovered at age 16 while on vacation in India, and went on to become one of India’s most successful cover models and celebrities. Named one of the “Ten Most Beautiful Indian Women of the Millennium” by a Times of India poll, Lisa cemented her profile in India by debuting in Bollywood film Kasoor, before pursuing opportunities globally, including attending drama school in London in 2001.
Lisa has starred in the Oscar nominated film, Water, amongst other prestigious acting credits. Her multidimensional career includes hosting her own entertainment show in India, headlining a six part travel and culture series for TLC called Oh My Gold, and acting as the Global Ambassador for Rado Watches.
In 2009, Lisa chose to share her diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, a rare blood cancer, from the red carpet during the Toronto International Film Festival. “The Yellow Diaries,” a blog that chronicled her deeply personal cancer experiences, earned Lisa global attention, and a deal with Harper Collins to publish her autobiography. Lisa works passionately to raise funds and awareness for Multiple Myeloma research, and was named Ambassador for the “Pantene Beautiful Lengths” campaign, as well as being awarded a Facing Cancer Together Award of Honour by the “Look Good Feel Better” organization.
Following her treatment, Lisa co-founded MYB, a yoga studio in Brampton, Ontario.
Philanthropic interests range from taking part in the on-air drive for SickKids Hospital, to Ambassador of Plan Canada’s “Because I Am A Girl” campaign, a global movement which supports the rights of girls around the world.
A lifelong devotee of global cuisine and cultures, Lisa’s travels made her the ideal choice to host Top Chef Canada, one of Food Network Canada’s top series, which recently filmed its fourth season.
In 2013, Lisa added designer to her resume, by producing an exclusive line of cocktail sarees with iconic Indian design house, Satya Paul. Portions of the proceeds benefit Multiple Myeloma research. She returned to the stage for a successful seven city Canadian tour of Luminato Festival’s Taj, taking the lead role opposite renowned Bollywood actor Kabir Bedi. Lisa was also a recipient of a Diamond Jubilee Award for contribution to Canada.
Recently married, Lisa looks forward to her next great meal and travel adventure with her husband.
Shereen Arazm is a vanguard of Los Angeles dining and entertaining, creating an unrivaled class of restaurants and lounges that are both local favourites and internationally recognizable Hollywood names. Shereen co-owns some of Tinsel Town’s most revered tables including Italian eatery Terroni and sushi staple Geisha House.
Her dining ventures follow a successful streak as owner/operator of famed nightlife outlets Concorde, El Centro, Shag, Central, Wonderland and restaurants including Bella and Parc. The 2007 LA Times Magazine holiday issue named Shereen as one of the four top entertainment hosts in Los Angeles – across all entertainment and traditional industries in southern California. Halogen TV featured Shereen’s successful career in an episode of Women on Top on Slice™ in 2007 and in the summer of 2013, Shereen, a proud Toronto native, returned to continue her role as resident judge on season four of Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada.
Shereen began her career working at the original Terroni Restaurant on Queen Street West in Toronto. At age 21, she left Toronto for New York City where she worked at prominent restaurants and learned from some of the city’s toughest owners and most talented chefs. Shereen later moved to Los Angeles where she opened her first venture, Concorde Supperclub, in 2003. As the premiere destination for Hollywood’s A-list, it gained international fame immediately. The momentum continued with her second establishment, El Centro Bar and Lounge, which debuted in 2004. Building on the runaway success of the nightclub ventures, Shereen turned her attention to her first love, setting the bar for Hollywood dining.
In 2004, Shereen was introduced to chef Gen Mizoguchi at the opening of famed Megu in New York City and knew she had to bring him to Los Angeles to help launch her next project. Later that year, Shereen made waves in Los Angeles with the introduction of Geisha House, a 10,000 square foot restaurant that would pioneer the comeback of Hollywood according to the front page of the New York Times in December 2007. In 2005, Shereen and the Dolce Group launched Bella, a simple Italian eatery on Hollywood Blvd., and in 2006 she followed that with supper club Shag. Early in 2007 Shereen met celebrity chef Jason Harley and opened the intimate restaurant Parc to critical acclaim and success. At the end of 2007, Shereen came full circle with the Los Angeles launch of the first restaurant she worked at, Terroni, with longtime friend and Terroni owner Cosimo Mammoliti. Due to Terroni Los Angeles' huge success, the Terroni LA group launched another Terroni in downtown LA in fall 2012.
In 2013 Shereen signed on to be the new brand ambassador for Nespresso Canada.
Shereen is married to Oren Koules and the couple has a son, Miles, from Koules' previous marriage. In 2008 they had a daughter named Sam and in 2011 welcomed another baby girl named Neve.