Top Chef Canada

Top Chef Canada

Meet the All-Stars Chefs

Andrea Nicholson

Andrea Nicholson

Andrea is one of the most honest and cutthroat chefs in the biz and has come back to Top Chef Canada: All-Stars to win the title.

After competing in the first season of Top Chef Canada, she went on to become the corporate media chef for Maple Leaf Foods and is now corporate media chef for Greenfield Natural Meat Co. and chef/owner of Butchie’s Restaurant (opening 2017). She also has her own line of kitchen condiments called Killer Condiments.

Andrea has been working in the hospitality industry since the early age of thirteen. As a Red Seal certified chef, she received her culinary training at George Brown College in Toronto. Andrea has also trained in New York City under Roberto Caporuscio and holds a diploma from the A.P.N. of Naples, Italy, distinguishing her as a certified pizzaiuoli. In addition to Top Chef Canada, Andrea has appeared on Food Factory and co-hosted Season’s 1 and 2 of Restaurant Takeover.

Andrea’s passion for food is evident in her masterful creations, which celebrate the purity of local and seasonal ingredients. Supporting sustainability, Canadian farmers, purveyors and Ocean Wise is the central tenet of her cuisine.

Watch Andrea's original audition video.

Watch Andrea's highlight video.

Twitter: @andrea_n
Instagram: @yes_peaz and @butchiesrestaurant
Facebook: Chef Andrea Nicholson

Connie DeSousa

Connie DeSousa After making it to the finale on the first season of Top Chef Canada, Connie has become a seasoned culinary veteran and one of Canada’s most renowned female chefs. Known for her butchery skills and simple approach to food, her empathetic yet fierce working style has allowed her to strike balance, stay driven and defy the odds of women in the professional kitchen.
Connie opened her first restaurant in 2009, the award-winning CHARCUT Roast House in Calgary, along with her mentor and business partner John Jackson. They are now co-owners of four successful restaurants and a rapidly growing Catering and Events division – including newly opened charbar in the historic Simmons building in Calgary and the buzzing Alley Burger walk-thru window – each receiving numerous accolades and awards including spots on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list and enRoute’s Best New Restaurant round-up.
Connie’s cooking focuses on sustainable, locally grown food and community connection mastering nose-to-tail butchery, hunting and cultivating relationships with farmers and artisan producers. She is a mentor to young chefs and women in the industry and a community ambassador using food and her culinary talents to create awareness and help those in need.

Watch Connie's original audition video.
Watch Connie's highlight video.

Twitter: @CHARCUT
Instagram: @conniedesousa

Curtis Luk

Curtis Luk

Following jobs at acclaimed Canadian restaurants George in Toronto and Atelier in Ottawa, Curtis fulfilled a long time goal of competing on Top Chef Canada and is now out to prove how far he has come since Season 2. 

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Toronto, Curtis discovered his love for cooking while studying at the University of Waterloo. After graduating, he decided to make his ambitions a reality and entered head-first into the restaurant industry by washing dishes at some of the top restaurants in town.

After his season aired, and drawn by the potential of west coast ingredients, Curtis helped Top Chef Canada Season 2 runner-up Trevor Bird open his incredibly successful restaurant Fable in Vancouver. 

After Fable, Curtis went on to lead the kitchens at The Parker and Bambudda in BC and today weaves together seasonal and local ingredients with thought and technique as chef/owner of the incredible Mission Restaurant in Vancouver, BC.

Watch Curtis' original audition video.
Watch Curtis' highlight video.

Twitter: @RunsWithTongs
Instagram: @runswithtongs

Dennis Tay

Dennis Tay

In the third season of Top Chef Canada, Dennis competed with a broken arm and still managed to finish in fourth place and is back this season to prove he’s in it to win it. 

From the very beginning of his culinary career at George Brown College, Dennis has spent time learning and growing in critically acclaimed kitchens around the world. In Italy he worked at the two Michelin starred Restaurant La Tenda Rossa, and later staged at multiple Michelin starred restaurants in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Once back in Toronto, Dennis brought his international experience to some of Toronto’s most renowned restaurants, including Carl Heinrich’s Richmond Station. Dennis is now the chef de cuisine at Toronto’s celebrated modern Asian restaurant, DaiLo.

Watch Dennis' original audition video.
Watch Dennis' highlight video.

Twitter: @dennisjtay
Instagram: @dennisjtay

Dustin Gallagher

Dustin Gallagher

After bringing his signature smile and boundless energy to the first season of Top Chef Canada, Dustin Gallagher has gone on to become one of Toronto’s culinary stars as executive chef of Peoples Eatery and 416 Snack Bar.

Dusty has always enjoyed cooking, working his way up the ladder in professional kitchens from the age of 13. At the age of 22, he joined chef Susur Lee's team at his internationally acclaimed restaurant, Susur, where he worked for six years, eventually becoming sous chef. Dustin was the recipient of the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo's Nine of Dine Award as one of Toronto's best new chefs in 2009.

Dustin prides himself on excelling in high pressure situations and is back this season to prove he is more than just a smiling face and to show just how much his cooking has evolved.

Watch Dustin's original audition video.
Watch Dustin's highlight video.

Twitter: @dustingallagher
Instagram: @dusty416

Elizabeth Rivasplata

Elizabeth Rivasplata

As executive chef at Toronto’s massive Rogers Centre, Elizabeth is tasked with feeding 50,000 hungry fans on any given day which makes her ready to handle the stress and heat of the Top Chef Canada: All-Stars kitchen.

Originally from Lima, Peru, Elizabeth has worked in Miami, Italy and Spain, developing her culinary skills before moving to Toronto. In Toronto, Elizabeth has been the production chef for the AGO, chef de cuisine at FRANK restaurant, catering chef with Eatertainment Group, executive chef with FAB Concepts/Mill St. Brewery and research and development chef with Browns Restaurant Group in Vancouver. 

Elizabeth’s cooking is best described as seasonal, unpretentious, fun and honest. As she would say, “let the ingredients speak for themselves.”

Watch Elizabeth's original audition video.
Watch Elizabeth's highlight video.

Twitter: @rivasplata1
Instagram: @rivasplata1

Jesse Vergen

Jesse Vergen

With an upbringing on a small farm in the Fundy hills of New Brunswick, Jesse has become one of Atlantic Canada’s most well-known chefs, culinary insiders and leaders in the local food movement.

Jesse began working on his craft in high school, and after pursuing culinary school in Vancouver, he hopped around a diverse array of restaurants and hotels across Canada, including time spent in France. 

He is the chef and co-owner of Saint John Alehouse, Smoking Pig BBQ, Toro Taco, Barred Rock Fried Chicken and McGills.

With a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality, Jesse spends any spare time he being in the great outdoors. He is known as one of the few chefs in Canada that not only cooks food, but hunts, forages, cultivates and raises it. He is often seen cooking alongside many of Canada's top culinary talents at various events across Canada. Jesse is looking forward to getting a second swing at winning Top Chef Canada.

Watch Jesse's original audition video.
Watch Jesse's highlight video.

Twitter: @JesseVergen
Instagram: @jessevergen

Jonathan Korecki

Jonathan Korecki

After being a finalist on the second season of Top Chef Canada, Jonathan has broadened his expertise to reinforce his background in French cuisine as the executive chef of two renowned restaurants in Ottawa: Side Door and Eighteen, the latter of which was awarded CAA Four diamonds. He says all he has done after Season 2 is cook and that he is the strongest he has ever been in mind, body, spirit and skills.  

Jonathan has spent countless hours educating and mentoring cooks on the Ontario growing season through pickling and preserving Canadian ingredients to recreate traditional food preparations. Taking an overdue sabbatical after 17 years of cooking, Jonathan continues to travel the world and understand local cuisines first hand and to translate them through Canadian ingredients.

He is currently consulting with a variety of restaurants in Canada’s capital region and looking forward to developing a culinary business in his hometown of Caledon.

Watch Jonathan's original audition video.
Watch Jonathan's highlight video.

Twitter: @chefkorecki
Instagram: @chefkorecki

Nicole Gomes

Nicole Gomes

Since being dubbed “a Tasmanian devil in the kitchen” on Top Chef Canada Season 3, chef, caterer, entrepreneur, and passionate media personality, Nicole Gomes has excelled in all facets of food and dining in the modern world.  Nothing gives her more joy than sharing her craft by bringing people together to enjoy great food.  

Her accomplishments as chef and owner of Nicole Gourmet Catering have been recognized with several awards including Western Living’s Top 40 Foodies under 40 in 2013, Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 in 2014 and Calgary Herald’s Compelling Calgarians in 2015. 

In 2016, Gomes partnered with her sister to open Cluck N’ Cleaver, a Southern fried and French style rotisserie chicken take-out joint, priding itself on providing good food, fast. The highly successful, independent operation will soon be expanding across Western Canada. No matter what she is cooking from her large repertoire of culinary experience, this busy chef remains committed to innovative, personalized cuisine served with personality and flair.

Watch Nicole's original audition video.
Watch Nicole's highlight video.

Twitter: @nicolegourmet
Instagram: @chefngomes

Todd Perrin

Todd Perrin

Canadian foodies know Todd Perrin as the entertaining, larger than life Newfoundlander from the first season of Top Chef Canada

Todd graduated from The Culinary Institute of Canada at Holland College in Prince Edward Island and went on to work at The Lodge at Kananaskis in Alberta, and then at a private hotel near Zurich, Switzerland. In 2001, he opened Two Chefs, a fine dining eatery in St. John’s that, in its first year, was listed as one of the country’s “Top 50 New Restaurants” in enRoute Magazine. 

Todd was on his way out of the industry, but he says his experience on the first season of Top Chef Canada changed his life – and he went back to Newfoundland with a renewed culinary passion.  He is now chef and owner of the very successful Mallard Cottage in Quidi Vidi Village, St. John’s. The painstakingly restored 18th century cottage opened as a restaurant in November 2013 after much anticipation. Serving local ingredients in traditional and non-traditional ways, Mallard Cottage uses the bounty of Newfoundland and Labrador’s land and sea to create a daily changing menu. In its first year, Mallard was recognized by enRoute Magazine as number five on its list of Top Ten Best New Restaurants in Canada 2014. In 2016 Mallard Cottage continued to be recognized as one of Canada’s top eateries, coming in at number 22 of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants.

Watch Todd's original audition video.
Watch Todd's highlight video.

Twitter: @Toddperrin
Instagram: @mallardcottagechef

Trevor Bird

Trevor Bird

Trevor Bird began his foray into the culinary world as a teenager. His career led him into acclaimed kitchens such as Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, Jean George’s MARKET and Daniel Boulud’s Lumière.

In 2011, Trevor secured his rising star status as a finalist against some of Canada’s greatest chefs in the second season of Top Chef Canada. This was certainly a defining moment in his culinary career and raises the stakes for his comeback on Top Chef Canada: All-Stars

After competing on the show, Trevor opened Fable whereas chef/co-owner he practices his passion for locally focused ingredients and showcases British Columbia’s regional bounty in all of the menu’s dishes. Since then, he’s also opened Fable Diner and is the co-founder of MeatMe.Co, which is devoted to crowdfunding well-raised pasture animals.

Trevor has devoted his career to preparing food that express the beauty and flavor of Canadian ingredients. Perfecting farm to table cuisine prepared for the modern diner is a true depiction of his sincere connections to the production of every ingredient from the soil to the plate.

Watch Trevor's original audition video.
Watch Trevor's highlight video.

Twitter: @83TBird
Instagram: @83TBird

Trista Sheen

Trista Sheen

Prior to her competing on the second season of Top Chef Canada, Trista Sheen was only a sous chef but her appearance on the show propelled her to executive chef stardom leading some of Toronto’s top kitchens, including Crush and Bar Begonia. 

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Trista was influenced at a young age by her father who was a baker. Her culinary passion began in high school when she participated in a co-op program at the Crown Plaza Hotel in downtown Toronto, while working part time at a grocery store bakery. She continued her education at George Brown College in the Culinary Management Program and had the opportunity to do her internship at Scaramouche Restaurant where she spent the next six years developing her skills.

Watch Trista's original audition video.
Watch Trista's highlight video.

Twitter: @tristasheen
Instagram: @cheftbird