For Season 10 of Top Chef Canada, these chef contestants are bringing it their all. Going bolder, brighter and turning up the heat, “X” marks the spot this year to help celebrate the show’s 10th season. This year, returning judges Mark McEwan, Mijune Pak, Chris Nuttall-Smith and Janet Zuccarini, along with host-with-the-most Eden Grinshpan will be joined by new judge (and culinary superstar) David Zilber, to help decide the fate of the competing chefs. We have your first look of Canada’s most fierce competitors before the brand new season premieres on September 26 at 10ep.
Martine Bauer is a French-trained chef who after attending culinary school in her native country of Mauritius, has worked in multiple Michelin-star restaurants in Paris including La Cuisine, and as a private chef for three Prime Ministers of France. She now owns and operates Pompette in Toronto with her husband. In 2021, after only six months in operation, Pompette was named “Canada’s Best New Fine Dining Restaurant” by enRoute Magazine. With these prestigious culinary experiences in tow, Martine is ready to show off her classic French cooking techniques and her savoir faire in the kitchen to win the distinguished title of Canada’s Top Chef.
Tawnya Brant has always had a passion for food and cooking, securing her first job at a local diner at the age of 12 in Ontario’s Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She gained more experience opening small shops and franchise restaurants throughout Southern Ontario, Western New York and Manitoulin Island, eventually attending Mohawk College’s Aboriginal Small Business Management program. Currently, Tawnya is the chef and owner of YawÉkonFoods, a restaurant in Ohsweken that provides Haudenosaunee fusion cuisine. Eager to represent and inspire Indigenous female entrepreneurs, Tawnya is ready to showcase her wealth of ancestral food knowledge to both the judges and Canada.
Joachim 'Jo' Hayward
Joachim ‘Jo’ Hayward joins Top Chef Canada with an abundance of experience, having cooked professionally for 12 years in numerous cities around the world. Priding himself on his bright, nostalgic, and colourful food, Jo opened his dream restaurant during the pandemic, Crosley’s, to excellent reviews, only to see it shutter shortly after. By competing on Top Chef Canada, Jo wants to be an inspiration for his son and child on the way, and for other Black chefs to prove that with passion, a strong work ethic, and a drive to overcome obstacles, they too can achieve great success. He is currently the head chef at Wynona in Toronto.
Born and raised in the Yukon, Chris discovered his passion for food while dining at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, BC. After enrolling in culinary school, he worked for David Hawksworth before moving to London where he worked alongside Gordon Ramsay as his executive sous chef, arming him with an abundance of experience working under pressure. He eventually went on to work as a private chef for David and Victoria Beckham and their family and has also cooked for Her Majesty The Queen of England and the Spanish Royal Family. Now a private chef and consultant in Whitehorse, Chris is proud to be Top Chef Canada’s first-ever competitor from the territory and is excited to represent and spread awareness about the Yukon and its exciting cuisine.
Working in Montreal kitchens for the past decade, Camilo Lapointe-Nascimento is inspired by French cuisine and techniques, and enjoys creating simple yet impactful dishes with few ingredients. In 2019, he won the prestigious Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship competition followed by the televised Les Chefs! competition in 2020. During the first year of the pandemic, Camilo and his business partner, Top Chef Canada Season 8 winner Francis Blais, used their culinary skills to create Menu Extra, an online take-out company that brings a sense of refinement and high-end food to the take-away experience. Camilo hopes his previous victories and insight from working with a Top Chef Canada winner will give him an edge over his opponents and help him win the title of Canada’s Top Chef.
Vaishnav ‘Vish’ Mayekar
Growing up in Mumbai, India, Vaishnav ‘Vish’ Mayekar spent hours studying his mother’s cooking skills which helped him realize his dream of becoming a chef. Taking pride in every dish he creates, Vish is known for his unique ingredient combinations and loves to infuse flavours and spices from his Indian heritage. He is also trained and well-versed in Italian cuisine and currently works as the head chef at Pepinos and Caffe La Tana in Vancouver. Additionally, Vish cooks for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars every year at the Cannes Film Festival where he is the executive chef at the American Pavilion. Vish is also bringing his competitive edge to Team Canada’s 2024 national culinary team and will participate in the upcoming Culinary Olympics. He is ready for the country to know his name and is determined to show the world he has what it takes to win the tenth season of Top Chef Canada.
Lindsay Porter worked in many established restaurants in Edmonton before opening up her own restaurant in 2017 called London Local, which closed its doors in 2020 due to the pandemic. She is now at the helm of The Common working as the restaurant’s executive chef. A natural-born leader, Lindsay advocates for inclusivity in the kitchen, wanting to provide a positive, supportive, and comfortable work environment for her fellow chefs. She’s no stranger to cooking in stressful situations and is obsessed with putting her skills to the test. Lindsay has taken part in – and won – several culinary competitions in the past, including an episode of Food Network Canada’s Fire Masters in 2019. Lindsay is ready to prove that she’s the chef to beat on Top Chef Canada.
Trevane ‘Tre’ Sanderson
Trevane ‘Tre’ Sanderson comes to the competition with over 10 years of culinary experience. He has worked in some of Toronto’s hottest kitchens, including Baro and Hotel X, and is currently the Chef de Partie at Vela. Being a first-generation Canadian with Caribbean roots, Tre draws inspiration from his Jamaican heritage, but also enjoys implementing different cooking styles, cultures, and techniques into each of his dishes. Tre understands that nothing is possible without hard work and perseverance, and realizes he may be deemed the underdog of the competition having never been a chef at the helm of a kitchen. He is ready to prove himself on Top Chef Canada and finally get the chance to showcase his heart, flavours, and unique culinary skills to the judges with hopes of becoming the competition’s first Black winner.
Originally from Egypt, Monika Wahba immigrated to Canada in 2000 and is currently the chef and owner of Maha’s Restaurant. While she has no formal culinary training, Monika learned how to cook in her family’s kitchen. She creates full bodied Egyptian dishes, drawing inspiration from her cultural roots and upbringing. Monika is prepared to be underestimated by her opponents, but she knows she has what it takes to compete. A self-proclaimed beast in the kitchen, she is hungry to show audiences the flavours of her home country and become the first Egyptian chef to win Top Chef Canada.
Deseree ‘Dez’ Lo
Deseree ‘Dez’ Lo packs a punch, both in her food and personality. Working as an investment banker in New York, her entire outlook on life was altered after 9/11 when she realized life is short and pursuing a career she was truly passionate about was the only way forward. Fueled by her love of cooking, she attended The French Culinary Institute in New York and worked her way up through restaurants in New York and Los Angeles, eventually moving to Vancouver in 2016, becoming the sous chef at CinCin Restaurant. After a short two-year break from traditional kitchens where she worked as an executive chef and sales manager at a major seafood company, Deseree is back on the line as the Chef de Cuisine at Marine Drive Golf Club in Vancouver. Known for her high standards in the kitchen, Dez has been dubbed ‘The Dragon Lady’ by fellow chefs. On Top Chef Canada, she wants to show the nation that there are phenomenal female chefs who are strong, competent, and can handle the heat in the kitchen just as well as their male counterparts.
Kimberly “Kim” Conway fell in love with the kitchen when, working as a dishwasher at a local restaurant, she was given the opportunity to assist with prep during a shift. Her mother’s untimely passing and pride in Kim’s culinary skills bolstered her decision to keep with her passion and pursue a career in the field. She has worked in multiple restaurants on the East Coast, eventually becoming a Sous Chef at Terre Rouge Craft Kitchen under Top Chef Canada, Season 8 alum Lucy Morrow. She is now the Head Chef at The Brickhouse Kitchen & Bar in Charlottetown, where she showcases her prowess for East Coast flavours and fish butchery.
Kim wants to prove to Canada and the judges that she’s a fierce and driven contender with the chops to out-cook her competition and win the title of Canada’s Top Chef.