About the Cast
Daryn Jones became a staple of Canadian television in 2006 when he took on the role of host and creative producer of MTV Canada's flagship series MTV Live. During his six years on MTV he became known for his sharp wit and infectious energy. While there he had the opportunity to interview a variety of newsworthy guests including Tom Cruise, Weird Al Yankovic and Quentin Tarantino.
Born in Victoria, BC, Daryn began his career in stand-up comedy clubs at the age of 17. After establishing himself in Toronto, he partnered with comedian Mista Mo to create and co-host the award-winning comedy series Buzz. Originally airing on the Rogers Community Television in the mid-nineties, Buzz was picked up by the Comedy Network where Daryn’s wry humour and guerilla-style attack comedy found a burgeoning fan base. The show ran on Comedy Network from 2000 to 2005 garnering Daryn a Gemini Award for Best Writing of a Comedy Series in 2001.
In 2004, before the end of Buzz, Daryn joined the Rick Mercer Report as a writer and on-air correspondent. After a 6 year run at MTV, he was named as host of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's Over the Rainbow, the live, national search for Dorothy that aired on CBC Television in the 2012–13 season. After the conclusion of the show, Jones made regular appearances on Hockey Night in Canada for its 60th season.
Daryn’s wealth of experience as a host and quick-on-his-feet humour make him an exciting addition as host of season two of Donut Showdown.
Returning to Donut Showdown’s judging panel for a second season, best-selling author and celebrity chef David Rocco is probably best known as the host of the internationally syndicated television series David Rocco’s Dolce Vita. In four seasons David has shown his viewers the true sense of dolce vita, which to David is all about connecting with family and friends over a meal. Some of David’s other series include Food Network’s David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway and his newest series David Rocco’s Dolce India.
Toronto born and raised, David Rocco graduated with a degree in economics from York University but soon found his true calling in the kitchen. After opening a restaurant, La Madonnina, in Toronto with his wife Nina, Rocco decided to pair his passion for food and his natural abilities in front of the camera. David and Nina produced his first series, Avventura: Journeys in Italian Cuisine, themselves. It can still be seen in syndication in more than 40 countries. In addition to producing and starring in two worldwide hit television series, David is a published author with three popular cookbooks under his belt.
Duff has been cooking since the age of four, when his mom caught him in the kitchen swinging around a meat cleaver while watching legendary Chef Tell on TV. It was no surprise when this young enthusiasm lead to a life devoted to culinary pursuits.
After graduating from university he worked at several acclaimed culinary destinations, including the French Laundry, the Vail Cascade Hotel and Todd English's Olives before returning to Baltimore in 2000 to become a personal chef.
Duff then opened his own business called Charm City Cakes. What began as a small operation out of his own home with two assistants grew to include many employees, including many whose culinary backgrounds weren’t as pastry chefs. He hired experienced painters, architects, and sculptors as Charm City Cakes grew its reputation for the most imaginative, unusual creations.
Duff is the star of the hit series Ace of Cakes.
Eden Grinshpan is a television personality and host best known for her shows Eden Eats and Log on and Eat with Eden Grinshpan. Her infectious enthusiasm and thorough knowledge of global cuisine has made fans of her shows eager to go on each culinary adventure with her. She is the co-owner of EthNicitY Productions.
Eden graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in London with the "Grande Diplome" in both Pastry and Cuisine. After graduating she took her love of culinary travel to India, Israel and Southeast Asia, learning the culture and cuisines of the countries she explored. While in India she began to volunteer with different organizations, one of them being an orphanage called Ramanas Garden. Here she came up with the idea of raising money for the orphanage by re-opening a café, which had not been in operation for some time.
After returning to New York City, Eden enrolled in a management program at The Institute of Culinary Education before joining the popular bakery, Babycakes.
As a new addition to Donut Showdown’s judging panel Eden will surely be keeping an eye out for competitors who get creative with international flavours.
Chef Elizabeth Falkner is one of the culinary world's most recognizable chefs. For more than twenty years, she wowed the San Francisco/Bay Area with her desserts. In 2006, Bon Appetit named her “Pastry Chef of the Year” and three years prior, hailed her as one of “America's 10 Top Pastry Chefs.” In 2005, she was nominated for “Pastry Chef of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation.
Her passion for culinary competition is evident in her many television credits. Falkner has competed on multiple culinary competition series including Food Network’s Next Iron Chef: Redemption, Iron Chef America and Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs, in which she was a finalist and runner up. She has been a three-time competitor on Food Network's Challenge, as well as a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters. In addition to competing, Falkner also has acted as judge on several network shows including Bravo's Top Chef Just Desserts, Top Chef Masters and Top Chef.
Elizabeth is also a noted author. Her first cookbook, Demolition Desserts (2007) was a finalist for IACP's Julia Child Best First Cookbook award in 2008. Cooking Off the Clock, her second book, was released August 2012.
As a new judge on the second season of Donut Showdown, Elizabeth’s serious chops in the world of pastry, along with her experience on culinary competition series herself is sure to lead the competitors to pull out all the stops to wow her.
Jeff Mahin is a chef and the creative force behind Do-Rite Donuts (Chicago), Stella Barra Pizzeria (Santa Monica, Hollywood, Chicago), Summer House Santa Monica (Chicago), and M Street Kitchen (Santa Monica). At just 30 years old, Mahin has accumulated several industry accolades including Zagat’s "30 under 30" list in 2012, Forbes’ "30 under 30" list of hospitality industry up-and-comers in 2012, Restaurant Hospitality's “13 Chefs to Watch in 2013” and StarChefs’ “2014 Los Angeles Rising Star Restaurateur”.
The oldest son of a scientist and engineer, Jeff’s natural talent and instinct when he was young was channeled into constructing and deconstructing whatever foods he touched within his family's kitchen. At age 17, Jeff began his professional training at the California Culinary Academy and later studied science and mathematics at University of California, Berkley. Jeff has had experience working in prestigious kitchens around the country from Nobu in New York City to San Francisco's Millennium. In 2006, he became a laboratory assistant at the three-star Michelin rated restaurant, The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, England under chef/owner Heston Blumenthal.
Jeff was a finalist on ABC’s The Taste in its premiere season. New to the judging panel on Donut Showdown’s second season, Jeff’s kitchen credentials will serve him well in weighing in on this season’s crop of talented competitors.
Chef Maggie was born and raised in Toronto, and studied at the University of Toronto before graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York.
Her experience as Senior Food Specialist and National Spokesperson for Kraft Canada gives her a unique edge as both a food and marketing expert. She's also developed a keen eye for culinary talent as co-owner and Executive Chef of Great Cooks Canada's leading independent cooking school. She has developed hundreds of recipes for food companies and has contributed to What's Cooking, Canada's largest food magazine, in addition to Wine Tidings and other publications.
Maggie was a culinary mentor on Food Network’s Recipe to Riches (season one and two). As a returning judge for the second season of Donut Showdown she is looking forward meeting and judging to a new crop of eager and talented chefs.
On the cutting edge of both the artisanal food revival and the food truck revolution, Zane is a savvy entrepreneur with a zest for the zeitgeist. Heralded as one of the saviors of the classic Jewish deli by the New York Times and Gourmet Magazine, Zane’s eponymous deli, Caplansky’s Delicatessen, has garnered a lot of attention.
Passionate about classic delis since his childhood, Zane launched Caplansky's Deli in 2008 with the goal of bringing great smoked meat to Toronto. Originally operating out of the old Monarch Tavern, Caplansky’s original location is credited as Toronto’s first pop-up restaurant.
A rabid fan-base and media fanfare soon followed. Zane was able to open his own restaurant officially in 2009. He didn’t stop there. In 2011 Zane launched "Thunderin' Thelma," Toronto's first modern food truck. In 2013 he launched his brand onto the Canadian retail grocery scene with four flavours of deli mustard. Later this year Caplansky will open two outlets at Pearson International Airport and will follow that up with Caplansky’s Emporium, a ready-to-eat concept in Toronto’s west end. What does the future hold, besides launching his own “Deli King” beer and more grocery items? Only time will tell. One thing is certain – he sure is fun to watch.
Zane has appeared on Food Network’s Eat St., Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives as well as You Gotta Eat Here!, and returns to judge Donut Showdown for a second season.