Top Chef Canada, the country’s most prestigious culinary competition returns April 8 for an exciting new season! Eleven extraordinarily talented, up-and-coming chefs from across Canada are vying for the illustrious title and the opportunity to be catapulted into Canadian culinary stardom alongside previous winners Dale Mackay, Carl Heinrich, Matt Stowe, René Rodriguez and Nicole Gomes.
The new lineup of next generation chefs competing this season on Top Chef Canada are (from L-R in above image):
- Nathan Guggenheimer from Saskatoon, SK
- Felix Zhou from Coquitlam, BC
- J-P Miron from Montreal, PQ
- Jinhee Lee from Calgary, AB
- Darren Rogers from Montreal, PQ
- Ross Larkin from St. John’s, NL
- Jesse Zuber from Saskatoon, SK
- Elia Herrera from Toronto, ON
- Mark Singson from Vancouver, BC
- Matt Sullivan from Toronto, ON
- Ivana Raca from Toronto, ON
Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Eden Grinshpan returns as host, guiding the chefs through their challenges and helping to deliberate at judges’ table. Culinary legend Chef Mark McEwan is back as head judge along with the esteemed resident judges, renowned food journalist and critic Chris Nuttall-Smith, food blogger Mijune Pak and powerhouse restaurateur Janet Zuccarini.
“You really felt a fresh new energy walking into this new season and meeting all the chefs,” Eden revealed. “There was an overwhelming sense of excitement. Everyone brought their A-Game. Everyone really wanted to win. I found there were so many new, creative ways these chefs were bringing their food to the table.”
Head Judge Chef Mark McEwan has been with Top Chef Canada since it launched in 2011. Looking back on the past seasons, he shares, “Every year’s been good but every year’s gotten better. This year the chefs are hitting a new level. This was our best season yet for food.” He elaborates, “The young chefs show a great sign of maturity and really excellent dexterity and ability to make flavours happen. Some real, great surprises!”
Not only will the chefs have to impress judges’ panel, they’ll also need to win over the palates of celebrated guest judges featured throughout the series. This season, guest judges include chef-owners of some of Toronto’s best-known restaurants, such as Lynn Crawford (Ruby Watchco), Susur Lee (Fring’s, Lee), Rob Gentile (Buca, Bar Buca) and Alexandra Feswick (Drake Devonshire). Top Chef Canada alum returning as guest judges include Steve Gonzales of Baro, Dustin Gallagher of 416 Snack Bar as well as Top Chef Canada: All-Stars winner, Nicole Gomes of Calgary’s Cluck ‘N’ Cleaver. Additionally, Evan Funke, L.A.-based chef and co-owner (with Janet Zuccarini) of the acclaimed Felix restaurant, and Danny Bowien, chef-owner of New York’s Mission Chinese Food join as guest judges.
Each week during the season, topchefcanada.ca will be your destination for everything Top Chef Canada! You’ll find full episodes online, exclusive exit interviews with each of the departing chefs, behind-the-scenes secrets from life on set, chef cooking tips, episode recaps and our must-see interview with the winner.