Sharpen those knives and brush up on your culinary skills because Top Chef Canada’s Café kitchen is open for business. An all-new season of the Food Network Canada series—along with one pretty big twist—kicks off Monday, April 1 at 10 PM E/P.

Top Chef Canada Season 7

Joining returning host Eden Grinshpan, head judge Mark McEwan, and resident judges Chris Nuttall-Smith, Mijune Pak and Janet Zuccarini are some of the brightest culinary talents Canada has to offer. This season they’re lighting up the kitchen with some incredibly competitive challenges and cooks for panels of world-renowned chefs, all in a bid to win this year’s grand prize: a $100,000 cash prize from INTERAC, a design-inspired Café kitchen, a culinary tour of Italy for two from Air Transat, and $5,000 worth of Cuisinart products. Oh, and did we mention they’ll also join the select few to earn the coveted title of Canada’s Top Chef?

These contestants represent the culinary “coming of age” in the Canadian food scene and this year that includes several award-winning chefs, the first Quebec City representative, and some who have even studied under former Top Chef Canada winners. Given all that, we can’t think of anything more cutthroat or coming of age than one lemon of a twist.

This season, 11 chefs will enter the competition, but the coveted 12th slot is still up for grabs. And so in the show’s first-ever “cook-in” challenge, three chefs will cook for their lives.

Top-Chef-Canada-Season-7-Cast

No pressure or anything. Just whip up the best dish you’ve ever served. Yeah, we’re stressed out just thinking about all the delicious optics, but we also can’t wait for that kitchen to heat up.

For now, here’s a peek at the chefs putting it all on the line.

  • Tania Ganassini from Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON – Chef/co-founder of Staff Meal Niagara
  • Takeshi Horinoue from Montreal, QC – Chef/partner at Restaurant Park, Lavanderia, Café Bazin
  • Hayden Johnston from Toronto, ON – Chef de Cuisine at Richmond Station
  • Sebastien Laframboise from Quebec City, QC – Executive chef at District Saint-Joseph
  • Renee Lavallee from Dartmouth, NS – Chef/owner at The Canteen
  • Paul Moran from Tofino, BC – Executive chef at Tofino Resort + Marina
  • Dennis Peckham fromPort Moody, BC – Chef/owner at Fraice Sheet Foods
  • Phillip Scarfone from Vancouver, BC – Head chef, Nightingale
  • Erin Smith from Toronto, ON – Chef (on maternity leave)
  • Max Straczek from Vancouver, BC – Chef de Cuisine at Fable
  • Wallace Wong from Toronto, ON – The Six Pack Chef

Top-Chef-Canada-Season-7-Cook-Ins

And here are the three chefs ready to throw down for that coveted 12th spot:

  • Alexei Boldireff from Edmonton, AB – Head chef at Baijiu
  • Benet Hunt from Saskatoon, SK – Executive chef at Ayden Kitchen and Bar
  • Paul Kim from Toronto, ON – Chef/owner at Doma

It sounds to us like this season has all the ingredients for the most delicious run yet. We know we’ll be bringing our appetites.