Food Network Canada enters the inferno this spring with a sizzling, new Canadian original series from Corus Studios, Fire Masters (10x60min). Hosted by professional chef Dylan Benoit, each episode sees three chefs push their grilling talents to the limit as they battle in two culinary challenges, cooking up flame-kissed dishes to impress a rotating panel of three esteemed judges. Once two chefs are eliminated, the last one standing goes head-to-head with a renowned judge in the third round, vying for $10,000 cash and the title of Fire Masters Champion. Fire Masters premieres Thursday, March 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada.
From Vancouver, B.C. to Orlando, Fla., Calgary Alta., to Salt Lake City, Utah, Fire Masters provides an arena for the culinary talent of the chef competitors who hail from coast to coast across North America. In the premiere episode “Hearts on Fire” airing on March 21, “The Signature” round heats up fast with three executive chefs, Erik Dandee from Palm Springs, Calif., Trish Gill from Windsor. Ont., and Marco Niccoli from Salt Lake City, Utah. All three competitors showcase their best flame game with their signature dishes, to be judged on presentation, creativity and taste. In the “Crossfire” round, the chefs choose between two featured ingredients to incorporate into their dish. Finally, in the “Feast of Fire”, the final chef goes head-to-head against a Fire Masters judge. Each will have a sous chef to cook up a full feast inspired by a theme to determine the winner. For the full list of competitors, please visit foodnetwork.ca.
Food Network Canada welcomes new host, Dylan Benoit, as he oversees each fiery battle, and brings serious culinary credibility to the table. Dylan has travelled to nearly 40 countries and has over a decade of experience working as a chef in prestigious kitchens, including Top Chef Canada head judge, Mark McEwan’s ONE Restaurant and the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Alinea in Chicago, Ill. Originally from Barrie, Ont., he now resides in the Cayman Islands, running a private chef service and consulting company. With Dylan at the helm of each episode, he is joined by a rotating panel of renowned, flame-fanatic judges including:
• Kevin Bludso – Kevin is the owner of Bludso’s BBQ in Los Angeles, Calif. He’s also a three-time winner of the prestigious Hoodie award for best BBQ.
• Mike Callaghan – From London, Ont., Mike has been on the food competition circuit for a decade, a three-time National Canadian Chili Champion and World Recipe Champion. He is also the lead pitmaster for Team Canada BBQ.
• Connie DeSousa – Connie is a chef and owner of four restaurants including the award-winning Char Cut Roast house in Calgary, Alta. She also competed on Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada, Season 1 and All-Stars.
• Tiffani Faison – Tiffani is a James Beard-nominated chef who owns Sweet Cheeks, Tiger Mama and Fool’s Errand restaurants in Boston, Mass. She was also a finalist on the first season of Top Chef.
• Nicole Gomes – Nicole is an award-winning chef and winner of Top Chef Canada: All-Stars. She’s also the owner of the highly-acclaimed Cluck N’ Cleaver and Nicole Gourmet Catering in Calgary, Alta.
• Andy Husbands – Andy is an author and legendary pitmaster behind the critically acclaimed restaurant The Smoke Shop in Boston, Mass.
• Eddie Jackson – Eddie is a former NFL star turned Food Network personality, currently the host of Christmas Cookie Challenge. He owns Rosehill Beer Garden and Fit Chef Studio in Houston, Texas.
• Ray Lampe – Known as “Dr. BBQ”, Ray has published nine cookbooks and is a member of the BBQ hall of fame. He is also the pitmaster and owner of Dr. BBQ in St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Dale MacKay – Dale runs his own culinary empire in Saskatoon, Sask., including Ayden Kitchen & Bar and Little Grouse on the Prairie. He’s also the winner of the first season of Top Chef Canada.
• Hugh Mangum – Hugh has 15 restaurants, is a legendary pitmaster and co-founder of Mighty Quinn’s BBQ in New York City, N.Y. He also appeared as a judge on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay.
• Amy Mills – Amy is a James Beard-nominated cookbook author and chef, who hails from the 17th Street Barbeque Empire in Murphysboro, Ill.
• Andrea Nicholson – Andrea competed on the first season of Top Chef Canada and All-Stars. She is also an entrepreneur and chef-owner of the restaurant Butchie’s in Whitby, Ont.
• Devan Rajkumar – Devan is a TV personality and culinary consultant, who is also owner of ChefDev Catering Company in Toronto, Ont.
In every episode of Fire Masters, the chef challengers will sear the competition using top-of-the-line grill stations provided by Napoleon. As the exclusive provider of grills and equipment, the fully-outfitted Fire Masters arena boasts the latest, innovative tools with Napoleon featured in each episode. Additionally, as the competition heats up, the winner of each second round is awarded a Napoleon Travel portable grill. In a unique episode challenge, the chefs are tasked with utilizing The Little Potato Company’s creamer potatoes in the creation of a delicious dish that will win over the judges. Filling up the fridge in each episode is the Certified Angus Beef ® brand as the exclusive beef provider for the series. The Certified Angus Beef ® brand is also featured in an episode integration, challenging the chefs to use different cuts of beef to blaze their way to the top.
On foodnetwork.ca, viewers can learn more about host Dylan Benoit and the judges with rapid fire Q&A videos, and go behind the scenes with a pantry tour in the arena. Focusing on the spring barbecue season, tip videos from the host and judges will be available weekly covering everything from charcoal usage to how to cook the perfect chicken, vegetables and dessert on a grill. Full episodes will be available after broadcast at foodnetwork.ca and On Demand with participating service providers.
Food Network Canada is available on a National Free Preview from March 1 to April 30. Please check local listings for additional details.