As winter begins to thaw, the competition on Food Network Canada heats up. Viewers can spring forward with a sensational lineup of new premieres highlighting incredible culinary talent and junior chefs across North America. The network remains the ultimate destination for the highest calibre culinary competitions and this spring sees the return of fan-favourite series including Corus Studios’ originals, The Big Bake, Fire Masters and Junior Chef Showdown, which reached over 2.8 million Canadians during their most recent seasons.* Rounding out the schedule is the return of hit series Top Chef, a Top 5 program on Food Network Canada last spring** as well the brand-new series Chef Boot Camp.
On April 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, The Big Bake (7x60min) returns for more larger-than-life baking competition. Hosted by television personality and restaurateur Brad Smith, each episode will give three professional baking teams five hours to design, bake and decorate a grand-scale cake creation based on a particular theme. In the end, the most ambitious, eye-popping and delicious cake will take home the $10,000 prize. The Big Bake sees the addition of renowned pastry chef Ron Ben-Israel joining the panel all season, and pastry chef and best-selling cookbook author Anna Olson as judge for multiple episodes alongside returning resident judges: celebrity chef Eddie Jackson, and author and television personality Harry Eastwood. The first new episode “Bunnies on Cakecation” showcases talented teams from across North America as they create astonishing cakes featuring an Easter vacation theme. Throughout the episodes, the pantry is stocked with high-quality ingredients including flour from Ardent Mills and butter from Gay Lea Foods, for the baking teams to realize their ambitious cake designs.
Corus Studios’ red-hot original grilling competition series Fire Masters (15x60min) returns with sizzling new episodes beginning April 15 at 11 p.m. ET/PT. Professional chef Dylan Benoit returns as host, joined by a rotating panel of expert judges and notable culinary personalities from across North America. Each episode will challenge three chefs to show off their grilling talents and creativity for a chance to go head-to-head with a renowned judge in the third and final round, fighting for a $10,000 cash prize and the title of Fire Masters Champion. Napoleon returns as a sponsor, providing top-of-the-line grilling stations with cutting edge tools for the competitors in each episode. Additionally, the winner of each second round is awarded a Napoleon portable grill. Certified Angus Beef ® brand rejoins as the exclusive beef provider of Fire Masters, stocking the fridge with their premium high-quality beef, promoting their affiliation through a digital and social campaign and sponsoring the premiere episode’s “Crossfire Challenge”. Tourism Vernon comes on board for an integrated “Feast of Fire” challenge, where the chefs l create a “Fruits of the Valley” feast, celebrating the natural beauty and bounty of Vernon, British Columbia using fresh ingredients from the area. The season kicks off with the episode “Nice to Meat You”, where three BBQ bosses hit the grills running in the Wildfire Round. The chefs must then choose between delicious flat iron and porterhouse steaks in the Crossfire Round, and in the Feast of Fire, the judges are hooked by a “Catch of the Day” feast.
Beginning April 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT Junior Chef Showdown Season 2 (8x60min) showcases small cooks with extra-large culinary talent between the ages of nine and 12. Every week, the extraordinary young chefs are mentored and judged on each challenge and dish by three Food Network Canada celebrity chefs: television personality and best-selling cookbook author Anna Olson; chef and owner of Toronto’s The Hearth, and award-winning cookbook author, Lynn Crawford; and chef and owner of New York City’s Flip Sigi and television personality, Jordan Andino. Tackling everything from signature sauces to delectable desserts, they must wow with their technique and creativity, along with their boundless enthusiasm and support for one another. President’s Choice Children’s Charity joins for an in-show integration, featuring a “Skills Test” where the junior chefs are paired together to create healthy, fun and tasty snack plates featuring vegetables, protein and fruit. The winning team will have their recipe and photos featured on Kid Food Nation’s website and President’s Choice Children’s Charity will provide a greenhouse or kitchen upgrade on the winners’ behalf to their schools. Canada’s own Tre Stelle cheese joins this season for a sponsored challenge where the competitors must make a show-stopping dish where cheese is the star. At the end of the competition, one seriously talented young cook will win the title of Junior Chef Showdown champion, and a $25,000 cash prize. For a full list of the competitors, please visit foodnetwork.ca.
The Emmy® and James Beard Award-winning series Top Chef returns for Season 18 (14x60min) on April 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, featuring a new batch of 15 talented executive chefs and restaurant owners, representing a cross section of kitchens and cuisines from across the U.S. to vie for the coveted title of Top Chef. The season has Portland as a picturesque backdrop and culinary inspiration for the chefs to bring their unique skill sets, diversity of cuisines and gamut of flavours to compete in a variety of challenges including celebrating Pan-African cuisine, feeding hundreds of frontline workers and crabbing on the Oregon Coast. Host Padma Lakshmi returns along with head judge Tom Colicchio, and permanent judge Gail Simmons who will critique the chefs’ dishes and ultimately decide who will take home the title and the $125,000 prize.
Brand-new series Chef Boot Camp (6x60min) debuts April 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and takes a deep dive into one of the most critical and essential elements of restaurants everywhere – the chefs running the kitchen. The success of a restaurant starts and ends with the food they serve and trouble in the kitchen can jeopardize everything. Enter Cliff Crooks, who is taking his decades of expertise as culinary director of a global restaurant brand to embark on a new mission to help struggling chefs from restaurants across the country. Nominated by their respective restaurant owners, each episode Cliff puts a trio of underperforming chefs through a grueling series of challenges to test their real-world culinary skills. With their jobs on the line, these chefs attempt to not only survive but thrive in Chef Boot Camp and prove to their owners they have the talent and passion it takes to succeed.
On foodnetwork.ca, viewers can learn more about the series and their cast and competitors, see exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, recipes and watch episodes after they air.