Top Chef Canada, the #2 program on Food Network Canada last spring and growing significantly year over year*, makes its triumphant return April 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada. The ninth season welcomes 11 fearless professional chefs from across the country, each bringing an unbelievable range of culinary styles, technical skill, and diverse breadth of flavours. This season’s competitors have their sights set on earning the title of Canada’s Top Chef, along with a cash prize of $100,000 provided by Interac Corp. and a luxurious Lexus RX Hybrid Electric SUV.
In the past year, the hospitality industry has faced adversity, forcing businesses to adapt and innovate quicker than ever before. This year’s competitors emerge with strong, fresh perspectives, and this incomparable season confronts and rises above the obstacles. The chefs contend with the pressure of the competition while facing weekly challenges featuring plant-based cuisine, celebrating local and seasonal ingredients, and a new twist on long-standing Top Chef Canada challenge Restaurant Wars, pivoting to Takeout Wars.
This season introduces a roster of new culinary voices with diverse backgrounds, all possessing a shared fiery passion for food. The professional chefs set to compete for the title of Canada’s Top Chef are:
- Galasa Aden, 27 (Calgary, Alta.)
- Andrea Alridge, 30 (Vancouver, B.C.)
- Emily Butcher, 30 (Winnipeg, Man.)
- Aicia Colacci, 40 (Montreal, Que.)
- Siobhan Detkavich, 21 (Kelowna, B.C.)
- Jae-Anthony Dougan, 34 (Ottawa, Ont.)
- Alex Edmonson, 28 (Calgary, Alta.)
- Erica Karbelnik, 30 (Toronto, Ont.)
- Josh Karbelnik, 30 (Toronto, Ont.)
- Stéphane Levac, 41 (Kentville, N.S.)
- Kym Nguyen, 34 (Vancouver, B.C.)
In order to cook another week in the competition, the chefs must impress the revered Top Chef Canada judging panel comprised of chef, cookbook author and host Eden Grinshpan, chef and owner of The McEwan Group, head judge Mark McEwan, and resident judges: powerhouse restaurateur Janet Zuccarini, food writer and personality Mijune Pak and renowned food journalist and critic Chris Nuttall-Smith.
During this season’s high-adrenaline Quickfire and Elimination Challenges, culinary personalities and Canadian icons joining the Top Chef Canada judging panel are: entrepreneur, chef and owner of Impasto, Stefano Faita; media personality and host of STROMBO Radio on Apple Music Hits, George Stroumboulopoulos; chef and owner of Kamuy, Paul Toussaint; Grand Slam Tennis Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, Daniel Nestor; chef, author and social advocate Suzanne Barr; chefs and owners of Pai Northern Thai Kitchen and Kiin, Nuit Regular and Jeff Regular; chef and owner of Feast Café Bistro, Christa Bruneau-Guenther and many more.
This season, a collection of new and returning sponsors join the high-stakes competition. Returning for the fifth consecutive year, the series exclusive payment provider Interac Corp. provides Canada’s Top Chef with the $100,000 grand prize. During on-site challenges, Interac Debit® is used to purchase ingredients throughout the competition. The chefs will also have a chance to take home a $5,000 prize courtesy of Interac during a special restaurant concept challenge Takeout Wars, and an additional surprise later in the season.
Lexus returns as a series and grand prize sponsor for a second time. This year’s winner will be driving in style with the Lexus RX Self-Charging Hybrid Electric SUV with F SPORT Series 3 Package valued at over $73K. The brand is also integrated in-show where the judging panel and chefs experience the elite features of the Lexus RX throughout the season, transporting them to the Elimination Challenges, and loading their ingredients with ease with convenient hands-free features and ample cargo space.
Mill Street Brewery comes back as the exclusive beer partner for Top Chef Canada, stocking the pantry and locker room with their premium certified organic beer including Mill Street Organic Lager and Classic Organic Pilsner. Mill Street Brewery also hosts an Elimination Challenge at Mill Street Brewpub in Toronto, Ont. focusing on locally inspired dishes and ingredients, where $5,000 is up for grabs for the winning chef.
Kid Food Nation rejoins for a Quickfire Challenge as the chefs virtually “meet” food-loving kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. The mini sous-chefs share their favourite dishes, and the chefs must recreate this dish, producing a Top Chef-quality plate. President’s Choice Children’s Charity will award the winning mini-sous-chef $5,000 for their local Boys and Girls Club to incorporate new growing and cooking activities into their Kid Food Nation program.
New to this season is Quaker® as their products are featured in the locker room at the chefs’ breakfast station. In a Quickfire Challenge, the chefs are required to bake, flip or fry a dish to perfection utilizing New Quaker® Oat Flour, made with 100% whole grain Canadian oats. The winner of the challenge will receive a $5,000 cash prize in addition to a prize pack, courtesy of the Quaker® brand.
Wine sponsor Stoneleigh is featured in an integrated challenge. A $3,000 reward is on the line as the chefs must create a dish that pairs with Stoneleigh’s vibrant Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, and a special twist is incorporated to turn up the heat.
Rounding out the roster of sponsors this season is Night Picker. The culinary social media app is host to PANTRY by Night Picker – connecting food lovers to local restaurants and producers, helping diners solve the ‘what’s for dinner’ dilemma while supporting local traders. Free for restaurants, Night Picker is a proud supporter of the industry and sponsor of the Top Chef Canada Culinary Skills Race Challenge, awarding the winner with a $5,000 prize.
Visit foodnetwork.ca for an exclusive look at the upcoming season and companion content including full cast bios. Check back week-to-week for full episodes and bonus content from the top dish of the week to a cooking demo with host and chef Eden Grinshpan, tour of restaurateur and resident judge Janet Zuccarini’s home kitchen, and more!
Top Chef Canada is the homegrown version of the hit Emmy® Award-winning NBCUniversal
*Source: Numeris PPM Data, Total Canada, S8 (Apr 13 – Jun 7/20) vs. S7 (Apr 1 – May 31/19), A25-54, AMA(000), Rank based on: SP20 (Dec 30/19 – May 31/20) 3+ airings, Food Network.