Tag Archives: Food Network Canada

Food Network Canada announces Wall of Chefs

From a media release:

A wall of 12 world-class chefs, four home cooks, three culinary challenges and one grand prize at stake: Wall of Chefs (10×60) puts amateur cooks to the ultimate test. In each exhilarating stand-alone episode of Corus Studios’ Wall of Chefs, host and vibrant television personality Noah Cappe (Carnival Eats) guides four home cooks through intense rounds of culinary competition. Each challenge will test the skills and nerves of the cooks as they battle in a state-of-the-art kitchen under the towering shadow and watchful eye of “The Wall” – comprised of a revolving panel of Canada’s most notable chefs. The competitors battle it out until the final round where the wall of culinary icons ultimately declares the winner, awarding the $10,000 prize. The groundbreaking new Canadian original series makes its debut February 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada.

Wall of Chefs features an unmatched, star-studded slate of 33 Canadian culinary icons and trailblazers on rotation throughout the 10-episode run of the season. The chefs span from Vancouver, B.C. to St. John’s, N.L., representing diverse cultures and cuisines, while bringing different perspectives and opinions to the forum.

The Wall of Chefs cast of culinary icons include:

  • Hugh Acheson – Atlanta, Ga. (5&10, The National, Empire State South, Spiller Park Coffee)
  • Suzanne Barr – Toronto, Ont. (True True Diner)
  • Victor Barry – Toronto, Ont. (Piano Piano Restaurant, Café Cancan)
  • Christa Bruneau-Guenther – Winnipeg, Man. (Feast Café Bistro)
  • Massimo Capra – Toronto, Ont.  (Capra’s Kitchen, Massimo’s Italian, Boccone, Soprafino)
  • Shane Chartrand – Edmonton, Alta. (SC)
  • Alex Chen – Vancouver, B.C. (Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar)
  • Christine Cushing – Toronto, Ont.
  • Lynn Crawford – Toronto, Ont. (Ruby Watchco, The Hearth)
  • Meeru Dhalwala – Vancouver, B.C. (Vij’s)
  • Fisun Ercan – Montreal, Que. (Su)
  • Rob Feenie – Vancouver, B.C. (Cactus Club Cafe)
  • Michele Forgione – Montreal, Que. (Impasto, Pizzeria Gema, Chez Tousignant, Vesta)
  • Marysol Foucault – Gatineau, Que. (Edgar)
  • Rob Gentile – Toronto, Ont. (Bar Buca, Buca Osteria & Bar, Buca Osteria & Enoteca)
  • Mandel Hitzer – Winnipeg, Man. (deer + almond)
  • Nick Hodge – Montreal, Que. (Icehouse)
  • Renée Lavallée – Dartmouth, N.S. (The Canteen and Little C)
  • Jinhee Lee – Calgary, Alta. (Foreign Concept)
  • Susur Lee  – Toronto, Ont. (Lee, Kid Lee, Lee Kitchen, Tunglok Heen)
  • Nick Liu – Toronto, ON (Dailo, Little Dailo)
  • Dale Mackay – Saskatoon, Sask. (Ayden Kitchen & Bar, Sticks and Stones, Little Grouse, Avenue)
  • Darren MacLean – Calgary, Alta. (Shokunin)
  • Mark McEwan – Toronto, Ont. (Bymark, One, Fabbrica, Diwan)
  • Corinna Mozo – Toronto, Ont. (La Cubana)
  • Todd Perrin – St. John’s, N.L. (Mallard Cottage, Waterwest Kitchen and Meats)
  • Christie Peters – Saskatoon, Sask. (The Hollows, Primal)
  • Guy Rawlings – Toronto, Ont. (Montgomery’s)
  • Nuit Regular – Toronto, Ont. (PAI Northern Thai Kitchen, Sabai Sabai, Sukho Thai, Kiin)
  • Danny Smiles – Montreal, Que. – (Le Bremner)
  • Alida Solomon – Toronto, Ont. (Tutti Matti)
  • Jesse Vergen – Saint John, N.B. (Saint John Ale House, Toro Taco, Barred Rock, Smoking Pig, McGill’s)
  • Joël Watanabe – Vancouver, B.C. (Bao Bei, Kissa Tanto)

In every episode, four amateur cooks face off in culinary challenges judged by 12 of Canada’s most renowned chefs, known as “The Wall”. The first round is the “Crowd-Pleaser” where four home cooks are tasked with making their signature crowd-pleasing dish to impress the chef judges. One home cook is eliminated, and the three remaining home cooks move forward to compete in the “Chef’s Fridge” challenge where they must use staple ingredients of the selected chef’s fridge in their dish. In the third round, the final two home cooks face off in the “Restaurant-Worthy” challenge, where they are tasked to make a dish based on one of the chef judge’s most popular and well-known culinary creations. In the end, only one cook will be left standing, claiming $10,000 and the respect of the wall of chefs. The home cooks from across the country taking on the ultimate challenge in the Wall of Chefs kitchen will be announced at a later date.

Foodnetwork.ca offers exclusive Wall of Chefs content, including a closer look at the stellar cast of chef judges from across the country. Viewers can look forward to food trend videos, special interviews, a glimpse into the fridges of the expert celebrity chefs and much more. In addition, full episodes will be available online the day after broadcast.

Wall of Chefs is produced by Insight Productions in association with Corus Studios for Food Network Canada. Executive Producers are John Brunton, Mark Lysakowski and Eric Abboud and Series Producer is Erica Lenczner.

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TV Eh B Cs Podcast 90 — Baking something sweet with Jean Parker and Rachel Smith

Jean and Rachel started from humble beginnings; their single mother baked butter tarts out of their mobile home in Bayside as a way to earn money for the family.

It wasn’t until Jean and Rachel became mothers themselves that the pair cofounded Maple Key Tart Co., a boutique butter tart company operating in Toronto and Prince Edward County. They began with their mom’s recipe and infused it with their own flavour and style to come up with Maple Key Tart Co.’s signature butter tart.

In just two short years they have grown their business into a sweet success!

You can find Maple Key Tart Co.’s butter tarts in over 20 select locations across Southern Ontario. They are permanent vendors at the bustling Wellington Farmers Market in PEC, The Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market in Toronto, and the highly curated Upmarket in Yorkville Village. This holiday the girls are excited to be partnering with Holt Renfrew.

When not baking butter tarts, you can catch this sister duo as the hosts of Food Network Canada’s The Baker Sisters, now airing on Global TV. This delectable travel series follows Jean and Rachel as they visit bakeries across North America and discover how their delicious desserts are made.

The pair have also appeared on The Marilyn Denis Show as baking experts and are launching their own YouTube channel in the new year. They are seasoned judges at the Midland Butter Tart Festival as well as other sweet show-downs across the province.

Visit Maple Key Tart Co. and Food Network Canada for more information on their company and show!

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John Catucci returns to Food Network Canada with Big Food Bucket List

In June 2017, Food Network Canada made it official: they had cancelled You Gotta Eat Here! after five seasons. I, like many, was upset. It seemed like the series, with host John Catucci, could go on much, much longer.

But all is forgiven. This is 2019, and Catucci is back on Food Network Canada with a new series. Big Food Bucket List, from the same production company as YGEH, finds Catucci gamely travelling around sampling food and interacting with the folks who make and taste them. What sets Big Food Bucket List—bowing Friday with back-to-back episodes at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT—apart from his previous project? We asked Catucci.

Before we talk about Big Food Bucket List, let’s go back. I just want to get your reaction to You Gotta Eat Here’s cancellation.
John Catucci: You know what? It was mixed feelings. It was hard because I loved shooting the show, and I had an amazing crew, and the production company was fantastic. It was just nice to grow with everybody. So, that was definitely hard. There was part of me that was like, ‘OK, I could do with a little break. I could do with being home for a while.’ It had been five years of being on the road pretty steady. So, it was kind of like mixed emotions. I mean, definitely sad. I don’t think it hit me until a good maybe month after.

Big Food Bucket List is on Food Network. It’s starring you. It’s from Lone Eagle Entertainment. You’re eating food. What’s setting this apart from You Gotta Eat Here?
JC: The main thing is the style of restaurant that we’re hitting. On You Gotta Heat Here, we were doing a lot of diner stuff and Mom and Pop shops. We’re still doing the Mom and Pop stuff. That exists. But the restaurants are elevated a little bit. On You Gotta Eat Here, we never talked about the idea of having a farm-to-table kind of place. It’s just like, ‘No, no, no, we’re going to do burgers.’ We’re really celebrating that food, or celebrating a lot of farm-to-table restaurants, and celebrating restaurants that are doing really unique and interesting dishes. If the restaurant makes a sandwich that is completely out of this world, that’s the thing we’re going to go for. Is that dish something you want to knock off your bucket list.

We’re also travelling all across North America, so it opens up a different market for the show and for myself. It was pretty cool, man. It was pretty exciting. I forgot what it was like to start a new show because it happened such a long time ago. It was a lot of, ‘OK, what’s the show going to be? Do we like this? Do we not like this? We definitely don’t like this.’

The first two episodes are back-to-back, where you’re in Chicago and then Toronto. What are some of the cities that you go to?
JC: We’re going back to Vancouver and Calgary and Halifax. We’re bouncing all over the States, too. We’re going to Philadelphia, New Orleans, Austin, and we got to go to Lafayette. I went to Houston for the first time, St. Louis, San Diego. We got to go to San Diego and L.A., so that was pretty wild. San Diego was just like shooting right down the street from the ocean here. We’re like, ‘OK, we’re on a five-minute break, we’re just walking down to the ocean right now.’

Big Food Bucket List airs Fridays at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada.

Image courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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John Catucci shares his Big Food Bucket List beginning May 24 on Food Network Canada

From a media release:

This spring, Food Network Canada takes viewers on a one-of-a-kind food adventure across North America in the new Canadian original series from Corus Studios, Big Food Bucket List (14x30min). Fan-favourite host and comedian John Catucci (You Gotta Eat Here!) takes viewers along as he checks the most buzz-worthy, crazy, delicious food and must-see culinary stops off his bucket list. Big Food Bucket List premieres Friday, May 24 at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada.

Viewers know John Catucci from his five seasons as host of the Food Network Canada hit series, You Gotta Eat Here!. Now he’s back for another helping of over-the-top, delicious food, but this time around, he’s on mission to find highly-recommended favourites to check off his Big Food Bucket List. Each episode, John visits three restaurants across North America and tries their must-eat meals. Then he hits the kitchen to lend a hand and learn how the chefs make their mind-blowing creations.

In the premiere back-to-back episodes, “Rolling in the Deep Dish” and “More Than Meats the Eye”, airing May 24 at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, John dives into the original deep dish pizza in Chicago, Ill. and learns how to make a mile-high pizza pie. In Toronto, Ont., he’s off to feast on a burger with a sweet pineapple bun and jerk lobster fit for a king at a spectacular Jamaican-Chinese joint. Then John visits Louisville, Ky. to try out some truly authentic Kentucky fried chicken at a world-famous historic location before heading to Boston, Mass. to dig into the ultimate surf and turf burger topped with a juicy lobster tail, as well as mind-blowing fried lobster and waffles.

This season, John will try drool-worthy dishes that include an Instagram-famous, ooey-gooey spaghetti grilled cheese from Irvine, Calif., seared scallops straight from the sea in Halifax, N.S., hand-rolled pasta perfection in Vancouver, B.C., and authentic New Orleans, La. fried chicken said to be Beyoncé’s favourite. John also satisfies his sweet tooth with treats like authentic New Orleans Bananas Foster, sinfully delicious hazelnut chocolate French toast from Calgary, Atla., and fluffy blueberry pancakes from a Nova Scotian sugar shack. Along the way, John also takes part in some unforgettable food adventures including a decadent medieval feast where no forks are allowed, learning the tricks of the trade at an apple orchard, getting smoked meat lessons from a pit master, and venturing to an authentic Canadian sugar shack.

Tourism Nova Scotia joins as a sponsor for three episodes, providing John with restaurant recommendations for bucket list-worthy dishes that highlight the province’s rich culture and fresh and local way of life.

Big Food Bucket List is produced by Lone Eagle Entertainment in association with Corus Studios for Food Network Canada.

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Preview: Fire Masters grills up tasty vittles on the road to $10,000

I like to fancy myself a bit of an expert on grilling. Thanks to Ted Reader, I’ve mastered cedar plank salmon, grilled vegetables and to-die-for burgers. But I simply don’t have the skill needed to compete in Food Network Canada’s latest culinary competition.

Fire Masters—bowing Thursday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the specialty network—pits three chefs against one another in a sweaty, hot and smoky test to see who can tame the fire and walk away with $10,000.

At the helm of this spark-filled challenge is professional chef, writer, restaurateur, world traveller and—currently running a private chef service and consulting company in the Cayman Islands—Barrie, Ont., native Dylan Benoit. The bearded, pony-tailed chef introduces the three chefs ready to do battle in three rounds and, as done on Chopped, one is eliminated until a sole chef is left standing. Unlike Chopped, however, the final competitor goes head-to-head with one of the episode’s judges. In the case of Thursday’s debut, that means Connie DeSousa, Ray Lampe or Hugh Mangum.

The first challenge tasks the trio with creating a dish that reflects who they are. This is a tactic used to great effect on Top Chef Canada because it not only shows off a chef’s skills but their influences as well. With just 30 minutes on the clock, Fire Masters becomes an orgy of flashing stainless steel, glowing embers and egos. After a visit and taste by the judges, one chef is cut from the competition.

In the second challenge, the remaining two are asked to prepare fish, with the Round 1 winner getting an advantage. If this all sounds a little of Top Chef Canada, I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, I zipped to the end of the screener to see if it was made by the same production company. It’s from Architect Films (Home to Win, Great Canadian Cottages), but Fire Masters sure has a lot of Top Chef Canada‘s DNA. And, since it’s a proven formula, why not go for it?

The departure of that formula is, of course, having the Round 2 winner face off against one of the judges. And, in Thursday’s first episode, the battle is fun as heck to watch. I won’t give away the results, but you like cooking over flames and the competition of Top Chef Canada, you’re going to like these budding Fire Masters.

Fire Masters airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada.

Image courtesy of Food Network Canada.

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