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Noah Cappe brings his love of food to the Wall of Chefs kitchen

Meeting Noah Cappe for the first time, his love of food is palpable and infectious (though trust me, I’ve never met a platter of chicken wings I didn’t like). But for his latest Food Network Canada gig, instead of venturing into more carnivals and fairs around North America, Cappe is swapping his shorts and Ts for dapper suits as the new host of Wall of Chefs.

It’s a perfect fit for the actor, whose love and passion for food is strictly “on the eating side,” though he admitted he didn’t get to sample as much here as he did on Carnival Eats. That being said, upon first hearing about the project, Cappe knew it was going to be good—and good for him.

“I think I’m a good conduit between the world of home cooks and celebrity chefs,” said Cappe, who gave a shoutout to the show’s casting and executive teams for recognizing his potential to handle the hefty task. “In a weird way I look at myself as a player for both of those teams so to be that connecting piece, it’s really a beautiful balance and I got to live on both sides of the fence a little bit.”

But Cappe, who is familiar with many of the 33 culinary geniuses up for grabs on the series, acknowledged there were “eye-opening” moments of just how extraordinary the world-class chefs truly are. “No matter how much culinary training, experience, knowledge you have, when you’re there with 12 of the country’s best, you realize, ‘Man, I know nothing.’ They’re at another level. They’re celebrity chefs for a reason.”

Wall of Chefs features four home cooks battling it out in three rounds in front of a dozen iconic chefs, who themselves are no strangers to culinary challenges and high-pressure stakes—be it as judges or competitors.

“There are chefs on this panel that if you’ve never watched a minute of cooking programming in your life, you still know them,” raved Cappe. “There are some of the biggest Canadian names in the culinary world on this show but there’s also this amazing opportunity for a lot of young, fresh, new faces. Each episode, there are 12 chefs but we’ve got 33 that we’re working with so you’re getting different combinations and it brings a little individual life every time.”

As for the competitors, it takes a special kind of person—one with ambition, bravery and confidence—to compete in a kitchen like this in front of these big names.

“Even if it’s only an hour, these home cooks are on a bit of a journey,” said Cappe, who went on to describe the three rounds they have to endure. Up first, the four contestants make their own crowd-pleaser before one is eliminated; during Round 2, they’re challenged to create a dish using staple ingredients from the home fridge of one of the chefs; and in the final head-to-head, the Top 2 create something inspired by a chef’s signature dish. “They’re going from home cooks to having to make a restaurant-worthy dish in those three rounds so hopefully with each round comes a bit more confidence, a bit less nervousness.”

The Great Canadian Cookbook star did concede, however, that the energy on set will throw even the fiercest, most fearless of competitors.

“There’s no way you can ever prepare yourself for the moment when the wall is revealed,” said Cappe. “I don’t care how many times you’ve made a dish, or how many times you’ve stood under lights or in front of a camera when that wall is revealed you’re looking at 12 of the best this country has to offer. You can instantly feel the air, it’s intense.”

That tension is to be expected when it comes to a cooking competition of this calibre but for Cappe, his favourite part of Wall of Chefs is how it showcases Canada’s diversity.

“I literally watched four home cooks over 10 episodes and every single person, the different backgrounds, different backstories, their families, their histories, the food they grew up on, the flavours that they used, it was all super-cool because our chefs are such a diverse panel as well,” gushed Cappe, who added that what will also draw in audiences is seeing these real people in these unreal situations.

“I always wondered as a viewer about these shows, how much of it is editing, is the plating really always happening in the last 30 seconds? It is. That’s the environment, it is that intense, that rushed and chaotic and frenetic and I think people can expect to see people that they can relate to in a situation that they never could have imagined.”

Wall of Chefs premieres Monday, February 3, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada.

Image courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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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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