Top Chef Canada's fourth season starts March 10, 2014, on the Food Network, and the contestants are already drawing their knives.
With the names of the 14 chefs who will be competing released, the selection reveals a cross-Canada mix that shows skills ranging from hunting to illustrating to natural nutrition. For the first time, the show also has a chef from the Northwest Territories, as well as a perfectly equal number of female and male chefs. Which show producers are apparently using as a theme:
As Top Chef Canada head judge Mark McEwan (who returns alongside resident judge Shereen Arazm and host Lisa Ray) tweeted:
— Mark McEwan (@Chef_MarkMcEwan) February 3, 2014
While the female contestants each note their gender and how hard they've fought to succeed in this industry in their audition videos, most viewers familiar with food reality TV will probably shrug their shoulders at this distinction. After all, the last winner of Top Chef in the U.S. was Kristen Kish, and it's a 50/50 possibility that this season (set to end this week) will also have a female winner.
But regardless of gender, the Canadian competitors seem to know the game well this time around, and are coming out swinging. Check out the contestants for season four of Top Chef Canada here:
NAME: Dawn Doucette, 41 GIG: Product Development Chef at Earls Restaurants HOMETOWN and OFFICE: Vancouver, BC This was Doucette's third time auditioning for the show.
NAME: Lauren Marshall, 27 GIG: Natural nutrition student and chef de cuisine at EnVie HOMETOWN: Mount Uniacke, NS OFFICE: Halifax
NAME: Karine Moulin, 36 GIG: Pastry chef at Hotel Arts HOMETOWN: All over OFFICE: Calgary
NAME: Gabriela Neda, 25 GIG: Junior sous chef and wine steward chef at the Calgary Petroleum Club HOMETOWN: Caracas, Venezuela OFFICE: Calgary
NAME: Shelley Robinson, 49 GIG: Former executive chef for Delta Sun Peaks HOMETOWN and OFFICE: Kamloops, BC Fun fact: Robinson won on her episode of Chopped Canada.
NAME: Evelynn Takoff, 28 GIG: Chef de cuisine at Micro; formerly a chef at RauDZ Regional Table HOMETOWN and OFFICE: Kelowna, BC
NAME: Ruth Wigman, 31 GIG: Sous chef at Bistro Sofia HOMETOWN: Burnaby, BC OFFICE: St. John's, NL
NAME: Vittorio Colacitti GIG: Chef at Loblaw Companies HOMETOWN and OFFICE: Toronto
NAME: Rich Francis GIG: Chef and owner of Aboriginal Culinary Concepts HOMETOWN: Fort McPherson, NT OFFICE: Six Nations, ON
NAME: Pierre Lamielle GIG: Chef instructor at The Cookbook Co. HOMETOWN: North Vancouver, BC OFFICE: Calgary
NAME: Mike Robbins, 28 GIG: Chef at The Oakwood Canadian Bistro HOMETOWN and OFFICE: Vancouver
NAME: René Rodriguez, 41 GIG: Chef and owner at Navarra HOMETOWN and OFFICE: Ottawa
NAME: Terry Salmond, 30 GIG: Executive chef at Walper Hotel HOMETOWN: Scarborough, ON OFFICE: Kitchener-Waterloo, ON
NAME: Jesse Vergen, 35 GIG: Executive chef at Saint John Ale House, chef/owner of Smoking Pig Real BBQ and partner with Harmony Growers Vegetables HOMETOWN: Saint John, NB OFFICE: Quispamsis, NB
NAME: Dawn Doucette, 41
GIG: Product Development Chef at Earls Restaurants
HOMETOWN and OFFICE: Vancouver, BC
This was Doucette's third time auditioning for the show.
NAME: Vittorio Colacitti
GIG: Chef at Loblaw Companies
HOMETOWN and OFFICE: Toronto
NAME: Mike Robbins, 28
GIG: Chef at The Oakwood Canadian Bistro
HOMETOWN and OFFICE: Vancouver