Top Chef Canada: Who Are Season 3's Contestants And Where Do They Work?

With the third season of 'Top Chef Canada' scheduled to premiere on March 18, it's time to take a look at this year's fresh meat — uh, we mean contestants —a little closer.

The roster of cooking fanatics this year is duly impressive, including competitors holding National Chef Awards and several competition titles. There's also a range of forward-thinking newbies alongside more traditional chefs with years of culinary experience. And while some of the more specialized chefs — like the ones who work solely with cheese or Asian cuisine — might encounter a hurdle or two, they will at the very least make for entertaining TV when presented with bigger tasks.

Though the show will feature a range of ages and cooking styles, once again, the majority of chefs come from Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, with just one competitor from the East Coast and absolutely no one from northern Canadian areas — which was also the trend for the contestants on season two.

And just like last year, contestants hail from workplaces that topped lists of Canada's best restaurants. Sous chef Frederick Boucher, for example, works at Pastaga, a Montreal restaurant that made EnRoute Magazine's top new spots for 2012.

And while few details have been released about season three thus far (other than welcoming back host Lisa Ray and resident judges Mark McEwan and Shereen Arazm), the foodies among us can't help but hope for a reappearance of 'Top Chef' staple Gail Simmons, whose Canadian roots and love for Montreal cuisine has been well-documented this year. Seems like the perfect excuse to go on a show-wide field trip to 'La belle ville,' don't you agree?

And just so you know who to root for right from the start, we've done a little research on each contestant, the restaurants they work for and where their strengths lie:

Ruth Eddolls:

GIG: Head chef, Pusateri's

HOMETOWN: Toronto, Ont

Pusateri's is one of Toronto's best-known gourmet grocery stores, and was actually the first of its kind to offer in-store sushi and olive bars in Canada. After working for chef Lynn Crawford in the hotel business, Eddolls stepped out to the retail and catering sector, along with a 'Chef of the Year' title under her belt. Yeah, she seems ready to compete.

Rory White:

GIG: Chef de partie, George

HOMETOWN: Mississauga, Ont

Executive chef Lorenzo Loseto of George in Toronto has placed a precedence on seasonal, natural and sustainable food. White, this season's youngest contestant, started cooking at the age of 14 and has an eye for butchery and charcuterie.

Rebecca Ross:

GIG: Former sous chef, Malena

HOMETOWN: Medicine Hat, Alta

Another young contender, Ross was introduced to the world of pots and pans at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. After moving to Toronto and taking on a sous chef role at now-closed Malena, Ross says she plans to focus on 'the feeling' behind cooking delicious food.

Nicole Gomes:

GIG: Chef/Proprietor, Nicole Gourmet Catering

HOMETOWN: Calgary, Alta

Specializing in private catering, buffets and cocktail parties, Gomes also has another love in her life: travelling. After visiting Asia, Europe and Australia, Gomes plans on using her worldly culinary knowledge and combining it with her talent at creating customized meals.

Matthew Stowe:

GIG: Chef, Cactus Club Restaurants

HOMETOWN: Cloverdale, B.C.

Known for its Vancouver roots, the Cactus Club is home to some of the most modern styles of cooking, along with customized drinks and ocean-friendly menus. Stowe, who started cooking at the age of 15, plans on putting his focus on Canadian cuisine.

Jonathan Goodyear:

GIG: Executive Chef, The Royal Canadian Yacht Club

HOMETOWN: Toronto, Ont

As exclusive as it sounds, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) in Toronto has much to offer. Known as a sailing club, the RCYC also has a full restaurant, gym and catering services that specialize in hors d'oeuvres, customized menus and desserts. Goodyear's impressive resume, as well as his love and passion for cooking, definitely make him one to look out for.

Geoff Rogers:

GIG: Executive Chef, Home Tasting Room

HOMETOWN: Calgary, Alta

The Home Tasting Room centres around wine tastings and serving up sharing plates of cheeses, tartares and sliders. This season, Rogers brings experience in animal butchery, curing, cheese making and preserving.

Frederick Boucher:

GIG: Sous Chef, Pastaga & Vins Natures

HOMETOWN: Price, Que

Named one of Canada's best new restaurants by enRoute Magazine, Pastaga specializes in cheese and desserts. Boucher's motto? Never let anything go to waste.

Chris Chafe:

GIG: Executive chef, Magnum & Steins

HOMETOWN: St. John’s, NL

Magnum & Steins serves up dishes of jambalayas, fish and savoury appetizers. Another young contestant, Chafe already has over eight years of experience in the restaurant industry, and like any other young millennial, Chafe picks up tricks off the internet, TV and by reading recipe books.

Dennis Tay:

GIG: Sous chef, Keriwa Cafe

HOMETOWN: Windsor, Ont

With several awards and recognitions under their belt, the Keriwa Cafe in Toronto specializes in Aboriginal and seasonal cooking. Tay says he's all about taking our favourite foods and finding out new ways to eat them.

Danny 'Smiles' Francis:

GIG: Chef De Cuisine, Le Bremner

HOMETOWN: Montreal, Que

Le Bremner, located in Montreal, offers a wide and creative variety of seafood and dessert — lobster pie anyone? Strange fact: Francis got his gig in the culinary world after the chef at his parents' hotel lost his thumb.

Daniel Hudson:

GIG: Cheese-maker, Hilary's Cheese

HOMETOWN: Duncan, B.C.

Hilary's Cheese, located on Vancouver Island, specializes in custom goat and cow milk cheeses. Hudson is a perfectionist who has gained all his training from on-the-job-experience and learning from others.

Clement Chan:

GIG: Chef/owner, Le Tigre Cuisine

HOMETOWN: Vancouver, B.C.

Le Tigre Cuisine is a custom Asian cuisine food truck, serving up dishes in Vancity. With several provincial cooking championships and a National 2010 Canadian Chef of the Year award, it's fair to say Chan's niche cooking style isn't going to stop him from taking on a challenge.

Chris Shaften:

GIG: Chef de cuisine, The Ranche

HOMETOWN: Calgary, Alta

A family-owned business that also offers a resort in the Rockies, The Ranche serves free-range, hormone and antibiotic-free elk and bison and a chance for guests to connect with nature. Shaften's creations are influenced by his love for the environment and travel.

Kayla Dhaliwall:

NAME: Kayla Dhaliwall, 27

GIG: Executive chef, Tapenade Bistro

HOMETOWN: Victoria, B.C.

Tapenade Bistro, located in Steveston, B.C., serves Island mussels, duck confit, and pork dishes. The restaurant, known to locals as an urban bistro in a well-known fishing village, also serves up a list of selected wines. Using her background in Indian cooking, Dhaliwall says she's all about adding a new twist to the foods we already love.

Caitlin Hall:

GIG: Ched de cuisine, Pied-à-Terre

HOMETOWN: Vancouver, B.C.

Sitting in a Vancouver neighbourhood, Pied-à-Terre offers guests three-course meals and dinners for two with duck, salads and ribs. Another young one in the bunch, Hall says her passion is French cuisine and keeping her dishes simple.