Top Chef Canada is BACK!

Here’s to another exciting season of Top Chef Canada!!

Together with Insight Production Company Ltd., Food Network Canada is   bringing its top rated series back for a second season with bigger, more intense challenges and surprise twists that take 16 new chefs out of their comfort zones and into the country’s fiercest food fight.  The new season of Top Chef Canada will premiere March 12, 2012 at 10pm ET/PT exclusively on Food Network Canada. 

Top Chef Canada will challenge 16 competitors’ culinary skills to see who can cut it as Canada’s Top Chef, taking home the grand prize of $100,000 sponsored by SpongeTowels® paper towels and a GE Monogram kitchen worth $30,000. Hosted by celebrated actress and self-confessed foodie Lisa Ray, the competition is judged by Head Judge, Chef and restaurateur, Mark McEwan, as well as Resident Judge and LA restaurateur, Shereen Arazm.  Season two of Top Chef Canada ups the stakes in this competition, delivering addictive drama that will inspire viewers to cheer on their favourite competitors each week.

The 16 chosen competitors hail from far and wide across Canada with unique culinary backgrounds and expertise. Click on each competitor’s name below to learn more about each chef.

· Joel Aubie, 27, Tofino, BC (Originally Bathurst, NB)

· Trevor Bird, 28, Vancouver, BC (Originally Montreal, QC)

· David Chrystian, 37, Toronto, ON (Originally Toronto, ON)

· Gabriell Cruz, 25, Dundas, ON (Originally Hamilton, ON)

· Ryan Gallagher, 33, Toronto, ON (Originally Toronto, ON)

· Kunal Ghose, 39, Victoria, BC (Originally Victoria, BC)

· Carl Heinrich, 26, Toronto, ON (Originally Sooke, BC)

· Jonathan Korecki, 27, Ottawa, ON (Originally Caledon, ON)

· Xavier Lacaze, 30, Calgary, AB (Originally Auch, France)

· Curtis Luk, 28, Ottawa, ON (Originally Markham, ON)

· Sergio Mattoscio, 30, Montreal, QC (Originally Montreal, QC)

· Elizabeth Rivasplata, 31, Toronto, ON (Originally Lima, Peru)

· Trista Sheen, 29, Toronto, ON (Originally Toronto, ON)

· Jimmy Stewart, 23, Whistler, BC (Originally North Vancouver, BC)

· William Thompson, 30, Caledonia, ON (Originally Caledonia, ON)

· Sarah Tsai, 30, Toronto, ON (Originally Taipei, Taiwan)

A taste of some of the esteemed guest judges this season includes: Chef Marcus Samuelson (Top Chef Masters winner), Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes, Canada’s Handyman Challenge); Toronto Maple Leaf forward Colby Armstrong; actor Alan Thicke; Spencer “Spenny” Rice (Kenny vs. Spenny); and country music star Johnny Reid.  “When a series comes out of the gate an instant hit and top performer, as Top Chef Canada has done, the heat is on for the next season to really step it up,” says Barb Williams, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media.  “Working once again with our production partner Insight Productions, we’ve brought in stars from the worlds of sports, entertainment and music to be guest judges and make this season more exciting than ever before.”

To keep tabs on what Canadians are saying about Top Chef Canada, check out the official Top Chef Canada page on Facebook at follow @TopChefCanada on Twitter.