Considering the success that Top Chef Canada contestants from B.C. have had in the past, it’s no surprise that nearly half the competitors on this year’s Food Network Canada reality show hail from the province. Of the 14 chefs selected to be a part of Top Chef Canada season 4, six were born in B.C., and four still reside here.
Vancouver’s Dawn Doucette, a menu development chef for Earls Restaurants, may be one competitor to watch. The 41-year-old mother of two has spent nearly 20 years in the food and beverage industry, including owning her own restaurant and catering company. Also from Vancouver is Mike Robbins, the executive chef at Kitsilano’s Oakwood Canadian Bistro. The 29-year-old self-trained chef started cooking when he was 16 and has worked at a number of kitchens across the Lower Mainland, including five years with Glowbal Collection restaurants.
Shelley Robinson, a 49-year-old culinary arts instructor at Vancouver Community College, may pose a significant threat to other contestants. The private chef, cookbook author, and Slow Food advocate recently won an episode of Food Network Canada’s Chopped Canada. Elsewhere in B.C., Evelynn Takoff from Kelowna is the chef de cuisine at micro bar*bites in the Okanagan. The 28-year-old self-trained chef is a fan of farm-to-table cooking.
Other competitors on Top Chef Canada season 4 include North Vancouver-born and Calgary-based chef Pierre Lamielle, Toronto’s Vittorio Colacitti, Nova Scotia’s Lauren Marshall, Quebec’s Karine Moulin, Ottawa’s Rene Rodriguez, Ontario chef Terry Salmond, New Brunswick’s Jesse Vergen, Northwest Territories chef Rich Francis, Naniamo-born and Newfoundland-based chef Ruth Wigman, and Venezuela-born and Calgary-based contestant Gabriela Neda.
Top Chef Canada season 4 premieres on Food Network Canada on March 10 at 10 p.m.