All about the competition, the challenges, and the winner!
The Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada made its Season 9 debut on April 19 featuring 11 professional chefs from all across the country. The grand prize? The title of Canada’s Top Chef and $100,000 courtesy of Interac Corp. plus a luxurious Lexus RX Hybrid Electric SUV. Each of this season’s incredibly talented chefs brought with them a wealth of experience and culinary skillsets to tackle the competition.
Below, you can find the talented roster of competitors from this past Season 9 of Top Chef Canada:
- Galasa Aden, 27 (Calgary, Alta.)
- Andrea Alridge, 30 (Vancouver, B.C.)
- Emily Butcher, 30 (Winnipeg, Man.)
- Aicia Colacci, 40 (Montreal, Que.)
- Siobhan Detkavich, 21 (Kelowna, B.C.)
- Jae-Anthony Dougan, 34 (Ottawa, Ont.)
- Alex Edmonson, 28 (Calgary, Alta.)
- Erica Karbelnik, 30 (Toronto, Ont.) – Winner
- Josh Karbelnik, 30 (Toronto, Ont.)
- Stéphane Levac, 41 (Kentville, N.S.)
- Kym Nguyen, 34 (Vancouver, B.C.)
In addition to the weekly assignments, this season also featured some exciting new Quickfire Challenges, such as when the chefs had to incorporate new products, including New Quaker® Oat Flour, into their dishes. This was an inspiring season, as the chefs of Season 9 used their drive and determination to bring unique direction to the competition and their food.
The chefs were tasked with showing off their culinary creations to the esteemed judging panel, which consisted of chef, cookbook author, and host Eden Grinshpan, chef and owner of The McEwan Group, head judge Mark McEwan, and resident judges: restaurateur Janet Zuccarini, food writer and personality Mijune Pak and food journalist and critic Chris Nuttall-Smith.
In order to bring some fresh perspectives to the table, top Canadian icons and culinary personalities also joined forces with the Top Chef Canada judging panel – throughout the season’s Quickfire and Elimination Challenges – to help participate in the weekly considerations. They included; entrepreneur, chef, and owner of Impasto, Stefano Faita; media personality and host of STROMBO Radio on Apple Music Hits, George Stroumboulopoulos; chef and owner of Kamuy, Paul Toussaint; Grand Slam Tennis Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, Daniel Nestor; chef, author and social advocate Suzanne Barr; chefs and owners of Pai Northern Thai Kitchen and Kiin, Nuit Regular and Jeff Regular; chef and owner of Feast Café Bistro, Christa Bruneau-Guenther and more!
HOLR also had the opportunity to sit down with the winner of Top Chef Canada’s Season 9, Erica Karbelnik, to learn a little bit about her experience on the show as well as her passion for cooking. Check out her answers below.
What was your experience like on Top Chef Canada?
Top Chef Canada was possibly one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was an amazing experience. One that has made me take a step back, re-evaluate, and has helped me grow as a person and as a chef. I met some amazing, talented chefs and got to see very different cooking styles. It was exciting, fun, and scary. Emotions all over the place. It was definitely an adventure.
How did your upbringing influence your cooking style?
I come from divorced parents. One side is Polish Israeli and one side is Moroccan Israeli, going to both homes was always a different food experience. I fell in love with both cuisines and wanted to one day take those dishes my family had taught me and make them my own.
Where do you draw inspiration from when you’re cooking or designing a recipe?
Honestly, I cook what I like to eat, or what I’m craving that day.
Make sure to check out foodnetwork.ca to learn more about the show and for an exclusive look at the next season.