It’s hard to believe that Top Chef Canada, the country’s premiere culinary competition series, will celebrate a decade of seasons in 2022. Nevertheless, we are here to eagerly await one of the biggest and boldest seasons yet as a new batch of exciting chefs usher in Kitchen to show us what tricks they’ve got under their kitchen jacket sleeves.
But we cannot move forward without seeing where we came from. So, as head judge Mark McEwan and host Eden Greenspan get ready to name the series’ 10th winner, we revisit all nine of the show’s past champs. Read on to see what he’s been up to since his time on the show and how he’s contributed to Canada’s culinary scene.
Top Chef Canada Season 9 Winner : Erica Karbelnik
From the moment Erika Karbelnik stepped into the Top Chef Canada kitchen, she was a force to be reckoned with. The Toronto-based executive chef came off hot with her first Quickfire win of the season, and she continued to impress in a series of tough challenges throughout the season.
Of course, it probably helped that one of her fellow contestants was her husband, Josh Karbelnik, chef de cuisine in Toronto. The two supported each other during their season 9 run and as a result, they proved to be one of the best. No one was surprised when the duo made it to the top 4.
Top Chef Canada Season 8 Winner : Francis Blais
After eight seasons on the air, a Montreal chef has finally won the TV culinary competition Top Chef Canada. Winner was revealed as Francis Blais, chef de cuisine at the renowned Ontario e restaurant Le Mousso, known for his fresh Nordic approach to fine dining, along with his creative use of fermented products.
Blaise, who has also worked at Maison Boulud in Montreal, won the $100,000 prize over two other finalists, Prince Edward Island chef Lucy Morrow and Halifax chef Stephanie Ogilvie. While all three chefs won multiple challenges on the show, Blais was a notable powerhouse, impressing the judges with almost everything she put on a plate, and never coming close to being eliminated.
Top Chef Canada Season 7 Winner : Paul Moran
After weeks of winning his heart out on Top Chef Canada, the country’s most prestigious cooking competition, Tofino’s Paul Moran has emerged victorious.
Moran, executive chef of 1909 Kitchen at Tofino Resort + Marina, celebrated the victory surrounded by family and friends at a season finale viewing party at The Hatch Waterfront Pub on May 20. In the final episode of ‘Winner Take All’, the judges called Moran’s dishes “sophisticated, artful and delicious”.
Top Chef Canada Season 6 Winner : Ross Larkin
During his time on Top Chef Canada, Ross introduced the country to the delights of PEI cuisine. After his win, plenty of hungry patrons flocked to Raymonds, his workplace in St. John’s, to sample his fare and take a photo or two. (To be fair, the resto was already famous, and was even visited by the late Anthony Bourdain in his series No Reservations.) However, following his win, Ross also traveled throughout the rest of Canada, PE Cooking participated in the bring-in food program for the people. Last summer Ross and his wife, renowned pastry chef Celeste Mah, took their most important leap yet: opening Portage, a new restaurant in St. John’s.
Top Chef Canada Season 5 Winner : Nicole Gomes
Nicole Gomes is a unique Top Chef Canada winner for several reasons. Not only did the chef become the first female chef to take home the trophy, but it was an all-star season in which she competed against the best of the best. After Nicole first appeared on the show, she opened the famous fried chicken joint Cluck ‘n Cleaver in Calgary with her sister, Francine. She has also been on several cooking series including Beat Bobby Flay, Iron Chef Gauntlet and Fire Masters.
Top Chef Canada Season 4 Winner : Rene Rodriguez
Ottawa chef René Rodriguez won Top Chef Canada, taking home $100,000 in prize money of the season four finale.
Rodriguez, owner of Navarra on Murray Street, was one of three finalists to appear on Monday night’s episode. He defeated fellow Ontarian Terry Salmond of Kitchener and Rich Francis of the Six Nations.
Top Chef Canada Season 3 Winner : Matthew Stowe
Vancouver chef Matthew Stowe beat out fellow finalists Jonathan Goodyear and Danny Smiles at the Season 3 final of Top Chef Canada in Calgary to win the title of Canada’s Top Chef on Monday night. Cactus Club chef Stowe, who impressed the judges with his five-course menu, was greeted by his wife and son at the judges’ table shortly after show host Lisa Ray announced his victory.
Top Chef Canada Season 2 Winner : Carl Heinrich
The secret’s out — Carl Heinrich is Canada’s newly minted Top Chef, and he’s opening a downtown Toronto restaurant this summer. Toronto resident Heinrich, 27, cooked his way to television victory on Top Chef Canada’s Season 2 finale with a four-course meal featuring smoked trout salad and roasted elk loin, which he carved tableside.
Top Chef Canada Season 1 Winner : Dale McKay
The inaugural winner of Top Chef Canada started out as a fry cook, but we all knew he was special when he started showing us what he could do in the kitchen. After his time on the show, McKay returned to Saskatoon, Sask. and founded the Grassroots Restaurant Group with Christopher Cho and Nathan Guggenheimer.