Top Chef Masters, the nail-biting competition featuring some of North America’s master chefs is back and this season includes celebrated Canadian chef and much loved Food Network host, Lynn Crawford (Pitchin’ In, Chef-Owner of Ruby Watchco). Alongside her sous chef Lora Kirk (Ruby Watchco), Chef Lynn is competing against 12 fellow award-winning chefs and their sous chefs for the title of ‘Top Chef Master’ and $100,000 for the charity of their choice. The new season of Top Chef Masters premieres Wednesday, July 24th at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network Canada.
“It’s an honour to be representing Canada in this fierce competition among such an esteemed group of chefs,” says Lynn Crawford. “I’m thrilled to have Chef Lora Kirk as my talented sous chef along for the journey and together we’re giving it our all in support of the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.”
In a new twist this season, each sous chef competes in the online competition, Battle of the Sous Chefs, hosted by Canadian celebrity chef Hugh Acheson. The results of each online episode directly impacts the Masters competition on-air, awarding them advantages, such as immunity, and sometimes, disadvantages, depending on their sous chef’s performance. Every episode of Battle of the Sous Chefs leads up to the next on-air episode of Top Chef Masters and explores the uniquely interdependent relationship between a Master chef and his or her sous chef. As a sneak peek of the exciting drama that will unfold, the first episode of Battle of the Sous Chefs will be available on foodnetwork.ca beginning Thursday, June 20.
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone is back as series host alongside new head critic, Canadian Gail Simmons, with returning judges James Oseland, Ruth Reichl and Francis Lam and new judge, food and dining editor Lesley Suter. The chefs face off in some of the most difficult and unique challenges seen thus far – and they’re serving up food for some top entertainers and celebrity guest judges including: Mindy Kaling, Busy Philipps, Kathie Lee Gifford, Lindsay Price, the cast of Days Of Our Lives, Ali Larter, the cast of Yo Gabba Gabba, and LA cult favourites Lucha Va Voom among others.
Competing alongside Chef Lynn Crawford this season are:
- Franklin Becker, Executive Chef: The Little Beet, New York, NY; Competing for Autism Speaks – Sous Chef: Vinson Petrillo
- David Burke, Executive Chef & Owner, David Burke Townhouse, Burke in the Box, David Burke Fishtail, David Burke Fromagerie, David Burke Prime, David Burke’s Primehouse and David Burke’s Kitchen, New York, NY; Competing for Table to Table – Sous Chef: Chris Shea
- Odette Fada, Executive Chef, San Domenico, New York, NY; Competing for Doctors Without Borders – Sous Chef: Benedetto Bartolotta
- Neal Fraser, Owner, BLD, Fritzi Dog, The Strand House, Neal Fraser & Co. at Vibiana, Redbird at Vibiana, Los Angeles, CA; Competing for Alex’s Lemonade Stand – Sous Chef: Jason Bowlin
- Jennifer Jasinski, Executive Chef and Owner, Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen, Denver, CO; Competing for Work Options for Women – Sous Chef: Jorel Pierce
- Douglas Keane, Former Chef of the 2 Michelin Starred Cyrus, Sonoma County, CA; Competing for Green Dog Rescue – Sous Chef: Drew Gassell
- Jenn Louis, Executive Chef and Co-Owner: Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern, Portland, OR; Competing for City of Hope – Sous Chef: Cory Chunn
- Richard Sandoval, Chef-Owner Richard Sandoval Restaurants, Los Angeles, CA; Competing for C-Cap – Careers Through Culinary Arts Program – Sous Chef: Greg Howe
- Bryan Voltaggio, Executive Chef | Owner, VOLT, Lunchbox, Family Meal and RANGE, Frederick, MD; Competing for Share Our Strength –Sous Chef: Graeme Ritchie
- Herbert Wilson, Executive Chef: Sushi Samba, Las Vegas, NV; Competing for American Heart Association – Sous Chef: Robert Silva
- Sang Yoon, Executive chef and owner: Father’s Office and Lukshon Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA; Competing for Worldwide Orphans Foundation – Sous Chef: Ted Hopson
- Sue Zemanick, Executive Chef: Gautreau’s, New Orleans, NO; Competing for Gulf Restoration Network – Sous Chef: Nick Lama
Chef Lynn Crawford has more than 25 years of culinary experience, was the Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto and New York City and is currently the Chef-Owner of Ruby Watchco and Ruby Eats in Toronto. In 2007, she became the first Canadian woman ever to compete on Iron Chef America and, since 2010, has starred in her two-time Gemini nominated Food Network Canada hit show Pitchin’ In. The show inspired Chef Lynn’s first and best-selling cookbook (2012) Pitchin’ In: More Than 100 Great Recipes From Simple Ingredients. Her second cookbook, At Home with Lynn Crawford, will be released in September 2013. She is invested in raising awareness and fundraising for Kidney Cancer Research at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital.
Chef Lora Kirk gained her culinary strength and knowledge by working with renowned Chefs Gordon Ramsay and Angela Hartnett at the famous Connaught Hotel for three years. Continuing her culinary journey in New York City, Chef Lora took over the kitchen at Allen and Delancey as Chef de Cuisine where she received the Top 10 New Restaurants award in the New York Times and a very prestigious Michelin Star for her talents. Chef Kirk then went on to run the kitchens at the SOHO House in New York. Having returned home to Canada in 2010, she has become one of the most high-profile female chefs in the country and currently shares her talents and expertise as Chef of Ruby Watchco in Toronto.