Two Home Cooks, One Prize: Eric Chong and Marida Mohammed Cook Their Way into the Season Finale of CTV's MASTERCHEF CANADA, April 28

- Top contenders Tammara Behl and Kaila Klassen are eliminated from the MASTERCHEF CANADA kitchen -
- The grand prize winner will be announced on the season finale of MASTERCHEF CANADA, airing Monday, April 28 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on CTV -
- MASTERCHEF CANADA is renewed for a second season, with casting for Season 2 open now at ctv.ca/masterchefcanada -

To tweet this release: http://bit.ly/1fh6tMi #MCC @MasterChefCDA

TORONTO, April 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Get ready for a sizzling-hot season finale, Canada! As revealed on last night's episode of CTV's MASTERCHEF CANADA, Eric Chong, a chemical engineer from Oakville, Ont., and Marida Mohammed, a stay-at-home mom from Toronto, are the final two top home cooks in contention for a $100,000 grand prize and the life-changing title of Canada's first-ever MasterChef. The revelation comes following the announcement earlier today that CTV has ordered Season 2 of MASTERCHEF CANADA, with casting already open at CTV.ca/MasterChefCanada.

The culinary competition took a dramatic turn last night when two top contenders were knocked out of running with their dishes. Despite her best efforts, Tammara Behl of Calgary, fell to the bottom during the Mystery Box Challenge and, in a surprise twist, was eliminated from the MASTERCHEF CANADA kitchen. And while Kaila Klassen of West Kelowna, B.C. won over guest judge Joe Bastianich (MASTERCHEF) with her Italian-inspired Mystery Box dish, one minor mistake in the Pressure Test sent her home, leaving the Top 2 hopefuls in their iconic white aprons with the title and grand prize still in sight.

**Media Note** Download new photography for the season finale of MASTERCHEF CANADA at BellMediaPR.ca.

Eric and Marida began their journeys alongside thousands of Canadian culinary hopefuls in pursuit of the coveted white apron. They rose above the rest of the competition in an intense series of challenges and elimination tests featuring the country's Top 16 home cooks. In last night's episode, both home cooks impressed Joe Bastianich during the Mystery Box Challenge, and won over the taste buds of MASTERCHEF CANADA judges Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung, and Claudio Aprile to earn their spots in the finals.

In the first-ever season finale (airing Monday, April 28 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on CTV), after surviving 14 episodes of extraordinary challenges, the final two home cooks, Eric and Marida, go head-to-head in a three-course culinary battle. With their families and former competitors cheering them on, they battle it out for $100,000, the MASTERCHEF CANADA trophy, and a life-changing title. The season finale will be available on demand following its broadcast at CTV.ca and CTV GO.

Viewers looking for a more comprehensive culinary experience with MASTERCHEF CANADA can visit CTV.ca this week to check out a Season 1 recap in photos, and watch exit interviews with eliminated home cooks Tammara and Kaila. Plus, viewers wanting to enter the kitchen themselves can find more information about how to join the Season 2 casting call right now at ctv.ca/masterchefcanada. Fans can also continue to send in Instagram photos of their culinary masterpieces for MASTERCHEF CANADA judge Michael Bonacini to judge, with one winning plate selected every week.

Viewers can catch Tammara and Kaila live on CANADA AM and CP24 BREAKFAST on Tuesday, April 22 as they discuss their elimination from MASTERCHEF CANADA. Tammara and Kaila will also face-off in a 'MASTERCHEF CANADA Redemption Relay' competition this morning on THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW on CTV.

THE TOP 2 HOME COOKS:

Eric Chong
@WOK_Lobster

Hometown: Oakville, Ont.
Currently Resides: Oakville, Ont.
Occupation: Chemical Engineer
Signature Dish: Pan Seared Duck Breast with Rice, Red Thai Curry Sauce, Homemade Spring Rolls and Plum Sauce

A self-proclaimed ninja, Eric already has a lot of varied experiences under his belt. He's a chemical engineer, a graduate of McMaster University, and a cook for the last 15 years. At six-years-old, he began with simple tasks in the kitchen and worked his way up, following in the footsteps of his grandfather who was the head chef at a Chinese restaurant. Determined to prove himself, Eric loves cooking foods with a 'wow factor.' Some dishes in his repertoire include a Vegetarian Mushroom Risotto, and Fresh Homemade Pasta. He cites MASTERCHEF judge Gordon Ramsay as his chef idol.

Eric's motivation stems from a desire to prove his worthiness as a chef to his parents. Cooking wasn't an acceptable career option in his household, but now, with a chance at the title of MASTERCHEF CANADA, Eric is hoping to prove he has a viable future as a successful chef. If he wins, Eric wants to open his own restaurant in his hometown of Oakville, Ont. He'd also like to be a food critic and thinks being paid to eat and increase his food knowledge would be an amazing job.

Marida Mohammed
@MaridaMo

Hometown: Sudbury, Ont.
Currently Resides: Toronto, Ont.
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Signature Dish: Trini Bake and Red Snapper with a Trio of Sauces: Tamarind Sauce, Chadon Beni Sauce, and a Cucumber Scotch Bonnet Sauce

Marida is a personal trainer from Toronto. Her cooking spark ignited at the age of 6, when her mother would have Marida help to make roti. Everything her mother prepared seemed delicious - even exotic foods like chicken feet and bitter melon, which is why she remains Marida's main cooking inspiration. Marida loves cooking stewed chicken with macaroni pie, but her signature dish is "curried anything." She isn't exactly in love with baking or desserts as she finds the precision required too exact.

Marida is after some exposure on MASTERCHEF CANADA. She wants to share her passion for food with the country and spotlight her Trinidadian influence. A restaurant co-owned with her twin sister Narida is in the works if she wins the grand prize. Marida would also love to host a cooking show featuring Caribbean Fusion dishes one day.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Twitter:
@MasterChefCDA
#MCC
@CTV_PR
@CTV_Television
@MichaelBonacini
@TheDemonChef
@ClaudioAprile

Facebook:
facebook.com/ctv
facebook.com/MasterChefCDA

Instagram:
@MasterChefCDA

About CTV
CTV is Canada's #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada's most-watched television network for the past 12 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network's website at CTV.ca

SOURCE CTV

For further information:

Tanya Koivusalo, CTV, 416.384.2664 or tanya.koivusalo@bellmedia.ca
Meghan Hardy, Unit Publicist, Proper Television, 416.662.4287 or mhardy@propertelevision.com