TOP CHEF CANADA IS READY TO BE SERVED

Competitors and Resident Judge Revealed

Top Chef Canada Premieres April 11, 2011 at 9pm ET/10pm PT on Food Network Canada

For more information about Top Chef Canada including bios and high resolution photos visit our media site at: www.shawmediatv.ca

TORONTO, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - Canadians are about to get served with the country's fiercest culinary competition of all time. Food Network Canada and Insight Production Company Ltd. revealed today the stellar lineup of Canadian competitors and resident judge who will be appearing in the highly anticipated series Top Chef Canada. The inaugural season of Top Chef Canada will premiere April 11, 2011 at 9pm ET/10pm PT exclusively on Food Network Canada.

Top Chef Canada will challenge 16 competitors' culinary skills to see who can cut it as Canada's Top Chef, taking home the grand prize of $100,000 and a GE Monogram kitchen worth $30,000. Hosted by celebrated television personality, Thea Andrews and head judge, chef and restaurateur, Mark McEwan, Top Chef Canada promises the kind of high stakes competition and addictive drama that will inspire viewers to cheer on their favourite competitors each week.

The 16 chosen competitors hail from far and wide across Canada with their own unique culinary backgrounds and expertise. Click on each competitor's name below to open a link to his or her Top Chef Canada audition video on Food Network Canada's YouTube channel.

Joining the cast as resident judge on Top Chef Canada is the revered vanguard of Los Angeles dining and entertaining, proud Toronto native Shereen Arazm. Creator and operator of Tinsel Town's most respected tables including Italian eatery Terroni and sushi staple Geisha House, Shereen also set Hollywood's nightlife ablaze owning and operating famed outlets Concorde, El Centro, Shag, Central, and Wonderland. Her successful career was featured in an episode of Women on Top on Slice™ in 2007, the same year that LA Times Magazine's holiday issue named her one of the four top entertainment hosts in Los Angeles. After having a daughter in 2008 with husband Oren Koules, Shereen returned home to Toronto in summer 2010 ready to take on Canada's top culinary talent as resident judge on Top Chef Canada. Shereen will be joined by various distinguished guest judges who will be revealed at later dates. 

"Over the last 10 years, Food Network Canada has consistently delivered to Canadians the very best entertaining, food-related content," says Barb Williams, Senior Vice President of Content, Shaw Media.  "Top Chef Canada is a successful, proven format that showcases the true wealth and diversity of Canadian culinary talent.  We couldn't be more thrilled to share that with viewers."

"Top Chef Canada is not just a TV show but a celebration of our Canadian culture," says John Brunton, Executive Producer, Insight Production Company Ltd. "Our competitors have trained around the world under the watchful eyes of internationally renowned chefs like Daniel Boulud, Gordon Ramsay, Susur Lee among others. We can't wait for Canada to experience the world class cuisine that we have here at home. In the culinary world, Canadians truly compete on an international stage."

To keep tabs on what Canadians are saying about Top Chef Canada, check out the official Top Chef Canada page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/topchefcanada or follow @TopChefCanada on Twitter.

The first season of Top Chef Canada will premiere April 11, 2011 at 9pm ET/10pm PT exclusively on Food Network Canada.

Food Network Canada is a Shaw Media network.

About Shaw Communications Inc.
Shaw Communications Inc. is a diversified communications and media company, providing consumers with broadband cable television, High-Speed Internet, Home Phone, telecommunications services (through Shaw Business), satellite direct-to-home services (through Shaw Direct) and engaging  programming content (through Shaw Media).  Shaw serves 3.4 million customers, through a reliable and extensive fibre network.  Shaw Media operates one of the largest conventional television networks in Canada, Global Television, and 19 specialty networks including HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, History Television and Showcase.  Shaw is traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges and is included in the S&P/TSX 60 Index (TSX: SJR.B) (NYSE: SJR).  For more information about Shaw, please visit www.shaw.ca.

Insight Production Company Ltd, headed by John Brunton & Barbara Bowlby has become an industry leader in the creative development, financing and production of highly rated television programs and cutting edge multiplatform content for the global market in every genre. Since 1979, it has been recognized for its reputation for outstanding quality as the recipient of numerous International awards, including multiple Gemini's. The company has created thousands of hours of groundbreaking television that continues to be broadcast over major networks worldwide. Broadcast Magazine International claims that "When it comes to adapting formats for Canadian audiences there is one producer who appears to have the Midas touch." Recent hits include Insight's original format Battle of the Blades; Canadian Idol; THE JUNO AWARDS, Canada's national music award show; Project Runway Canada, hosted by International Supermodel Iman; and The Jon Dore Television Show, currently airing on the Independent Film Channel.  Insight has recently begun production on their exciting new format Canada Sings! which will hit the airwaves on Global in 2011. For more information visit www.insighttv.com.

FOOD NETWORK is a trademark of Television Food Network G.P.; used with permission.

SOURCE Food Network

For further information:

Jaclyn Atwood-Powell
Publicity Manager, Lifestyle Channels         
416-966-7293
jaclyn.atwood@shawmedia.ca
Cathy Kurzbock
Publicist, Food Network Canada
416-966-7501
cathy.kurzbock@shawmedia.ca
   
Susan Stafford
Publicist, UNIT:PR Inc.
416-506-1238
susan@unitpr.com

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