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TORONTO, May 13, 2014 /CNW/ - After 10 grueling weeks of fierce competition and culinary drama, Ottawa-based Chef René Rodriguez (Navarra) has won the fourth and most extreme season of Food Network Canada's hit series Top Chef Canada. In Monday night's thrilling season finale, Rodriguez staked his claim as Canada's Top Chef beating out 13 of the nation's best and brightest chefs. In addition to the coveted title, Rodriguez walked away with a grand prize of $100,000 sponsored by SpongeTowels® paper towels, a GE Monogram kitchen worth $30,000, and a custom installation by Caesarstone Quartz Surfaces worth $25,000.
Rodriguez faced Kitchener's Terry Salmond Walper Hotel and Six Nations' Rich Francis (Aboriginal Culinary Concepts) in an epic finale showdown challenging chefs to "paddle it out" on Lake Ontario in the QuickFire Challenge. Then, it was on to the last Elimination Challenge of the season at Muskoka-based Taboo Spa and Resort, where Rodriguez's brave and bold four-course meal won over host Lisa Ray, head judge Mark McEwan, resident judge Shereen Arazm, and special guest judge and award-winning food critic Ruth Reichl.
"Winning Top Chef Canada means everything to me," says Rodriguez. "During this competition I was able to dig deep into my roots and explore my passion in ways that I never thought possible. It has been an incredible journey and I have grown not only as a chef, but as a person."
Rodriguez is the owner and chef at Navarra in Ottawa, ON, where he lives with his wife and young son. Educated by Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa, his inspiration comes from his Mexican heritage and his love for the Basque region of Spain.
René Rodriguez will be available for media interviews in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 13th.
Viewers who missed the season finale of Top Chef Canada can log onto topchefcanada.ca to watch the episode online or tune in to Food Network Canada for an encore presentation on Thursday, May 15th at 7pm ET/8pm PT.
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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 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." Along with Top Chef Canada, recent hits include Big Brother Canada, The Amazing Race Canada, Never Ever Do This At Home, Intervention Canada and The JUNO Awards, which plays a key role in the Canadian music industry; Insight's original formats include Canada Sings & Battle of the Blades. For more information visit www.insighttv.com.
Image with caption: "Ottawa's René Rodriguez crowned Canada's Top Chef (Photo Credit: Food Network Canada) (CNW Group/Food Network)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140513_C8000_PHOTO_EN_40224.jpg
SOURCE: Food Network
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