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Top Chef Canada season two contestants announced; here are your six Toronto chefs

(Images: Food Network Canada/Insight Productions)

UPDATE: Check out our recap of episode 1 »

With the sophomore season of Top Chef Canada set to premiere on March 12, Food Network Canada has finally introduced the 16 chefs hoping to cook their way to $100,000 (and, lest we forget, a GE Monogram kitchen). The group (which, perhaps responding to feedback about season one, is a tad more multicultural) once again contains six Torontonians, among them Marben’s Carl Heinrich and Ruby Watchco’s Ryan Gallagher. Tasting the food will be new host Lisa Ray, alongside head judge Mark McEwan and resident judge Shereen Arazm and a spate of guests that includes culinary personalities (Top Chef Masters winner Marcus Samuelsson) and sundry celebrities (handyman Mike Holmes, actor Alan Thicke, Kenny vs. Spenny’s Spencer Rice). We round up the Toronto contestants, starting with Victor’s David Chrystian »

  • Ryan Sheen

    Go Trixy!…love you sis!

  • Shully

    Bravo!!! Trista!!!

  • Jacob

    Can’t wait to watch them do battle, some great restos represented there!

    Too bad this is likely to be an even more brutal exercise in shameless product placement…

  • phil

    Just watched the audition videos with the office and the consensus is
    The girl from crush trista is annoying, trying a little to hard there with your “boys” don’t yah think!!??

  • David

    Go on, Trista!! Giv’er!!!

  • Nick

    Hey Phil, why you hating…you don’t even know her! Stop Being a jerk!

  • Thomas

    Wow Phil, what job do you do? Maybe we can watch a tape of you and let the world know you ” try to hard”. Why not let the cooking be the judge rather than your uneducated “clearly not in the business” comments based on an audition.

  • Chad

    Always loved the constestants, cant stand the Judge in Mark… yuk!! Why is Lynn Crawford not a judge ?

  • Mickey

    Ah, Phil. Restaurant kitchens are incredibly, notoriously male-centred to the point of being sexist, or worse, degrading and impossible. You won’t meet a female chef who hasn’t had to deal with that, and that could well be what Trista has learned to respond to – in her own way. And uccessfully: she’s risen from sous-chef to chef de cuisine at Crush in fewer than two years, by the way. And if there were fewer people saying things about girls “trying to fit in with the boys” in male-dominated industries where they have to fit in to be successful, the whole system would be a little better. So stop contributing sexist nonsense.

  • Lucille

    Hey Phil, what work are you in that you get to watch videos with “the office” and how many were there – you & yourself??? Suggest you get back to work and keep your sexist remarks to yourself.

  • Julia

    Four of us were at Marben and sat at the chef’s table a week ago which allowed us to watch it all first-hand…Carl totally blew our minds!! That guy carries himself with so much confidence without even the slightest air of cockiness. That shows an individual who is a natural winner. You can’t deny he has skills all across the board, but to see him so humble throughout it all, really just makes you wanna root for him. Plus, the guy just really knows his shit. Straight up. Made me think twice about dropping out of culinary school…

    P.S. Ryan isn’t in this competition, but you made that night for us too!!

  • Jenny

    SO great to hear that Lisa Ray has recovered and got this hosting gig. Looking forward to seeing you all beautiful and healthy on TV again, Lisa!!!

  • GG, QF Restaurant

    I worked next to Trista for years. She is the real thing. The girl can cook. I can’t wait to see her kick ass. I know she will. I love that girl! Go T go! Go Gabe too! We are all so proud of both of you.

  • LT

    Anyone who knows Trista, KNOWS that she can kick some serious culinary ass. She is tiny, hilarious and can rock it in the kitchen. She has earned her way, travelling all over the world and working with incredible world renowned chefs…married one, and is on her way to being one. So Phil….stay in your office and eat your crappy take out and let her teach you a lesson or two…her ‘boyz’ happen to be culinary masters themselves…Trista isn’t trying too hard…she just happens to be bad ass. Go Girl!!!!! High five Nick, your wife is almost cooler than you! lol.

  • cts

    Phil…, I’m not sure…., but I don’t think these people like you….
    Just sayin’s all!

  • Christina

    Go Trista go!!! Use the haters (ahem Phil) as kindling for your fire girl! I’m rooting for you!!!

  • Matt Ereal

    Any one starting a book?
    Any one laying odds?

  • Gerry

    WOW. Good luck to all the contestants. Two Resturants I frequent are Victor and Ruby Watchco. Don’t know if that is a reflection of my taste or just plain luck. Wonderfull to see a selection of female chefs as well and they are under represented in our communities. Good luck to all the chefs and my the best cook win.

  • Gerry

    I’ve seen Carl Heinrich do his thing at Marben before. Julia, you must be his girlfriend Julia who worked at Libretto. I’ve sat at the Chef’s table and watched Carl flip out on his kitchen staff, berate them and the front of house servers. Screaming obscenities and at one point grabbing the bartender by the throat. I’ve seen this behaviour from him twice. He’s become notorious for acting like this in Toronto. And the end result is “okay” food. Marben’s reviews always land it somewhere around mediocre. They’ve never made a top ten list let alone Joanne Kates top 100. And as for Ryan Donovan, Marben’s butcher and Carl’s partner. It’s laughable that Ryan has so much screen time in Carl’s audition video. Ryan is such a megalomaniacal spotlight hog. Can Carl make it through the competition without Ryan by his side? Carl’s arrogance and age is what’s got him this far. I’ve no doubt he’ll become the douche of the series.

  • Julia

    Sorry you are so quick to assume my identity is that of someone else’s, Gerry. And I’m sorry you seem too quick to judge people in general.

    You definitely know more about the chefs in this city than I do, I won’t argue that. Especially knowing the names of their significant others.

    I’ll eagerly await how it all pans out. Maybe I was too quick to have faith in the talent of others.

  • Len Liu

    Hi Trista. Congratulations!!! Great stuff that you made it to the competition. I am sure you will do well and show everyone you mean business. We, here in London, England are all cheering you on. Good luck. Cora & Len.

  • Trenna Allain

    CARL ROCKS!!!!!!!!! Go Carl, we are so proud of you and can hardly wait to watch. Cousin Trenna

  • Zoltar

    @cts, I doubt that Phil gives a sh*t if he is liked by the Galloping Gourmets defending this lady who, whether she has skills or not, obviously played the “look who I know card”

    Everyone, get your head out of the ratatouille and understand that from an objective reviewer’s perpective, her approach cheapened her selection.

    Just sayin’s all!

  • phil

    So I am glad that she got all her friends and husband to come defend her.This was our opinion – JUST SAYIN!!
    The office is actually down the street from Crush and we (the office) have spent a fair amount of $$ there, nothing special, nothing new, nothing creative, just like the Niagara Cafe!!! Just sayin!

  • Tania

    I have to sort of agree with Phil in a less haterville way, the video was a little “try to hard” and “annoying” as the other contestants videos were actually really boring.

  • Nick

    Wow Phil, with the hating again eh? You must have lots of friends and people must really like you? Oh…and it’s The Niagara STREET Cafe…jerk!

  • Moosy

    Don’t worry Phil. It seems like most of the posts are friends of Trista. So, mostly fawning comments from the blind.

  • thomas

    WOW Phil
    Quite the contradiction, you spend a fair amount of Money at Crush, yet nothing special. Try the Firkin for your fix. I too spend a fair amount of money there, and cant wait for Tristas new menu to come out this week. Her first from what I am told. When I look at King Street for business meetings, I think Crush and Jacobs, and Marben of course (my office is next door) the food at all is exceptional and fresh. Whether you feel she tried to hard, or Carl is rude, no one can doubt they can cook. I hope they each make it to the end, and then we will see who appreciates talent, and who are wanna be gourmands. I stick to my day job, but support those who feed me a few times a week

  • Phil

    Hey Nick so sorry I forgot the word street!! Isn’t that where you are now? On the street, replaced by a top chef alumni! Thanks amusing-) maybe ur wife will need a sous. Just sayin

  • Elizabeth

    Dearest Phil.

    This is all very amusing but don’t you think you are getting a little off topic? Is the purpose of this article not to introduce us to the next group of chefs we are about to watch on Top Chef and to celebrate the fact that we have some amazing talent in our city worth show casing?

    It appears to be your personal mission to grasp at any straw you can find to attack Nick and Trista. I certainly hope that if you ever have the gumption in your life to put yourself so far out there, as both of them have, there will not be a “Phil” in the background trash talking your valour.

    Our fellow chefs and friends need our support and positivity during this exciting time. I personally look forward to the show and what is to come. If you want to start trash talking the quality of certain Toronto restaurants, take it to Chow Hound. If you want to trash talk people you don’t know, just don’t. It’s simple. Don’t.

  • Nick

    Well put Elizabeth! There needs to be more positivity…too many haters with over active key boards…I love how brave these twerps are when their hiding behind a computer screen. This negative banter is a waste of my time…peace out!

    Ps…thanks to all the chefs on the show that put themselves out there…takes balls! Nuff respects!

  • enzo

    Not for Nothing… Love this show and may the best CHEF win.. but they made a mistake by getting rid of the hostess (Andrews) and keeping Mark. He’s brilliant as a chef No doubt!! BUT his dead catfish glare, paired with his one dimensional patter made it difficult to empathize the way Collichio does it south of the border. You’ll see that Mark is the variable that kills this thing cold again as they struggle to get a decent bead on the drama and heat of the competition. The Chef’s rivalry is what will drive this thing again and it will not be pushed or tempered with Chef Mark’s lack of television personality… Anybody else agree?
    Thanks for giving us another season though!

  • Richard

    Carl wins the whole show.. I worked on the show but left on bad terms.. I am pissed off at the show so I don’t mind spilling the beans…. Carl from Marben wins the show and most of the challanges ….

  • babybird

    Why rain on the parade… if it was a competition about who can make the best audition video, your comments would make sense.
    However this is a silly, light hearted audition video that was not made with your personal specifications in mind.

    Lets focus on what the show is about – top chefs competing and showcasing their skills.

    Personally I’m excited to watch the show and commend the contestants for having the balls to be judged by assholes like phil who clearly have no interest in cooking or food.