President’s Choice marketing master stroke reality show Recipe to Riches returns to Food Network Canada on October 17, and it looks like season two is going to look a lot like season one. Judges Laura Calder (French Food at Home), Tony Chapman (Capital C), Dana McCauley (Janes Family Foods) and host Jesse Palmer (Live! with Kelly, ESPN Sunday Night Football, The Bachelor) are all returning to make or break this year’s batch of contestants, which includes a five-strong contingent from the GTA (up one from last year). And since it’s his brand on the line, Galen Weston Jr. will once again be dropping in as a weekly guest judge, having (we assume) the final say in who gets the $25,000 purse for stocking Loblaws shelves with their marketable, mass-producible sorta-home-cooked favourite. Of course, the final $250,000 is awarded by the audience, not the man in charge.
The GTA contingent: Mississauga’s Cherilynn Balachander, who’s bringing her Classic Battenburg Cake to the masses; Etobicoke’s Tracey Rigden and Mary Rocto, who’ll be making Dulce de Leche Brownies and Jerk Chicken Buns, respectively; Brampton’s Rich Matharu, who’s going to try and impress with his Butter Chicken Lasagna (!); and Toronto’s Courtney O’Leary, who’ll be making her ambiguous-sounding Gourmet Mushroom Topping. Last year’s categories have been entirely dumped (except for entrées), and new categories include cakes, pudding, and pies; savoury snacks; cookies and squares; hors d’oeuvres; candies and chocolates; and condiments and dips. Season one produced a raft of memorable (and actually edible) PC products, including Chicken Grenades, Bannock Hazelnut Pie and the winning Luscious Lemon Pudding Cakes. The Canadian everyman version of Top Chef will be premiering October 17 on Food Network Canada.