“Top Chef” Highest-Rated Food Network Canada Premiere

With almost 317,000 people tuning in to watch the latest season of “Top Chef” on the Food Network Canada, it has become the highest-rated premiere in the network’s history.

Apparently Canadians love home-grown competition – the show pits 16 competitors against one another and challenges their 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.

The show first gained popularity when it debuted on Bravo! in the U.S. Winning Emmy and James Beard Awards, it launched on the Food Network in 2006 and since that time has consistently remained in the top 10 programs on the network. It premiered in Canada in 2010.

The latest record-breaking season kicked off on April 11th. Judges this year include celeb chef Mark McEwan, owner of Toronto’s North 44, Bymark, ONE and Fabbrica restaurants, McEwan Foods, and host of Food Network’s “The Heat,” Thea Andrews, host of “Entertainment Tonight” in Los Angeles, co-host for several ESPN series and, most recently, co-host of the 16th Annual Screen Actor Guild Awards Red Carpet Show for TNT, and the latest addition to the judging panel is Shereen Arazm, who created, owns and operates Hollywood’s most revered tables including Italian eatery Terroni and sushi staple Geisha House. Each week contestants are challenged to a variety of cooking competitions and then, one by one, they are eliminated until one final “Top Chef” reigns supreme.

“Top Chef” airs Monday nights at 9pm on Food Network Canada (with encore presentations on Saturday at 7pm). Don’t miss next week’s episode when contestants will be asked to create an inspired breakfast dish using Canadian cheese.