November 29, 2013 10:12 am

‘Chopped Canada’ competitors ready to get cooking

'Chopped Canada' host Dean McDermott, pictured in August 2012.

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TORONTO – The first batch of competitors are ready for the inaugural edition of Chopped Canada.

The Canuck spinoff of the popular U.S. cooking series Chopped says 52 cooks have been chosen for the first-half of the season.

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The contenders range in age from 22-year-olds Luke Hayes-Alexander of Kingston, Ont.; Terrance Tew of St. Thomas, Ont., and Luca Cianciulli of Montreal to 51-year-old Kirk Weiss of London, Ont. More than half come from Ontario, with six hailing from British Columbia, five each from Quebec and Alberta and one each from the Northwest Territories and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Chopped Canada is hosted by Toronto native Dean McDermott and features a rotating panel of all-star judges including Lynn Crawford, Chuck Hughes, Susur Lee, Roger Mooking, Michael Smith and Vikram Vij.

In each episode, four competitors must turn a basket of mystery ingredients into a delicious, inventive meal, in a limited amount of time. Chefs are chopped from the game course by course, until just one remains to claim $10,000.

Chopped Canada debuts Jan. 2 on Food Network Canada.

Food Network Canada says the first episode will feature a faceoff between freelance chef Matt Binkley, 36, of Toronto; Vancouver-trained Jonathan O’Callaghan, 31, of Toronto; executive chef Tim Schorno, 38, of Bancroft, Ont.; and chef instructor Stephanie Brewster, 46, of London, Ont.

Food Network Canada is owned by Shaw Media, parent company of Global News.

© The Canadian Press, 2013

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