MasterChef Canada

Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV

Synopsis

The CTV hit MASTERCHEF CANADA returns for a fifth season to offer the country’s best home cooks a chance to win $100,000 and the life-changing MASTERCHEF CANADA title. Following an exhaustive cross-Canada search, 21 of the best home cooks are invited to Toronto to present a dish using their assigned signature ingredient to MASTERCHEF CANADA judges Michael Bonacini (O&B restaurant empire), Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation in Hong Kong), and Claudio Aprile (Copetin in Toronto). Only 12 home cooks will earn a coveted MASTERCHEF CANADA apron, and the opportunity to move forward in the competition. Each week the home cooks are pushed to the limit in a series of Mystery Box Challenges, Team Challenges, Elimination Challenges, and Pressure Tests. Each task is designed to test and hone the home cooks’ skill, knowledge, passion, and creativity. At the conclusion of each episode at least one person is eliminated until there are only two home cooks left vying for the life-changing MASTERCHEF CANADA title. In an exciting twist, MASTERCHEF CANADA’s must-see digital exclusive, MASTERCHEF CANADA: REDEMPTION, presented by Miele returns to CTV.ca, giving eliminated home cooks, a chance to earn their white apron back and return to the MasterChef Canada Kitchen.

Season 5 Episode 501
Season 5 Episode 501
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Season 5 - Episode 501

“Opportunity Knocks”

MASTERCHEF CANADA’s esteemed judges kick-off Season 5 by paying a surprise personal visit to 21 of the best home cooks across the country. With each home visit, the judges bring a MASTERCHEF CANADA cooler and explicit instructions for each home cook to start their culinary adventure. Armed with their cooler containing their special ingredient, the home cooks travel to the MasterChef Canada Kitchen in Toronto to prepare a dish for the esteemed judges and attempt to claim an iconic white apron and a spot in the Top 12.

Season 5 Episode 502
Season 5 Episode 502
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Season 5 - Episode 502

"How Do You Take Your Mystery Box?"

The Top 12 home cooks face their first Mystery Box of the season and must create a dish that features coffee as the key ingredient. The winner of the Mystery Box Challenge is not only safe from elimination but is given a powerful opportunity to influence the direction of the competition and the outcome of the budget-driven Elimination Challenge.

Season 5 Episode 503
Season 5 Episode 503
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Season 5 - Episode 503

“Building an Appetite”

The home cooks face their first Team Challenge when they are asked to prepare a hearty meal for 101 Habitat for Humanity volunteers. Split into two teams, they are given only two hours to create a family-style meal, with hungry volunteers casting a vote to declare their favourite. The losing team faces a Pressure Test and at least one home cook is asked to leave the

Season 5 Episode 504
Season 5 Episode 504
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Season 5 - Episode 504

“Fast and Epicure-ious”

This week the home cooks focus on making key ingredients shine and dealing with the hand (or ingredients) you’ve been dealt. The Top 10 are given a mere 30 minutes to tackle a Mystery Box and must produce an original dish with fresh ingredients found in a Chefs Plate box. Then, a fungi-inspired Elimination Challenge puts an end to one home cook’s food dreams.

Cast Info

Michael Bonacini, Chef and Restaurateur
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Michael Bonacini, Chef and Restaurateur

Celebrity chef Michael Bonacini is the co-founder of Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality, one of Canada’s leading restaurant and event groups. With locations in Toronto, Montreal, Saskatoon, Calgary, and beyond, O&B’s diverse portfolio includes a collection of unique and innovative restaurants, event spaces, a bakery, and several strategic partnerships. Born and raised in Tenby, South Wales, his North Italian father and Welsh mother both had a huge impact on their children’s culinary upbringing – his sister is also a chef. Bonacini spent his youth helping out with the family-run hotel business, where he learned the ins and outs of the hospitality industry.

Bonacini trained classically under Chef Anton Mosimann at London’s Dorchester Hotel, before immigrating to Canada in 1985 and partnering with veteran restaurateur Peter Oliver in 1993. His first restaurant collaboration with Oliver was a New York-style bistro named Jump. Today their operations have grown to include à la carte dining, quick service, catering, and private dining, with restaurants and event venues across four provinces.

Bonacini was among the first chefs to showcase regional Canadian cuisine with his ground-breaking restaurant Canoe. In 1996, he was awarded the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s first ever Gold Award in recognition of his significant contribution to culinary excellence in Ontario. He was the host of COOK LIKE A CHEF and has been a recurring guest chef on daytime talk shows including CTV’s THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW. In 2010, Bonacini released his first cookbook, 3 Chefs: The Kitchen Men, a collaborative effort with fellow television chefs Massimo Capra and Jason Parsons.

Bonacini’s restaurants include: Jump, Canoe, Auberge du Pommier, Biff’s Bistro, Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill (four locations), Luma, O&B Canteen, Bannock, R&D, Beaumont Kitchen, Leña, and Liberty Commons. Beyond Ontario, O&B’s portfolio features The Guild and Sub Rosa in Calgary, Bar George in Montréal, and Shift in Saskatoon. The company’s private dining and events division, Oliver & Bonacini Events and Catering, manages a number of large scale event facilities, including Malaparte at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto Region Board of Trade, Arcadian at Hudson’s Bay Queen Street, The Carlu, Le Mount Stephen hotel in Montréal, the Hudson event complex in Calgary, and Remai Modern Art Gallery. Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality credits its success to the development of a strong corporate culture, where excellence of food quality and service are valued above all else.

Alvin Leung, Chef and Restaurateur
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Alvin Leung, Chef and Restaurateur

With his trademark colour-streaked hair, cross earrings, and sunglasses, Chef Alvin Leung has blazed a trail of his own in the culinary arts. Leung’s culinary innovations and larger–than-life personality has established him as a global star on the international food scene.  As owner/executive chef of Hong Kong’s acclaimed modern Chinese restaurant Bo Innovation, Leung’s unique ‘X-treme Chinese’ cuisine modernizes centuries-old ingredients and traditional recipes with modern techniques and flavours, delivering novel dishes in tune with contemporary palates.

Born in London, England, Leung grew up in Scarborough, Ontario. He remains a dedicated Toronto Maple Leafs supporter. The self-taught ‘Demon Chef’ began cooking professionally in 2003 at a private restaurant, which evolved into Bo Innovation. Trained professionally as an engineer, he takes a methodical approach to every dish. As a result, Bo Innovation has retained its three Michelin star status for six straight years. In addition, Leung operates numerous other restaurants in Hong Kong and across Asia, including Korean concepts, a Spanish diner, and a popular Peking duck eatery. In Toronto, Leung, with MASTERCHEF CANADA Season 1 winner Eric Chong, run R&D (Rebel & Demon) in the heart of Chinatown. Leung’s outlandish personality and flair has made him a sought-after guest at food events and culinary conferences across the world. He has become a familiar face on TV in Canada and Asia, as the host of THE MAVERICK CHEF and WOK STARS. He also starred in Korean food and travel programs, SEOUL EXTREME and SEOUL REFINED.

Claudio Aprile, Chef and Restaurateur
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Claudio Aprile, Chef and Restaurateur

Claudio Aprile is Chef and Owner of Copetin Restaurant and Bar, serving inventive, elevated Canadian cuisine informed by the diverse food personalities of Toronto’s ethnic neighbourhoods. Located at the corner of King and Church in Toronto, Copetin features a stylish dining room, relaxed bar, and lively patio. Aprile was born in Uruguay, grew up in Toronto, and has travelled, lived, and worked internationally.

Throughout his 30+ year career, Aprile has passed through some of the most renowned kitchens around the globe. Bali Sugar in London, England earned him outstanding reviews as a young executive chef, where he received local and international critical acclaim. In 2000, Aprile cemented that reputation at Senses in Toronto where he wowed critics and diners alike with his innovative use of experimental cooking techniques. Aprile’s first restaurant, Colborne Lane, opened to immediate success and was lauded as one of the best restaurants in the world. Launched in 2010, Origin restaurant was voted #1 restaurant in Toronto by Toronto Life and NOW Magazine.

Reem Ahmed
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Reem Ahmed

Age: 26

Hometown: Helwan, Egypt

Currently Resides: Toronto, Ont.

Occupation: Biomedical Engineer

Audition Dish: Eggplant Stuffed with Basmati Rice, Baba Ghanoush, and Charcoal Beef.

Food Dream: To open an Egyptian restaurant called The Pyramid.

Instagram:@reemahmed_91

Oyakhire Airende
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Oyakhire Airende

Age: 26

Hometown: Benin, Nigeria

Currently Resides: Calgary, Alta.

Occupation: Operations Analyst

Audition Dish: Braised Cashew Oxtail with Coconut Rice.

Food Dream: To build a personalized food brand.

Instagram: @thefoodengineers

Eugene Cheng
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Eugene Cheng

Age: 35

Hometown: Victoria, B.C.

Currently Resides: Vancouver, B.C.

Occupation: Financial Advisor and Rowing Coach

Audition Dish: Nori Crisp with Seared Scallops and Kombu Pickled Radish.

Food Dream: Open a Pacific Northwest restaurant.

Instagram: @eugeneacheng

Kaegan Donnelly
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Kaegan Donnelly

Age: 28

Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.

Currently Resides: Vancouver, B.C.

Occupation: Software Sales

Audition Dish: Five-Spice Duck Breast with Roasted Vegetables, Beetroot Purée, and Fennel Mascarpone Cream.

Food Dream: To own a brewery that specializes in brunch.

Instagram: @kaegan

Claudia Escudero
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Claudia Escudero

Age: 30

Hometown: Lima, Peru

Currently Resides: Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Qué.

Occupation: Customer Service Representative

Audition Dish: Peruvian Shrimp Ceviche with Toasted Corn and Sweet Potato Purée.

Food Dream: To open a Peruvian restaurant in Montréal, Qué.

Instagram: @lagourmandemtl

Felix Fudge
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Felix Fudge

Age: 35

Hometown: Kentville, N.S.

Currently Resides: Halifax, N.S.

Occupation: Sanitization Specialist

Audition Dish: Beer-Battered Atlantic Cod with Shoestring Chips and Tartar Sauce.

Food Dream: To own a café that employs people with disabilities.

Instagram: @FMFudge

Michael Griffiths
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Michael Griffiths

Age: 24

Hometown: Richmond Hill, Ont.

Currently Resides: Richmond Hill, Ont.

Occupation: Mathematician

Audition Dish: Homemade Capicola Sausage with Sundried Tomato Risotto.

Food Dream: To cook and create dishes at private events around the world.

Instagram: @michaelsfoodexperience

Andy Hay
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Andy Hay

Age: 31

Hometown: Halifax, N.S.

Currently Resides: Dartmouth, N.S.

Occupation: Small Business Owner

Audition Dish: Bay of Fundy Sea Scallops with Pickled Vegetables, Asparagus Purée, and Bacon Dashi.

Food Dream: To own a 20-seat restaurant on the Atlantic Ocean.

Instagram: @andyseastcoastkitchen_

Jen Jenkins
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Jen Jenkins

Age: 28

Hometown: Grande Prairie, Alta.

Currently Resides: Dawson Creek, B.C.

Occupation: Stay-at-Home Mom

Audition Dish: Eggs Benedict in a Potato Nest with Hollandaise Sauce.

Food Dream: To own a food truck.

Instagram: @jenjenkins0517

Nikita Kaisar
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Nikita Kaisar

Age: 22

Hometown: Toronto, Ont.

Currently Resides: Toronto, Ont.

Occupation: Human Resources Management Graduate

Audition Dish: Tofu Blancmange with Ginger Spice Syrup and Poached Pear.

Food Dream: To work in culinary art therapy, healing through cooking.

Instagram: @nikitakaisar

Layla Kelly
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Layla Kelly

Age: 23

Hometown: Halifax, N.S.

Currently Resides: Halifax, N.S.

Occupation: Musician

Audition Dish: Maple Bacon Scallop with Apple Cider Glaze and Sliced Apples with Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Food Dream: To open a novelty drive-in theatre and restaurant.

Instagram: @LaylaKellyMusic

Marissa Leon-John
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Marissa Leon-John

Age: 31

Hometown: Montréal, Qué.

Currently Resides: Dollarddes-Ormeaux, Qué.

Occupation: Tech Support Manager

Audition Dish: Filet Mignon with Sautéed Mushrooms, Cauliflower Purée, and Maple Glazed Carrots.

Food Dream: To open a beachside Caribbean restaurant in St. Lucia.

Instagram: @mdominique

Peter Maltais
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Peter Maltais

Age: 56

Hometown: Kitchener, Ont.

Currently Resides: Kitchener, Ont.

Occupation: Truck Driver

Audition Dish: Beef Wellington with Basil Chestnut Purée, Roasted Carrots, and Mushroom Gravy.

Food Dream: To own and operate a fleet of food trucks.

Instagram: @grumpechef

Dawn O’Hara
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Dawn O’Hara

Age: 38

Hometown: Glace Bay, N.S.

Currently Resides: Calgary, Alta.

Occupation: Stay-at-Home Mom

Audition Dish: East Coast Blueberry Grunt

Food Dream: To run a bed and breakfast, or a food truck.

Instagram: @cookingcaper

Sienna Potter
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Sienna Potter

Age: 23

Hometown: Yarmouth, N.S.

Currently Resides: Saint John, N.B.

Occupation: Customer Service Representative

Audition Dish: Nova Scotia Lobster Bisque with Poached Lobster Tail and Chives.

Food Dream: To run a Bed and Breakfast.

Instagram: @siennapotter

Jonathan Rahim
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Jonathan Rahim

Age: 33

Hometown: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Currently Resides: Winnipeg, Man.

Occupation: Real Estate Agent

Audition Dish: Ghost Pepper Stew Chicken with Rice and Peas, and Mango Slaw.

Food Dream: To take a culinary tour of the world.

Instagram: @jonnyrahim

Nadia Rehman
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Nadia Rehman

Age: 26

Hometown: Oshawa, Ont.

Currently Resides: Markham, Ont.

Occupation: Account Executive

Audition Dish: Chicken Liver and Portobello Pâté on a Mushroom Rosemary Cracker.

Food Dream: To own a farm, grow food, and create a line of signature spices.

Instagram: @nadzland

Mike Schroeder
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Mike Schroeder

Age: 31

Hometown: Kentville, N.S.

Currently Resides: Kentville, N.S.

Occupation: Autism Support Worker

Audition Dish: Smoked Wild Boar With Rosemary Butter and Tuscan Salad with Citrus Dressing.

Food Dream: To run a field-to-forage retreat.

Instagram: @bigmanbucks

Melissa Skowron
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Melissa Skowron

Age: 32

Hometown: Calgary

Currently Resides: Calgary

Occupation: Facilities Coordinator

Audition Dish: Striploin Steak with Red Wine Sauce and Carrot Celery Root Purée.

Food Dream: To open a restaurant.

Instagram: @Melbot1000

Beccy Stables
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Beccy Stables

Age: 19

Hometown: Grimsby, UK

Currently Resides: Sherwood Park, Alta.

Occupation: Tile Setter Assistant

Audition Dish: Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Beetroot and Blackberry Sauce.

Food Dream: To be the best.

Instagram: @beccystables

Michael Varga
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Michael Varga

Age: 39

Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.

Currently Resides: Vancouver, B.C.

Occupation: Firefighter

Audition Dish: Moroccan-Spiced Lamb Chops with North African Risotto and Pomegranate.

Food Dream: To visit and cook at fire halls around the world.

Instagram: @thecup14

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