It’s back! On March 10, Calgary’s Gabriela Neda, Karine Moulin and Pierre Lamielle begin the battle for the title of Top Chef Canada

Three of Calgary’s best culinary professionals will fight to become Top Chef Canada, when it premieres at 7pm on Monday, March 10 on Food Network Canada. This year’s competition is a battle of the sexes, with Calgary Petroleum Club’s Gabriela Neda and Hotel Arts’ Karine Moulin pitted against cookbook author and culinary instructor, Pierre Lamielle, along with 11 other competitors.

We talked to each of Calgary’s contestants to find out their Top Chef Canada aspirations.

Gabriela Neda (sous chef, Calgary Petroleum Club):

Why did you audition for Top Chef Canada?

I auditioned for Top Chef Canada because Executive Chef Liana Robberecht, my boss (at the Calgary Petroleum Club), was looking one day at the Top Chef website and mentioned it to me. I thought I could really enjoy participating on the show since I love competing and in the past I have competed at Skills Canada twice and with Chaine des Rotisseurs. I’ve also done competitive swimming, so I knew I was going to like it!

What makes you different from the other contestants?

I am girly before anything else. I always have a smile but I also have a strong character. I know what I want and I will find a way to accomplish it

What do you love about food in Calgary?

When people think of food in Calgary they always associate it with beef, or steak and potatoes, but there is more than that. We have style, we have diversity, we have class. I really love the opportunities we have to find any ingredients and how open we are to trying new things, especially at my job.

Karine Moulin (pastry chef, Hotel Arts):

Why did you audition for Top Chef Canada?

It’s real. It puts your culinary skills to the test. I love the show so I applied as soon as I heard they were accepting online applications. I just decided to go for it.

How did Top Chef Canada put your skills to the test?

It put my skills to the test in the sense that you need to work under pressure and under timelines. You really have to dig deep and use every culinary instinct that you have.

What was it like being part of the battle of the sexes?

It was a unique, dynamic and an interesting twist that was unexpected on my part. This season is extreme and I suspect it will be very entertaining.

Pierre Lamielle (instructor and cookbook author, Kitchen Scraps and co-author Alice Eats):

Why did you audition for Top Chef Canada?

I wanted to see how I could do against restaurant chefs because I have zero years of restaurant experience. I’m the only contestant who is a cookbook author and I’m the only one who designs food t-shirts. But since I consider Food On Your Shirt my restaurant, I’m the only Top Chef ever, in all of Top Chefs, who serves all of North America!

What was the experience like?

It was physically and emotionally intense. The biggest thing that sets this season apart is how extreme it was. And the list of judges was so impressive this year. There were some really incredible people there.

What was it like to see Gabriela and Karine there?

I had never met Gabriela, but I had met Karine before so it was nice to see a familiar face.  Calgary was very well represented.
You can watch Chef Karine Moulin on Top Chef Canada at Raw Bar by Duncan Ly at Hotel Arts every week, or head to CHARCUT to witness Chefs Gabriela Neda and Pierre Lamielle battle against each other for a spot on the menu (for reservations call 403-984-2180).

May the best chef win!

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