First-Ever Top 16 Home Cooks Announced for CTV's MASTERCHEF CANADA

Jan 28, 2014, 10:16 ET from CTV

- A plumber, a make-up artist, and a chemical engineer are among talented home cooks from across the country making it through to the Top 16 -

- A new episode of MASTERCHEF CANADA airs immediately following the SUPER BOWL on CTV -

- New content for MASTERCHEF CANADA unlocked on -

To tweet this release: #MCC @MasterChefCDA

TORONTO, Jan. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - As revealed last night on CTV's MASTERCHEF CANADA, celebrated Canadian chefs and restaurateurs Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung, and Claudio Aprile have narrowed the field from 26 to choose the Top 16 home cooks who will continue to compete for the first-ever title of MasterChef Canada and the $100,000 cash prize. The eclectic group now making up the Top 16 includes a stand-up comedian, chemical engineer, and female plumber all vying for the prize. Canadians will get their first look inside the MASTERCHEF CANADA kitchen and see what the Top 16 bring to the table with the program's first elimination episode airing on a special day and time this Sunday, Feb. 2 immediately following SUPER BOWL XLVIII (#CTV #SB48) on CTV. The episode is re-broadcast in MASTERCHEF CANADA's regular timeslot on Monday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT on CTV and CTV GO. Last night's episode of MASTERCHEF CANADA is available now on and CTV GO.

Also announced today, has unlocked special new content allowing fans of MASTERCHEF CANADA to find ways to be a MasterChef at home with recipes, extended behind-the-scenes videos, and more. Visitors can vote for their favourite home cook, nominate who they would vote off of the series, and watch extended exit interviews with each competitor as they leave the MASTERCHEF CANADA kitchen. In the ultimate quest to become a MasterChef themselves, visitors can upload a photo of themselves, add accessories such as a chef hat, rolling pin or apron, and share their MasterChef'd selves on Facebook. Plus, viewers are invited to Instagram their best-looking dish using the hashtag #MasterChefCDA and each week MASTERCHEF CANADA judge Michael Bonacini will review plating and presentation, and select his favourite.

In Episode 3 (Sunday, Feb. 2 at approximately 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT following SUPER BOWL XLVIII), the Top 16 home cooks enter the MASTERCHEF CANADA kitchen and face their first Mystery Box Challenge. A classic and highly versatile ingredient sends them in both sweet and savoury directions. The winner of the Mystery Box gets a huge advantage in the Elimination Challenge, choosing between the judges' favourite ingredients from the Canadian land, sea, and air. A shocking elimination reminds the home cooks that they are only as good as their last dish.

**Media Note** Download new photography including Episode 2 and 3 episodic art, plus new Top 16 gallery for MASTERCHEF CANADA at

Meet the Top 16 Home Cooks on MASTERCHEF CANADA:

Ben Miner

Hometown: Ottawa, Ont.
Currently Resides: Toronto, Ont.
Occupation: Stand-Up Comedian
Signature Dish: Cereal

Ben Miner is a stand-up comedian and satellite radio host from Ottawa, a gig he calls 'his dream job' - though being a hybrid Chef/MMA fighter is a close second.

Brooke Feldman

Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
Currently Resides: Toronto, Ont.
Occupation: Make-up artist
Signature Dish: Pan-Seared Salmon with Potato Dill Latkas, Horseradish, Pickled Fennel Salad

Brooke is a makeup artist and entrepreneur, as well as an independent consultant for a health and wellness company. She started cooking at the age of four while helping her grandmother. Her favourite things to cook are casual Caribbean dishes like oxtail.

Carly Tennant

Hometown: Abbotsford, B.C.
Currently Resides: Vancouver, B.C.
Occupation: Retail clothing store owner
Signature Dish: Turkey Meatballs with Parsnip Puree and Crispy Kale

Carly is a clothing store owner and self-proclaimed fashion nut. Cooking is definitely her first passion, and has been since the age of 10.

Dale Kuda

Hometown: Perry, Missouri
Currently Resides: Toronto, Ont.
Occupation: Household Manager
Signature Dish: Butter-Seared Pickerel with Fennel Citrus Salad and Orange Reduction

Dale is a self-employed housekeeper from Toronto. Dale was raised on a self-sufficient farm, milking cows and picking vegetables from his parents' garden. He grew up cooking with his mother and grandmother, becoming serious about it at age 21.

Danielle Cardozo

Hometown: Fernie, B.C.
Currently Resides: Cranbrook, B.C.
Occupation: Employment Development Officer
Signature Dish: Miso-Glazed Trout with Ponzu Mushrooms in Citrus Miso Broth

Danielle is an employment development officer whose entire family inspires her cooking - including her father who owns a pizzeria - but it was her big sister Amy who got her started when she was eight years old. Part Cree, Jamaican and Portuguese, Danielle aims to bring the same depth of variety in flavours to her cooking.

Danny Raposo

Hometown: Brampton, Ont.
Currently Resides: Brampton, Ont.
Occupation: Construction worker
Signature Dish: Chorizo on Rice with Beer Mustard Sauce

Danny Raposo is construction worker and father of two. He started cooking when his children were born, and cites his own father as his main inspiration.

Dora Cote

Hometown: Edmonton, Alta.
Currently Resides: Rocky Mountain House, Alta.
Occupation: Plumber
Signature Dish: Deconstructed Blueberry Pudding Cake with Caramel Sauce

Dora is a plumber hailing from Alberta. Dora remembers baking with her father at the age of six, and cites survival as her reason for cooking. Dora worked with a travelling carnival for five years, maintains a skull collection, and has a secret passion for crocheting and designing clothes.

Eric Chong

Hometown: Oakville, Ont.
Currently Resides: Oakville, Ont.
Occupation: Chemical Engineer
Signature Dish: Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Rice, Red Thai Curry Sauce, Homemade Spring Rolls and Plum Sauce

A self-proclaimed ninja, Eric already has a lot under his belt; he's a chemical engineer, a university graduate, and a cook of 15 years. At the age of six, he began with simple tasks in the kitchen and worked his way up.

Josh Gale

Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.
Currently Resides: Vancouver, B.C.
Occupation: IT Sales
Signature Dish: Seared Scallops on a Grilled Corn and Avocado Relish

Josh works in Corporate IT Sales, and while he only began cooking two years ago, he remembers being in love with food since he was a teenager. Josh is attracted to artistic plating and the 'look' of food. Josh's secret - he has a tattoo of Gordon Ramsay somewhere on his body.

Julie Miguel

Hometown: Woodbridge, Ont.
Currently Resides: Woodbridge, Ont.
Occupation: Senior Analyst
Signature Dishes: Italian Doughnuts (Zeppole) with Espresso and Lemon Crème Anglaise

Julie is a bankruptcy analyst from Woodbridge, Ont. Her time in the kitchen began when she took on the responsibility of cooking for her entire family at a young age. Julie loves working with desserts, specifically fresh pastries and cakes.

Kaila Klassen

Hometown: Penticton, B.C.
Currently Resides: West Kelowna, B.C.
Occupation: Realtor
Signature Dish: Seared Ahi Tuna with Cannellini Bean and Pancetta Fricasee

Kaila is a real estate agent who started cooking at the age of 17 after her first taste of fine dining. The experience - along with the desire to spend less money eating out so often - prompted her to start recreating dishes at home.

Marida Mohammed

Hometown: Sudbury, Ont.
Currently Resides: Toronto, Ont.
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Signature Dish: Fried Bake with Fish (Snapper)

Marida is a personal trainer. Her cooking spark ignited at the age of six when her mother would have Marida help her make roti. Everything her mother prepared seemed delicious - even exotic foods like chicken feet and bitter melon, which is why she remains Marida's main cooking inspiration.

Meghan Toth

Hometown: St. Catharines, Ont.
Currently Resides: St. Catharines, Ont.
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom
Signature Dishes: Lamb with Gremolata and Parsnip Puree

Meghan is a stay-at-home mom - a job she wouldn't change for the world. Her career as a home cook began in her childhood under the guidance of her Parisian grandmother. Meghan is most inspired by her husband. A constant source of encouragement, he's also a bit of a braggart when it comes to boasting about his wife's cooking.

Mike Green

Hometown: Kenora, Ont.
Currently Resides: Winnipeg, Man.
Occupation: Journalist
Signature Dish: Pan-Seared Arctic Char with Ratatouille-Infused Quinoa and Basil/Arugula Oil Sauce

Mike is a freelance journalist who started cooking at the age of 15. An experienced traveler, Mike has visited Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Panama, among others. He credits his global journey as his primary inspiration for cooking.

Pino DiCerbo

Hometown: Mississauga, Ont.
Currently Resides: Mississauga, Ont.
Occupation: Stay-at-home dad
Signature Dishes: Crepes Filled with Ground Beef, Zucchini and Ricotta

Pino is a stay-at-home dad, whose cooking story began when his two young boys were born, making him the primary caregiver in his household.

Tammara Behl

Hometown: St. Albert, Alta.
Currently Resides: Calgary, Alta.
Occupation: Special needs teacher
Signature Dishes: Vegetable Samosa with Tamarind Chutney and Sweet and Spicy Green Mango Chutney

Tammara is a special education teacher and a mom of two young girls. She wears her heart on her sleeve and has a larger-than-life persona, especially in the kitchen. She remembers cooking for the first time at age 3, courtesy of an Easy Bake Oven.

The first episode of MASTERCHEF CANADA premiered last week to 1.4 million viewers as the most-watched program of the night.*




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*Nationally, CASTLE (1.372 million) led MASTERCHEF CANADA (1.367 million) by 5,000 viewers, or 0.37%.

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