Recipe to Riches reveals judges (including Laura Calder) and contestants (including four from the GTA)

Recipe to Riches reveals judges (including Laura Calder) and contestants (including four from the GTA)

Recipe to Riches’s four GTA contestants: Tikka Smiley, Diana Petrini, Wayne Reid and Rosy Soobrattee (Images: Food Network Canada)

It seems there’s an insatiable appetite for competitive food shows (we certainly can’t get enough). The latest offering is Recipe to Riches, a new Food Network Canada series hosted by The Bachelor’s Jesse Palmer that highlights ordinary Canadians with ostensibly exceptional recipes. Contestants compete in several categories, each with a $25,000 purse, before battling for the grand prize of $250,000. Not a bad pay out if you ask us (it also happens to be the biggest prize in Canadian TV history). The winning dish will also be transformed into a President’s Choice product. Yesterday, the show announced its full line up of judges and 21 contestants, including four home cooks for the GTA.

Judging the recipes will be French Food at Home host Laura Calder (whom we recently featured), Tony Chapman, founder of advertising agency Capital C and Dana McCauley, the culinary director of Janes Family Foods (with special appearances by Loblaw chairman/pitchman Galen G. Weston). The only Torontonian to make the contestant pool is Tikka Smiley, who will be competing in the savoury pies category with her vegan pot pie. Smiley, a children’s entertainer, has been a vegetarian for more than 20 years and actively works to promote a meat-free diet. Joining her are several other GTAers: Diana Petrini, a matchmaker from Woodbridge, competing in the appetizers category with her recipe for stuffed olives; Wayne Reid, a truck driver and reggae musician from Brampton, up against Smiley in the savoury pies group with his recipe for salt fish and ackee pie; and Rosy Soobrattee, a childcare professional from Milton, in the frozen treats category with a creamy kulfi recipe we’d like to steal. Check out for the full contestant list.

Recipe to Riches premieres October 19, at 9 p.m. on Food Network Canada

Check out our recap of episode 1 »