TORONTO – After thousands of auditions, dozens of challenges, and fifteen delicious tension-filled episodes, Eric Chong was named the winner of MASTERCHEF CANADA tonight on CTV. Eric Chong, a chemical engineer from Oakville, Ont., is Canada’s first-ever MasterChef, winning the coveted title and $100,000 grand prize over runner-up Marida Mohammed, a stay at home mom from Toronto. Canadians hoping to follow this recipe for Eric’s success in Season 2 of the hit culinary competition can apply online now at ctv.ca/masterchefcanada.
Viewers who can’t wait for more MASTERCHEF action can catch Season 5 of the American version of the show when it returns to CTV in the same timeslot Mondays at 8 p.m. ET beginning May 26.
Eric and Marida excelled throughout the season, setting themselves apart from the competition with their evident passion for food, creative ideas, and execution.
They rose above in Mystery Box Challenges and elimination tests as the Top 50 home cooks became the Top 16 – and then the Top 2. The season finale saw Eric and Marida go head-to-head in a three-course culinary battle, with their families and former opponents cheering them on. Marida’s appetizer of callaloo and pumpkin soup with pig tails won the first round, while Eric’s main course of lobster with homemade noodles took the second, evening the score at one-all.
It was Eric’s dessert – an Asian-inspired banana split with green tea and red bean-flavoured ice creams, and banana tempura – that won him the title and grand prize by winning over judges Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung and Claudio Aprile.
“It’s an absolute honour and thrill to be named Canada’s first MasterChef,” said Eric Chong. “I have succeeded in showing my family, and myself, that I can make a career out of my passion for cooking, and I look forward to pursuing my dream even further.”
Viewers wanting to relive the delicious excitement of MASTERCHEF CANADA Season 1 can do so by watching past episodes, including the season finale, at CTV.ca and CTV GO.
Canadians have a hearty appetite for MASTERCHEF CANADA. Season 1 has a season-to-date average audience of 1.7 million viewers, making it the #1 new reality series of the season and among the Top 3 new programs on Canadian television overall this season. Consistently winning its timeslot in Canada on Monday nights, MASTERCHEF CANADA is the most-watched Canadian series of the 2013/2014 broadcast season.
Casting for Season 2 is now open at ctv.ca/masterchefcanada. Canadian home cooks have until 11:59 p.m. ET on July 13, 2014 to apply online, and are also invited to apply for MASTERCHEF CANADA Season 2 in person at an Open Casting Call in Toronto on July 12-13, 2014, with more details to come. MASTERCHEF CANADA is looking for passionate and talented home cooks who want to pursue a culinary dream.
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 culinary ninja, Eric already has a lot under his belt; he’s a chemical engineer, a graduate of McMaster University, and a cook of 15 years. At six years of age, he began with simple tasks in the kitchen and worked his way up, following in the footsteps of his grandfather who was the head chef at a Chinese restaurant. Eric proved himself by doing what he loves cooking foods with a ‘wow factor.’ Some dishes in his repertoire include a vegetarian mushroom risotto, and fresh homemade pasta. He cites MASTERCHEF judge Gordon Ramsay as his chef idol.