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Our Next Cooking Expert

The Search for the Cook Expert Recap

The Search for the Cook Expert Recap

We look back on the past week’s activities and discuss this once-in-a-lifetime experience with the candidates and judges

Marilyn’s Next Cooking Expert is…

Marilyn’s Next Cooking Expert is…

They have completed all our challenges but only one can be Marilyn’s Next Cooking Expert

Day Four

The Final Food Fight

The Final Food Fight

Our last round in The Search for Marilyn’s Next Cooking Expert begins, the challenge is to create three different hors d’oeuvres with three mystery ingredients

Creating Hors D’oeuvres

Creating Hors D’oeuvres

Our finalists continue to battle it out for the position of Marilyn’s Next Cooking Expert in round two of the Hors d’oeuvre challenge

One Last Taste Test

One Last Taste Test

The last two candidates prepare their third and final hors d’oeuvres; this is their last chance to impress the judges

Day Three

Cooking for an Audience

Cooking for an Audience

The four chefs become two teams as they enter their third challenge

Cooking for an Audience Pt 2

Cooking for an Audience Pt 2

The two teams are challenged with preparing their special meals for a restaurant full of critics

A Double Elimination

A Double Elimination

One team will be sent packing while the other will battle each other in tomorrow's final challenge

Day Two

Something Kid Friendly

Something Kid Friendly

It's day two in our search for the next cooking expert and our chefs are challenged with preparing a tasty seasonal veggie dish that kids will love

The Chef of the Day

The Chef of the Day

Today’s chef of the day will show off their cooking skills, while another will be sent home

Day One

The Next Cooking Expert

The Next Cooking Expert

We meet the six chefs that will go head-to-head all week long as we search for the Next Marilyn Cooking Expert

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Under the watchful eye of our judges, our chefs cook a chicken dinner, but are thrown off their game with a shocking twist

The First Elimination

The First Elimination

The chicken dinners have been judged and one chef will be sent home while another will be declared chef of the day

Lorraine Powell

Lorraine Powell

Lorraine is a Certified Personal Chef and full-time cooking school instructor hailing from Richmond Hill, Ontario. She and her husband Steve have been married for almost 30 years and live with their daughter Maxime and their dog Rocco. Lorraine has been cooking professionally for 9 years and credits her mother for getting her started at a young age in the kitchen. After owning a small catering company for many years, Lorraine switched her focus to teaching others the benefits of knowing how to cook simple, healthy, hearty meals. She calls herself an encyclopedia of food knowledge and believes that both her sense of humor and quick wit will help her stand out amongst the other cooks.

Kirk McLean

Kirk McLean

Kirk is a former professional chef, now at home chef for his wife Jennifer and their 9 month year old son Lachlan. Born and raised in New Zealand, Kirk has travelled all over the world and is now living with his family in Whitby, ON. His passion for food started when he was very young with the eastern parts of New Zealand providing lots of fresh ingredients to experiment with - mainly seafood! He enrolled in culinary school and upon completion, was awarded a scholarship that sent him across to the UK where he began working in several established restaurants. His career highlight was having the opportunity to work as the personal chef for the NZ Ambassador of the European Union in Belgium. His years of travel and experience, combined with his confidence are what he thinks makes him a strong candidate to become the Next Marilyn Cooking Expert.

Lester Austin

Lester Austin

Lester is a trained chef and lifestyle coach living with his wife and 4 children in Aurora, Ontario. For the past 6 years, he and his wife Gina have been running their own lifestyle and wellness studio where they promote healthy eating and exercise to their clients. He’s loved food all his life and started working in restaurants early on. After enrolling and completing culinary school at George Brown College, Lester started working as a Lifestyle Expert on a local cable show and then hosted a morning cooking show with his wife Gina. With his on camera experience and ability to develop quick and simple weekday meals for his 4 kids, Lester believes he definitely has an advantage among the other cooks. He would love the chance to get back in front of the camera, and show viewers how to make healthy dishes for their families.

Stephanie Gosselin

Stephanie Gosselin

Stephanie is a publicity sales rep and at home cook from Montreal, Quebec. She’s loved food all her life and started learning to cook at 12 years old when she decided to become a vegetarian. Her mother didn’t want to have to cook 2 separate meals each day so Stephanie began experimenting with vegetarian options to make dinner for herself. She’s no longer a vegetarian but still loves creating different dishes in the kitchen. Stephanie loves hosting dinner parties for her girlfriends where she can test all her kitchen creations. Her love of food and entertaining and her outgoing personality are what she believes will help her come out on top.

Joanna Tymkiw

Joanna Tymkiw

Originally from Vancouver and now residing in downtown Toronto, Joanna has worked in the food industry for over 7 years. After graduating university, she enrolled in cooking school and then began working as an apprentice for several of Vancouver’s top chefs. Taking a break from restaurants, Joanna then got a job working behind the scenes of a cooking show as a food stylist. This job inspired her to gain more media skills and she went on to get her Masters in journalism abroad in the UK, including a video thesis on Cullen Skink, a Scottish soup. Currently working in recipe development and writing food articles for magazines and blogs, Joanna hopes she can use her extensive food and television knowledge to help her rise to the top and become the Next Marilyn Cooking Expert.

Elysia Vandenhurk

Elysia Vandenhurk

Elysia is a young entrepreneur and red seal chef from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Growing up on a big family farm, she and her 5 siblings helped grow their own vegetables, and ground their own wheat to make homemade bread. After graduating from a professional cooking course in Saskatoon, Elysia decided to take a big risk and drove out to Toronto in hopes of working under her mentor Susur Lee. Knocking on his restaurant window, she convinced him to let her intern there and worked at his restaurant for a year. She now runs a business with her sister marketing a culinary oil called Three Farmers Camelina Oil. She insists on always using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients in creating her simple and colorful dishes. She wants to be the Next Marilyn Cooking Expert so she can show viewers that good food doesn’t have to be complicated and that healthy food is the key to a healthy lifestyle.