The game is on! Canada’s newest reality cooking series hit the airwaves on February 3 and Edgar’s Marysol Foucault took time out from the kitchen to get in front of the cameras as a celebrity judge.
Wall of Chefs sees ambitious amateur cooks facing off in a series of three cutthroat culinary challenges that are judged by a rotating line-up of 12 renowned chefs (these chefs are known as “The Wall”). Each episode features four home cooks whose ultimate goal is to satisfy the palates of the industry pros and take home $10,000 at the end of the show.
As a fierce competitor (she has competed in Gold Medal Plates and the French-language TV cooking competition À couteaux tires), Foucault said it was hard to watch from the sidelines. “Most of the time, I simply wanted to run down and compete myself,” says Foucault. “You constantly relive all the past competitions you’ve been in. You’re always thinking about what you would do with those ingredients and constraints in the challenges.”
The Wall of Chefs debuts on Food Network Canada on Monday, Feb. 3 at 10 p.m. The episodes will be also be posted on the Food Network website the day after each show airs.
Celebrity chef overload
Though local foodies will obviously be focussed on Foucault, the roster of Canadian culinary trailblazers appearing on Wall of Chefs is lengthy. A quick perusal of the chefs sees Toronto-based legends Lynn Crawford, Susur Lee, and Mark McEwan; St. John’s star Todd Perrin; and Vancouver’s Rob Feenie, Meeru Dhalwala, and Joël Watanabe to name just a few of the 33 chefs scheduled to make appearances.
When asked who she appears with, Foucault is secretive, saying viewers will have to tune in to find out.
Though she’s a busy chef and the mother of a toddler, Foucault said knew she couldn’t turn down the opportunity to launch a new show and hang out with chef friends and idols from around Canada.
“The most fun part of doing this show was meeting all the chefs I probably wouldn’t have otherwise met! We all have the same job, but we don’t have the same day-to-day experiences, so it was interesting to exchange ideas, concepts, and realities. The food scene is not the same in Saskatoon, Vancouver, Halifax or Ottawa, so it was great to get to hear about the different types of cuisines from these renowned chefs that hail from across the country!”
On judging the home chefs
“I don’t think culinary school has anything to do with empathy, nor does it have anything to do with being a great chef! Many of the home cooks actually cooked better than some people I have worked with that have gone to culinary school,” says Foucault.
“The judges had great respect for the home cooks because we all understood that they’re cooking in an unfamiliar kitchen in front of 12 professionals with cameras and lights on them. And many were using ingredients they may have never have encountered before in their lives. How courageous!”