As Canadians become more diligent with social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, finding new ways to occupy our time can become tricky.
Fortunately, Canada’s culinary community creates some pretty bingeworthy online content that can keep you entertained on the couch and inspired in the kitchen. Whether it's an innovative recipy from a quick video, an episodic cooking competition, or a look into culinary techniques and practices from different cultures, there's something online for every foodie.
We put together a list of some of our favourite Canadian-made culinary shows, spanning across multiple platforms, to help pass the time over the next few weeks.
Lauren Toyota has always had a great approach to cooking. Keeping things simple and fun in her popular series Hot For Food, Toyota makes an array of delicious vegan dishes, many of which appear in her equally popular cookbook Vegan Comfort Classics.
A YouTube veteran of five years with almost two million subscribers, Sara Lynn Cauchon provides quick and easy-to-follow recipes for healthy and flavourful dishes that don’t break the bank. Cauchon teachers viewers how to master basic cooking techniques while offering loads of variation, from vegan and vegetarian to family style.
Vijaya Selvaraju guides viewers through the intricacies of Indian cuisine by exploring eclectic recipes from her childhood in Chennai, India. With episodes dating back to 2007, there is no shortage of bingeworthy material on this Toronto-based home cook’s channel.
Formerly known as Le Gourmet TV, Glen Campbell is a Toronto-based YouTuber producing daily culinary content. In an era of overproduction and often-lengthy video durations, Glen and Friends is straightforward and to the point, featuring no-nonsense instructions on how to make an array of food, beer, and cocktails.
Food Network Canada
The latest addition to the Food Network Canada catalogue of cooking competitions, Wall of Chefs pits four home cooks against one another in front of a powerhouse judging panel of Canadian celebrity chefs. While the format does follow a familiar formula, the added elements provide just enough nuance for it to still feel fresh.
Currently in the final stretch of its inaugural season, the Great Chocolate Showdown puts competitors to the test in a series of chocolaty challenges, judged by three of Canada’s premier dessert authorities, Anna Olson, Cynthia Stroud, and Steven Hodge. Unlike most other cooking competitions, the Great Chocolate Showdown's cast of competitors is made up of bakers from both Canada and the U.S., providing an extra element of competition within the competition.
Top Chef Canada (premieres April 13)
No one is entirely sure how long it will be until things go back to normal, so one show to look out for in the coming weeks is the eighth season of Food Network Canada’s flagship cooking competition, Top Chef Canada. This year’s “cheftestant” line-up features arguably the most diverse cast of competitors the show has ever seen, with a mix of executive chefs and restaurateurs from all across the country.
Fire Masters (premieres April 16)
Another cooking competition returning to Food Network Canada in the coming weeks, each episode of Fire Masters features a three-way battle between aspiring North American cooks, who push their grilling talents to the limit in a series of culinary challenges. The last chef standing goes head-to-head in a cookoff with renowned judges such as Nicole Gomez, Connie DeSousa, and Dale MacKay.
For CBC, this show is a little hokey, but it's also the brand's first original culinary competition series, so we'll give it a pass. Besides, the show feaures a lot of fun familiar faces from the food media industry across Canada including Nicole Gomes and Matt Basile as well as the ever-hilarious host Emmma Hunter.
If you didn't catch the latest season of this Canadian version of the British classic, it definitely deserves a watch. What we like about this show aside from the delicious-looking baking creations from each episode, is that it's primarily drama-free and the majority of competitors are loveable. The culinary animations in the series, created by illustrator Kenna Barnes are absolutely stunning too.
Hosted by Masterchef Canada Season 3 winner and bestselling cookbook author Mary Berg, Mary’s Kitchen Crush provides a whimsically fun approach to home cooking. Berg’s endearing quirkiness is on full display as she guides viewers through her go-to recipes for almost any occasion, before she is joined by a special guest to enjoy the final meal.
Acclaimed chef Michael Bonacini provides some much needed vicariousness in a time when the possibility of exploring culinary cultures abroad already seems like a distant memory. Bonacini cooks his way through 15 Italian regions, exploring the flavours and textures that make each location unique, while demonstrating how to make sumptuous Italian fare from home.
B.C.-born Spencer Watts combines his signature energetic persona and expert culinary skills to create a fast-paced series featuring healthy and hearty meals that can be made by anyone in around 30 minutes. Although speedy--each episode is shot in just one take--Watts’ process is natural, fun, and easy to follow.
We had a chance to chat with Moosemeat and Marmalade co-host Art Napoleon ahead of last year’s Season 4 premiere, and within a few minutes we decided that as long as Napoleon is on T.V, we’re going to watch it. Paired with Victoria-based chef Dan Hayes, Napoleon combines his knowledge of plants and wildlife with home-style cooking techniques to create healthy, affordable meals that showcase Indigenous foods.
Feast explores professional chef Tiffany Wahsontiiostha Deer’s passion for healthy and rustic creations of modern and traditional Indigenous cuisine. With easy-to-follow recipes and the occasional kitchen hack, Feast provides a quaint and charming look into Indigenous home cooking. Feast has also posted a number of short videos to its Facebook page.