These 2 Vancouver chefs are heading into battle in first-ever season of Iron Chef Canada


Two Vancouver chefs are among the 10 competitors who will be stepping into TV’s “Kitchen Stadium” to take on some of the country’s most well-known culinary stars in the first-ever season of Iron Chef Canada.

Like its U.S. counterpart (and the Japanese original), Iron Chef Canada pits talented chefs against high-profile cooking luminaries dubbed Iron Chefs, to see “whose cuisine will reign supreme.”

Food Network Canada has fired up the inaugural season of the Canuck version, which is hosted by Toronto-born Gail Simmons (of Top Chef fame) and features food writer Chris Nuttall-Smith as the floor reporter.

Bell, left, and Chen will compete against TV’s Iron Chef Canada stars (Photo courtesy Corus Entertainment)

The Iron Chefs holding court are Hugh Acheson, Amanda Cohen, Lynn Crawford, Rob Feenie, and Susur Lee. Each week one of them will face off against a challenger from an impressive pool of kitchen talent culled from the nation (though seven of the 10 hail from Ontario).

So it’s pretty impressive that two Vancouver chefs are stepping into the ring: Chef Ned Bell (OceanWise) and Chef Alex Chen (Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar).

Here is the full list of competitors you’ll see this season:

  • Jason Bangerter, Cambridge, Ont.- Executive Chef, Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa
  • Ned Bell, Vancouver, B.C. – Executive Chef, Ocean Wise program at the Vancouver Aquarium
  • Alex Chen, Vancouver, B.C. – Executive Chef, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
  • John Horne, Toronto, Ont. – Executive Chef, Canoe
  • Marc Lepine, Ottawa, Ont. – Chef and Owner, Atelier
  • Nick Liu, Toronto, Ont. – Chef and Owner, DaiLo and LoPan
  • Brandon Olsen, Toronto, Ont. – Chef and Owner, La Banane and CXBO Chocolates
  • René Rodriguez, Ottawa, Ont. – Chef, COMMON Eatery
  • Danny “Smiles” Francis, Montreal, Que. – Chef de Cuisine, Le Bremner
  • Laura White, Toronto, Ont. – Pastry Chef, Forno Cultura

Iron Chef Canada premieres October 17 at 10 pm ET/PT on Food Network Canada.

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom