Meet the Masterchef Canada Season 2 Contestants
Get to know the creative chef contestants competing for the title of MasterChef Canada this season.
Cody Karey is a recording artist from Fort Saint James, B.C., currently residing in Vancouver. Helping his parents prepare meals for their large family, and watching a nearly dangerous amount of cooking shows, taught this foodie how to cook. Although he is looking to impress the ladies, Cody’s own enthusiasm and curiosity for food is what really inspires him. Favoring French and Italian cuisine, he loves to cook risotto, fresh pasta and rich French sauces for large groups of friends. With a passion for food and music, Cody turns on jazz or a fine Italian ballad while cooking.
Sabrina Poirier comes from a big Italian family with strong culinary roots. An office manager born and raised in Montreal, Sabrina is proud of where she comes from. With a strong love of food, she is self-taught and enjoys creating delicious meals for friends and family. Fish might be her favorite dish to cook, but she’s inspired by the amount of love and hard work that goes into cooking with any ingredient.
David Jorge is a concrete contractor and father of two from Surrey, B.C. Learning to cook from his mother, celebrity chefs, and trial and error, David loves to cook for his family and friends. Making people happy through food is what inspires him, and is something he is truly passionate about. Aside from cooking for his loved ones, David is heavily involved in raising money through events for the Surrey Food Bank in order to help feed those in his community who are less fortunate. You can expect to find David in the kitchen, listening to anything by Chromeo or Arcade Fire while cooking with his signature bold flavors. He is known for hosting large family-style meals featuring whole-animal cookery. For David, nothing is impossible when it comes to him and cooking — whether it means raising his own cattle or building his own wood-fired pizza oven and smoker.
Line Pelletier is a Canadian military veteran and computer specialist. Originally from Edmundston, N.B., she currently lives in Moncton, N.B. Growing up watching her mom, dad and grandmother cook, Line became inspired. Cooking for the people she loves is what drives her passion. With both of her daughters grown up and moved out, Line enjoys throwing lavish dinner parties for her friends. She is inspired by local produce, game, and bold flavors and textures, and often cooks with her favorite ingredient — wine.
Christopher Siu is a pharmacy student from Markham, Ont. He became interested in baking after years of watching his father make cheesecakes for family birthdays. By studying cookbooks, Christopher became a great baker, making fresh bread during the week and pastries for afternoon tea on the weekends. His friends and family are his inspiration for baking, and putting smiles on their faces through his sweets and treats is what keeps him going. His favorite ingredient to cook with is unsweetened chocolate, the key ingredient to his favorite dish: Raspberry Chocolate Tart. For Christopher, baking is relaxation — give him a whisk and a rolling pin and he’s in full meditation.
Jennifer Innis is a dental hygienist and mom of three from Drayton Valley, Alta., currently residing in Vernon, B.C. She credits her cooking talents to TV and her mother, and was inspired as a young girl watching her mom create masterpieces in the kitchen. For Jennifer, cooking is a stress reliever, and she loves to spoil her friends and family with food. Her favorite cooking ingredients are wine, cream and butter, which she uses while listening to old-school Metallica, System of a Down or Three Days Grace. Jennifer is a self-proclaimed “Chatty Cathy,” and is prone to share whatever’s on her mind.
Originally from Edmonton, Jon Hameister-Ries is a former pro football player, currently working as a financial advisor in Vancouver. After a football injury left him on bed rest, he spent his recovery time watching cooking shows. Inspired by the chefs on television and by both of his grandmas, Jon began experimenting in the kitchen. For Jon, cooking is “go big or go home,” and that means there is never enough meat. A true grill master, Jon says his favorite ingredient to cook with is beef, which he loves to make for family and friends on the beach. He’s usually listening to “At the Speed of Life” by Xzibit or “Lift and Drop” by Red Shag Carpet in the kitchen. Always up for a challenge, Jon once finished an entire 72-ounce steak.
Tammy Wood is a retail clerk from Chilliwack, B.C., currently living in Agassiz, B.C. The kitchen is her happy place where she finds tranquility and is inspired by the happiness that her dishes bring to loved ones. Cooking runs through her veins — as a young girl, she learned from her mom, grandparents and dad, who was a professional chef cooking for hundreds of hungry men at a logging camp. An avid hunter and fisher, Tammy loves to cook with wild game. She has a large family and cooks for 35 to 40 people on every holiday. A mother of six, Tammy lost her husband in a workplace accident and is a true survivor. She is prepared for anything that life throws at her, and wants to inspire her kids, other widows, and single mothers by her strength in the face of adversity.
Michael Motamedi grew up in Los Angeles but currently lives in Toronto, and is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of a men’s fashion company that creates and sells handcrafted wooden pocket squares. He has always been a man with expensive taste in food, but in his younger years he couldn’t afford to keep up with the lavish dining he craved. With self-reverence and the help of the Internet, he began to re-create the expensive but mouthwatering dishes he enjoyed at his favorite restaurants. Though he mostly cooks for himself, Michael also enjoys cooking for his girlfriend and hosting small cocktail parties with friends. The need to constantly learn new things is what inspires him, and the feeling of achievement that comes from creating delicious and beautiful meals continually fuels his passion.
Debbie MacDonald is a special-needs teacher from Port Hood, N.S. She started cooking at the age of 7; helping her mother with meals and baking, she quickly fell in love with the culinary world. She is inspired by flavors, local ingredients and seafood, which she has full access to because she lives on the East Coast. Her specialty is comfort food with East Coast flair, but it’s not just about seafood — Debbie also loves to cook up a big traditional turkey dinner for her friends and family. Debbie is a proud Canadian, but is particularly proud to be from Port Hood, the "beach capital" of Nova Scotia.
Andrew Al-Khouri is a tax officer from Cape Breton, N.S., currently residing in Halifax. He originally learned to cook from his mom, and he says she continues to inspire his dishes, which have become an outlet for his creativity. Chicken shawarma, lamb, donair and gnocchi are only a few of his favorite dishes to make for family and friends. You can find Andrew in the kitchen, cooking away to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” with his favorite cooking tool — an offset spatula.
Debra Pangestu is a public relations officer from the Philippines, currently residing in Richmond, B.C. Debra was drawn to cooking at a young age. Watching her mom in the kitchen, she was mesmerized: the fresh ingredients on the countertops, the sound of the sizzling frying pan, the smell of freshly ground herbs and the taste of everything coming together. Her mom took note of her fascination with food and cooking, and Debra became her helper. For Debra, cooking is an act of love — she cooks because she loves it, and she cooks for people because she loves them. Debra’s favorite thing to cook is banana pancakes, and she does it while listening to “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson.
Kevin Gregory is an applications engineer from Annapolis Valley, N.S., currently living in Fredericton, N.B. He first learned to cook from his mom with her no-fail recipes, but honed his cooking skills in college after quickly realizing that his roommates could hardly boil water. His interest in cooking began long before college — while he was traveling the world, he picked up culinary inspiration along the way. To Kevin, food means family, and when he was growing up there was never a shortage of food at his family gatherings. Bringing friends and family together around the table is what motivates him to cook. When he’s not hosting or cooking for his neighbors, he’s bringing in delicious meals for his co-workers. Kevin’s favorite thing to cook is mackerel, and his favorite cooking music is by Billy Joel.
Kristen Dwyer is an early childhood educator from Conception Bay South, N.L. Her interest in cooking began at the age of 15 after her mom was diagnosed with ALS, and she took over cooking for the family. Kristen asked her mom if she could boil a frozen hot dog for lunch, and the cooking spark was ignited. Starting with something as simple as a hot dog, Kristen has come a long way and is inspired by strong and bold flavors, experimenting with different combinations. When she's cooking for her husband, family and lifelong friends, Kristen’s favorite dish is soft pretzels with coarse salt and a serrano beer cheese sauce. You can find Kristen in the kitchen, cooking away to anything by The Beatles, using her favorite chef knife.
Kwasi Douglas is a community facilitator from Whitby, Ont., who currently lives in Ajax, Ont. A lover of eating nutritiously, he believes that food is the staff of life. He started cooking as a creative outlet and hasn’t stopped. Growing up with home-cooked meals every day, Kwasi learned to cook from his mother, who also convinced him to apply for MasterChef Canada. Kwasi was born in Canada, but his family is originally from Guyana, which has a big influence on his cooking. His favorite dish to make is soup, and he can create anything with a well-seasoned cast-iron pot. Kwasi is a music lover, and his go-to cooking song is “Till It Some More” by Sizzla. The father of growing children, Kwasi loves cooking for his family and practices yoga daily.
Kyle McKenna is a bartender from Mermaid, P.E.I., currently living in Paradise, N.L. Traveling around the world for over a decade, Kyle began cooking after being exposed to global flavors and unique cooking techniques. He is self-taught and honed his skills working in bars and restaurants. His main inspiration is his fiancee, who has the lucky job of taste-testing all his creations. Since she is both his toughest critic and his biggest fan, he is always out to impress her. Because he's from Prince Edward Island, Kyle’s favorite thing to cook is seafood; it reminds him of home, no matter where he is in the world.
Who Will Win MasterChef Canada?
Tune in to Cooking Channel to find out who will take home $100,000 and the right to call himself or herself MasterChef.