Chef School

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Chef School
Country of origin Canada
No. of episodes 26
Running time 30 minutes
Original network Food Network Canada
Original release 2008-01-01

Chef School is a reality television series which airs on Food Network Canada. It is a 26-part docu-soap that follows the experiences of 12 students at the Stratford Chef School, one of Canada's most prestigious culinary schools.[1]

The show airs in Canada and Hong Kong.

Top chefs from restaurants in Toronto, Vancouver and New York judge and critique the students' cooking.[2]

Series development[edit]

Crystal Asher, a second-year student at Stratford Chef School, approached Red Apple Entertainment president Rachel Low with the idea. Early in the program's development, the idea of a formal competition was ruled out, as the creators expected there would already be sufficient dramatic elements. For the first season, the producers chose 12 of 36 students in the school to follow. 1,000 hours of footage were edited down to the 13 half-hour episodes of the series' first season.[3] Of the twelve students, only nine returned for the second season. One student, Danielle, did not graduate.


At the time of the series debut, John Doyle of The Globe and Mail wrote, "It's a charming series, much less noisy and more astute than some of the higher-profile cooking-school shows."[4]

The 12 students[edit]

  • Alex Landheer, the group's "troublemaker".
  • Allison Jones, who is a former pastry chef.
  • Andrew Coristine, who chose chef school over entering a PhD program in physics.
  • Ben Sachse, Swiss-Canadian, studied Anthropology before pursuing a career in cooking.
  • Danielle Stahlke, a former amateur hockey player.
  • Dave Lingard, who has the most prior restaurant experience of the 12.
  • Joyce Singh, a Stratford native.
  • Kelsey Murray, the youngest of the group.
  • Matthew Duffy, with a B.Comm in Hotel and Food Administration
  • Mike Brennan, who is a known party animal.
  • Richard Francis, who is putting his life back on track after drug-and-alcohol rehab.[3]
  • Tim Besserer, the oldest and most overlooked member of the group.


  1. ^ Demontis, Rita (2007-12-26). "TV to sink your teeth into". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2008-01-01. [dead link]
  2. ^ Creighton, Judy (2007-12-26). "Stratford Chefs School focuses on students in series on Food Network". Canadian Press. Retrieved 2008-01-01. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b Taylor, Kate (2008-01-28). "Cooking up controversy". The Globe and Mail. p. R1. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  4. ^ Doyle, John (2008-01-01). "Attention, people in Canadian TV: Call off your aunties". The Globe and Mail. p. R3. 

External links[edit]