Two Calgarians return to Top Chef Canada for all-star edition

For four seasons, we cheered on Calgary chefs as they competed with those from across the country in a battle for culinary supremacy on Top Chef Canada.

Now the show is back – after a three-year hiatus – in an all-star version pitting some of the best from the show against each other and Calgary has two chefs sharpening their knives.

Charcut and Charbar co-chef and owner Connie DeSousa, who made it to the finale in the premiere season before losing to Dale MacKay, and Cluck N Cleaver’s Nicole Gomes, who was knocked out in the 11th episode of season 3, are both back and ready to rumble.

While Calgary had nine chefs compete over the course of the Top Chef Canada, Gomes and DeSousa went the furthest and rightfully earned spots in this special all-stars season.

To celebrate the return of the show to Food Network Canada on Sunday, April 2, both are hosting fundraising viewing parties – combining their mutual loves of a good time and supporting causes near and dear to their hearts.

Gomes – who also runs the successful catering company, Nicole Gourmet – will be at National Beer Hall on 10th (341 – 10th Ave. SW) for the premiere, kicking off the party at 6 p.m. Money raised at the event will go to help purchase equipment for the Foothills Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.

For more information or to buy tickets, head here.

Meanwhile, DeSousa will be on the rooftop at the Simmons Building in the East Village for the premiere. She and her crew will be serving up their signature Alley Burgers, which can be enjoyed with Village Beer brews.

All the proceeds will be donated to the Alberta Cancer Foundation, which raises money for cancer centres across the province.

The party kicks off at 6 p.m. and there will be a big screen to enjoy the show.

For tickets or more information, email

Gwendolyn Richards is a Calgary-based food writer who regularly contributes to Avenue magazine and writes about restaurants for Where Calgary. She has no idea how chefs are able to compete on shows like Top Chef Canada; she’d be crying in the corner pretty much immediately.