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What's Carlo Rota's Recipe to Riches?

Recipe to Riches host Carlo Rota interviews a contestant on the set of the Vancouver auditions. --Facebook/Recipe to Riches

Christine Tizzard and Stefano Faita have shared their "Recipes to Riches" with CBC Live. Same goes for Murdoch Mysteries's Yannick Bisson and Helene Joy. Heartland's Graham Wardle even taped us a video audition (which you should probably watch, then replicate at home).

But how about Recipe to Riches host, Carlo Rota? The guy has extensive kitchen cred, so what would he make if he were facing the judges at Saturday's Toronto try-outs?

CBC Live asked him this week.

According to Rota, his "Recipe to Riches" would "definitely be a dish you place in the oven." That way, it's easier to make in mass quantities; the reality show's winner gets to sell their dish in Loblaws stores, after all. Plus, an oven-able meal is an easy solution for anyone throwing a dinner party -- and he and his wife happen to host a lot of them now. ("We have an 18-month-old baby, who is a lovely boy, but because of his arrival we are basically under house arrest most of our lives.")

His recipe would also have to be vegan -- so all his friends could enjoy it. "We live in a crazy town where people become vegan at the drop of a hat," says Rota. (He's based in Los Angeles most of the year.) "And I've always maintained that you can make a vegan dish that meat-lovers will cherish."

And it would also be a nod to his heritage, which happens to be Italian.

Blend those three ingredients together, and Rota's Recipe to Riches pitch is this: "I'd make a vegan eggplant parmigiana (And I don't put the parmesan on until I serve it just in case people don't want cheese.)"

Try to imagine layers of ground tofu baked with a "faux bechamel" sauce of sauteed carrots and onions and mushrooms. "It always comes out with great applause with the people I serve it to," Rota says.

If you want to replicate that magic at home, however, good luck. The full recipe is staying secret.

Lucky for you, though, several CBC shows are sharing their own interpretations of an eggplant parm.

-- Best Recipes Ever

Like Rota's version, Best Recipes Ever's "Lightened Up Eggplant Parmigiana" is baked, not fried, but it's served with a marinara sauce. (Get the recipe.)

-- In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita

Stefano Faita has instructions for a gooey and savoury classic Eggplant Parmigiana at the In the Kitchen website. Made with heaps of mozzarella cheese, this definitely isn't a vegan option, but it's definitely a crowd-pleaser -- and, like Rota's recipe, it's a reliable make-ahead dish. (Get the recipe.)

-- Steven and Chris

Steven and Chris recuited chef Joshna Maharaj to re-interpret eggplant parmigiana. Her take? An "Eggplant Parm'wich" -- which smashes all the great flavour of the original dish into a hearty sandwich. As a bonus, this recipe includes options for vegetarians. (Get the recipe.)

For more on Recipe to Riches, visit the show's website.

Carlo Rota on Recipe to Riches and Why He's Through Getting His 'Just Desserts'
Graham Wardle's Recipe to Riches Audition: The Sticky Ball
Meet the Host of Recipe to Riches: Carlo Rota
6 Tips For Pitching Your Recipe to Riches
Stefano Faita and Christine Tizzard Reveal Their 'Recipe to Riches'