The season finale of Recipe to Riches was the ultimate reveal of which of the amateur home cooks would take home the $250,000 grand prize.
Jesse Meredith, Winslow Taylor, Alcide Desveaux, Elisa Hendricks and Cyra Belbin all came out on top as finalists and their recipes were made into President’s Choice® products.
Our five finalists have already cooked, baked, seared and served their recipes on the show. Canadians voted for their favourite recipe and now that the results were counted, one of the finalists would win the grand prize.
Let’s revisit some highlights from the show’s final round of elimination.
Up first: Jesse and Elisa
The first two finalists to be called to face the judges were Jesse and Elisa.
Above, Jesse Meredith arrives on stage during the finale episode of Recipe to Riches
Above, Elisa Hendricks arrives on stage for the finale of Recipe to Riches. The judging panel cheers on.
Elisa’s Italian Lollipops were the best appetizers on the show whereas Jesse’s Mini Raspberry Cheesecake Chocolate Cups had taken the lead as the best dessert.
Host Carlo Rota informed them that only one of them had received enough votes to be in the top three and would now face elimination. One of them would still in the running for the grand prize: but who?
How well did the products sell?
Loblaw Executive Chairman Galen Weston, who manages the President’s Choice brand among others highlighted the finalists’ sales facts and figures.
Loblaw's Galen Weston arrives on stage at the Recipe to Riches finale
Galen said that all 900,000 of Elisa’s Italian Lollipops were made by hand the same way that she makes them at home, inserting one stick at a time in each of them.
Galen added that it took 15,000 hours to make 900,000 of Elisa’s Italian Lollipops, which would have taken her about four years to do herself.
Above, Elisa Hendricks during the Recipe to Riches finale
Galen also had a few facts about Jesse’s treats: if he was to line up the Mini Raspberry Cheesecake Chocolate Cups that were sold to date, they would stretch between Vancouver and Calgary.
Despite brisk sales of Elisa’s Italian Lollipops, she didn’t receive enough votes to make it past the first round of elimination and she was sent home. This meant that Jesse had made it to the top three.
Above, Jesse Meredith (left) reacts to his top three finish as Elisa is eliminated for the grand prize on Recipe to Riches
Sales of soup, mac and cheese and meat pie
Up next were Winslow Taylor, Cyra Belbin and Alcide Desveaux. The three were quite anxious as they had just witnessed Elisa’s elimination. They also knew that one of them would be going home next.
Above, Winslow Taylor salutes the crowd as he arrives on stage during the Recipe to Riches finale
Above, Cyra Belbin waves to the audience as she arrives on stage during the finale of Recipe to Riches
Above, Alcide Desveaux is cheered on as he arrives on stage for the finale of Recipe to Riches
Galen began by pointing out that Winslow’s Jammin’ Jamaican Lobster Bisque is the most successful soup product launch in President’s Choice® history. He continued by adding that one customer bought 100 of the soups at a time!
Galen went on to add that Alcide Desveaux’s Grandpa’s Acadian Meatpie was so popular that it had sold out in four hours at a store in Welland, Ont., where Alcide resides.
As for Cyra’s Mexi Mac n Cheese Bites, Galen calculated that if her product’s sales pace was sustained over one year, it would equal 1.5 million unit sales.
Above (left to right): Winslow Taylor, Alcide Desveaux and Cyra Belbin on the stage at the finale of Recipe to Riches
It seemed that all the finalists’ products were outperforming expectations, a fact that Galen confessed had been plaguing the President’s Choice® distribution schedule. He assured the audience that all the finalists’ products would continue to be made and stocked on store shelves across Canada.
Elimination is inevitable
Despite the outstanding national appetite for the finalists’ products, it was between Cyra, Alcide and Winslow who would pass this round of elimination.
The votes were counted and the results were in: Winslow was the one to go.
Next up: the top three
With Elisa and Winslow out of the running, the top three hoping for the Recipe to Riches $250,000 grand prize were Cyra and her Mexi Mac n’ Cheese Bites, Alcide and his Grandpa’s Acadian Meatpie, and Jesse with his Mini Raspberry Cheesecake Chocolate Cups.
Above (left to right): Alcide Desveaux, Jesse Meredith and Cyra Belbin are the top three finalists in the season finale of Recipe to Riches
The Recipe to Riches judges weighed in with their favourite moments and best food tastes on the show, often arguing - except to agree that if it was up to them to choose a grand prize winner, they would surely not reach a consensus.
Above (left to right): Recipe to Riches judges Vikram Vij, Gail Simmons and Arlene Dickinson
Then Carlo read out the results.
Above, Recipe to Riches show host Carlo Rota reads the voting results during the finale episode
To the shock of the audience, Jesse Meredith was next to be eliminated. It seemed that that the vivacious actor had been a favourite for the grand prize win. Unfortunately for Jesse, he didn’t receive enough votes and was sent home.
The final two
Like the other finalists on the show, Alcide Desveaux and Cyra Belbin had both rallied their friends and families to vote for them and help sway the numbers on their side. Unfortunately for Alcide, his efforts fell short, and he came in second in the voting.
Above, Alcide Desveaux and Cyra Belbin wait to hear the voting results on Recipe to Riches
Cyra Belbin’s Mexi Mac n’ Cheese Bites received the most votes and she won the $250,000 Recipe to Riches grand prize. Overjoyed, Cyra jumped on the stage as gold confetti showered her in a surreal moment of triumph.
Above, Alcide Desveaux (left) cheers on as Cyra Belbin wins the Recipe to Riches grand prize
Above, Cyra Belbin shows her cheque for the $250,000 Recipe to Riches grand prize
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