Judges

What it takes to win

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Recipe to Riches' expert team of judges know that cooking in the home kitchen is vastly different from being a chef in a commercial kitchen.

Judge Vikram Vij even described the difference as "walking on the moon." 

We asked Gail Simmons, Arlene Dickinson, Vikram Vij and Recipe to Riches show host Carlo Rota and Kitchen Commander Rob Rainford  what it takes to make a home recipe a sweet success.

What It Takes To Win: in Arlene's words

Arlene Dickinson (right) speaks with desserts finalist Jesse Meredith on Recipe to Riches

Above, Arlene Dickinson (right) speaks with desserts finalist Jesse Meredith on Recipe to Riches

Arlene Dickinson (left) speaks with appetizer finalist Elisa Hendricks on Recipe to Riches

Above, Arlene Dickinson (left) speaks with appetizer finalist Elisa Hendricks on Recipe to Riches

"The recipe has to be on trend," Arlene says, "and have a taste that will appeal to a wide marketplace."

Speaking about how she judged recipes on the show, Arlene added: "I wanted to make sure that this is a product that will hop off the shelves and grab people's attention - and in the shopping cart."

What It Takes To Win: in Gail's words

Gail Simmons (centre) speaks with entree finalist Winslow Taylor (left) on Recipe to Riches

Gail Simmons (centre) speaks with entree finalist Winslow Taylor (left) as Vikram Vij looks on during Recipe to Riches

"I think that the best recipe on Recipe to Riches, is something that hearkens back to home," said Gail.

She is also looking for "a unique flavour profile and that can be made easily for a family at home for dinner. But also something that someone alone can make without much fuss," she continued.

"Most of all: the flavour has to be fantastic."

What It Takes To Win: in Vikram's words

Judges Vikram Vij, Gail Simmons and Arlene Dickinson sample savoury pies on Recipe to Riches

Above, judges Vikram Vij, Gail Simmons and Arlene Dickinson sample savoury pies on Recipe to Riches

For Vikram, it's all about flavour. 

"Taste is the backbone of the dish," explains Vikram

"Without the taste, you can have any amount of beautiful marketing around it," said Vikram, "and eventually it's going to fall off."

What It Takes To Win: in Carlo's words

Carlo Rota (left) and Vikram Vij on Recipe to Riches

Above, host Carlo Rota (left) and Vikram Vij survey the savoury pie product development challenge on Recipe to Riches

Carlo Rota added to the conversation that the competitor needs to represent the recipe and know how to sell the product.

"What it takes to win this competition is a certain amount of confidence," said Carlo.

He also went on to emphasize the importance of commercial vision and that the competior must be "truly believing that the dish that has been created can appear on storeshelves and people will love it."

What It Takes To Win: in Rob's words

Competitor Roshini Mellaram and Rob Rainford on Recipe to Riches

Above, Recipe to Riches competitor Roshini Mellaram and Rob Rainford during the savoury snack episode product development challenge

Kitchen Commander Rob Rainford knows how to run a commercial kitchen. Not only is he a professional chef with his own restaurant in Toronto, but he also teaches culinary school students.

We asked him for insights as to what it takes to keep a commercial kitchen on track, to which Rob responded that it really comes down to knowledge, experience and teamwork.

"Qualities that it takes to succeed in a professional kitchen: a real understanding of what you’re doing, how it interacts with other people, and communication," answered Rob.

"If you cannot communicate what you are thinking to someone else, you just won't be successful."

Kitchen Commander Rob Rainford in the Recipe to Riches commercial kitchen

Above, Kitchen Commander Rob Rainford in the Recipe to Riches commercial kitchen

Rob continued: "Teamwork in a kitchen is paramount – and these people on the show have obviously been working by themselves," he added, referring to the Recipe to Riches competitors.

"They haven’t commanded a brigade. You have to communicate: talk talk talk the whole time."

 

Watch the finale episode of Recipe to Riches on Wednesday, April 2 at 9pm on CBC to find out who wins the $250,000 grand prize.

Click here to view full episodes on our website.

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