AUDIO: Mark McEwan on Top Chef Canada

The Toronto chef talks to CBC Radio's Q about what makes a good chef and choosing a winner for Top Chef Canada.
Top Chef Canada's head judge Mark McEwan, seen at left, is shown with host Thea Andrews. The show debuts April 11. (Food Network Canada/Insight Productions )

Toronto chef Mark McEwan is ready to take on the job of head judge on the inaugural season of Top Chef Canada.

McEwan, who made his name with restaurants such as North 44, Bymark and Fabbrica, also is author of the cookbook Great Food At Home and was the subject of Food Network Canada's documentary-style catering series The Heat.

He returns to TV with Top Chef Canada, based on the Emmy-winning U.S. show that sets out a series of challenges for 16 competitors — all professional chefs.

"There's a certain Canadian sensibility about the show," McEwan said in an interview Monday with Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC's Q cultural affairs show.

The first group of competitors displays a very serious attitude towards cooking. There's "no silly antics or screaming and yelling," he added. As for the judging, McEwan says it's all about how it tastes.

Top Chef Canada will premiere April 11 on Food Network Canada.