My Brush With Reality TV


Toronto, Canada

I’ve always loved my time in the kitchen since I can’t even remember. I think it started when I was a young teen my Sister and I fought over what to make for supper as our single rtr1Mother worked long hours to pay the bills. Sister baked… brother cooked. We learned to eat good things together… 40 plus yrs later we still enjoy  good food! rtr4Me I get excited about company coming over for a dinner party so I can test out something new or the day your young kids look you in the eye and says “Dad you’re a good cooker”. You know you are doing something right somehow. So
rtr7when Recipes to Riches arrived in Canada on Food Network I was pushed and poked by many to try out. Finally I was game to give it a try. I don’t shy from much so I polished up my recipe with hope maybe the $250,000 1st prize would be mine and set out for the Toronto auditions. I’m going the healthy route as Loblaws has been heavily promoting healthy options these days and they’re paying for the whole shabang! My recipe “Smart Mash”… a healthy side that my kids didn’t even know wasn’t mashed potatoes when they were eating it. I shit you not. The tryouts have been going on across Canada for the last month and this is is my introduction to the world of TV… 4 hrs standing in line with my 10 page mandatoryrtr8 resume. My recipe… the finished product waiting in a cooler in a packed house of 2000 plus people waiting waiting to get my audition rtr5number #2341. Interviews with producers wanting to know all about you, asking probing questions and hearing you have this! Good for TV whatever that meant from a producer. Hoping to make it before the 3 judges… garner a golden ticket and abutter_chicken_lasagna spot in the Top 12 on TV.  Unfortunately I fell one spot short..the unlucky #13… Not bad out of 25,000 entrants across Canada but no TV show for me. After 12 hrs in a downtown Toronto hotel hoping to show off my talents all day I was glad to pack up and head home. All and all it was a fun day, I met the king of the Loblaws  empire Galen Weston Jr. My Smart Mash recipe was trumped by a Butter Chicken Lasagna in the shows finale. That recipe taking home a cool $250,000 and made into a President’s Choice product for the grocery chain. All and all it was other great experience in life! Recipe below…try it!



Smart Mash (Healthy Potato Substitute)


  • 2 Heads of cauliflower
  • 1  Potato
  • 2  14 oz can of white beans
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • seasoning to taste


In large pot of boiling salted water cook the cleaned chopped cauliflower, peeled potato, and whole garlic until fork tender. Drain thoroughly. Add drained rinsed white beans, Greek yogurt, olive oil and seasonings to taste. Puree to a mash potato consistency. Spoon in baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake in oven at 325 degrees until cheese is golden brown. Additions like bacon, roasted garlic, cheeses are endless possibilities! Remember it’s suppose to a healthy substitute. Serve as a side with your favorite dishes.




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