Radio-Canada is concocting a reunion edition of the Chefs, La Presse has learned. Entitled The Showdown, the 13th season of the popular culinary competition will bring together 12 former participants.

Each ex-competitor will represent a season of the show, the public broadcaster confirms. Which former star candidates will put on the apron again? The selection includes Jean-Simon Petit, now master butcher, who was part of the very first group of participants when the competition went on air in 2010.

Co-owner of the Moccione restaurant in Montreal, Luca Cianciulli will represent season 2, and Sébastien Laframboise, season 3. The latter will make his third appearance on the show. In 2014, he returned to the kitchen for Les chefs! – Revenge, the first (and only, so far) “all stars” season.

The clash will also bring together Frédéric Dufort (season 4), Sidney Gordon (season 7), Marc-Antoine Lacasse (season 8), Guillaume Couture (season 10), Anthony Vien (season 11) and David Giroux, eliminated at the semi-finals. -finals earlier this year over a question of over-fried gnocchi.

Three women will be part of the adventure: Ashley Thornton (season 5), now executive chef of the corporate side of the Park restaurants in Montreal and Toronto, Suzy Rainville (season 6), become chef and co-owner of the gourmet restaurant Baumann in Sherbrooke, and Brenda Poirier, head of Draveur Cookerie

New this year: to complete this brigade of 13 competitors, the production will recruit a new candidate, who will be chosen after a trio audition. This half-hour segment will be presented at the start of the first episode, which will last an exceptional 90 minutes.

These three competitors, with different backgrounds, were selected following a call for applications, underlines content collaborator Dominique Savoie.

“This is the first time we’ve shown the auditions,” says Dominique Savoie.

Speaking of the judges, the usual panel will be present, namely Jean-Luc Boulay, Pasquale Vari, Normand Laprise and Isabelle Deschamps Plante. The latter preferred to return to her position as an evaluator rather than doing another stint in the kitchen, after reaching the final in 2013.

Host Élyse Marquis will also be back, as will Colombe St-Pierre, who will return to service as a coach and mentor. Has she taken advantage of the last few months to replenish her bank of quotes and proverbs that she likes to use at the end of an episode? Without a doubt.

The Chefs filming! – The clash will begin in February. The recruitment of ex-candidates went smoothly, apparently. You’d think an established chef in the industry would be hesitant to put his reputation on the line on TV, but no.

“It’s like a sport for them,” adds Nancy Charest, associate executive producer. I’m sure they will revise their ideas in January. »

With a brigade made up of seasoned professionals, will we see events at a much higher level of difficulty? It seems so.

“We always offer challenges that match what the candidates are capable of,” replies Nancy Charest.

The Chefs – The confrontation will go on air in the spring, at the end of a winter during which TVA served us, four times a week, the first season of MasterChef Québec.

Is the team behind The Chiefs! fears the arrival of the famous British format reserved for amateur cooks? Not really. After all, since 2010, several shows have attempted to replace Quebec production at the top of the rankings of culinary shows (Le combat des ville, Je suis chef, Et que ça saute, La Relais), but they all left the air.

“I believe there is a place for everyone,” comments Nancy Charest. Everyone does their own thing. We are continuing our mandate to highlight the gastronomic industry, to highlight this infinitely difficult profession, with its hours, the pressure, the lack of manpower, the salary…”

Production of Attraction (Live from the Universe, In the Eye of the Dragon), The Chefs! continues to make the public salivate. The 12th season attracted an average of 814,000 viewers, for a viewing share of 27%, according to confirmed data from Numéris.