Laurier alumna wins Masterchef Canada
Wilfrid Laurier University alumna, Mary Berg, was recently crowned the winner of the third season of CTV’s Masterchef Canada.
Berg was one of 14 hopefuls chosen to compete on this past season of Masterchef Canada, where they were pitted against each other in weekly cooking competitions, with contestants systematically eliminated leading up to the finale on June 19.
“It is so exciting and so surreal, those are really the only two words I can think of,” said Berg. “It’s pretty nuts.”
Masterchef Canada, with its current average of 1.4 million viewers, is one of the most watched Canadian television series, a fact which places Berg’s win as the first female Masterchef Canada winner further into the spotlight.
“I’ve gotten a lot of messages from young women and mothers of young girls telling me that I’ve inspired them to chase their dream and to keep cooking,” said Berg.
“I’m so happy that I can represent this season and female Canadian cooks.”
Though Berg has always enjoyed cooking, prior to the competition, she was working in Toronto as an insurance broker, using the cooking more as a hobby or stress reliever.
After having competed with some of Canada’s best home cooks and having had her dishes critiqued by the nation’s top chefs, her work these days has more to do with food than numbers.
“Currently I’m doing a little bit of catering, so working on some menus and stuff like that and different cakes and stuff like that and I really enjoy it,” said Berg.
“There’s also a project under development right now with Bell Media and Proper Television, so we’ll see where that takes me. But things are looking good and I’m having a great time.”
Despite having chosen to follow a career away from the books and into the kitchen, Berg said that the time she spent at Laurier, earning a double degree in English and History, has nevertheless contributed to her success in Masterchef Canada.
“The community and the small nature of the school, particularly when I was there, really helped me to be able to be comfortable being myself and confident in what I can do. So that’s something that I think helped me succeed in the Masterchef Canada kitchen,” Berg said.
“I was cooking from the heart and not really doubting myself and just working hard to do my very best and my time at Laurier definitely helped me foster that.”