News / Ottawa

Ottawa chef hopes savoury pie worth $250K

An amateur chef from Ottawa is pursuing his passion by competing in the reality cooking show Recipe to Riches.

Don Chow, IT project manager at Environment Canada, will be sharing his personal pie recipe in the entree category with the hopes of moving onto the finals for a chance to win $250,000.

To enter the competition, Chow and his wife drove down to Toronto stopping over at a friend’s place. “We used their kitchen and stayed up all night cooking,” says Chow.

In Recipe to Riches competitors face the pressures of working in a professional restaurant setting where quality has to stand up to quantity.

“You’re looking at 300 portions —I’d never done anything that size before,” says Chow.

One of the challenges called for Chow to create a tortilla soup with red Thai curry.

“It’s making a twist on modern foods with ethnic flavours,” says Chow. His dream is to someday open up a restaurant where he could experiment with this type of culinary fusion.

“The food scene in Ottawa isn’t boring — we’re at a crossroads,” adds Chow, noting that there are a lot of interesting restaurants opening up.

As an avid food blogger, Chow can be found on, which features recipes, restaurant critiques and wine reviews.

Each week CBC’s Recipe to Riches focuses on a different category, with five competitors being selected to move onto the finale. The finalists receive $25,000 and have their recipes made available across the country in select Loblaw stores as well as a shot at the $250,000 grand prize.

The third episode airs March 12th at 9 pm and the finale will take place April 2.

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