A Vancouver Islander is cooking up success, after competing on another season of CTV’s MasterChef Canada.

The seventh season of the Canadian version of MasterChef premiered on Valentine’s Day with Comox native Thea VanHerwaarden competing for the $100,000 grand prize. 

The season wrapped up last Sunday (May 16th). On finale night, VanHerwaarden tied for second place alongside Nova Scotia’s Andrew “Andy” Hay.

Vista Radio spoke with VanHerwaarden prior to the show’s premiere. She said every year, the show puts out a call for cooks across the country to compete in culinary challenges judged by a team of seasoned chefs.

However, season seven wasn’t VanHerwaarden’s first go at the competition, as she advanced all the way to second place on season four back in 2017.

“This season, the judges actually asked for twelve previous contestants to return,” VanHerwaarden told Vista Radio. “Kinda like an all-star season you could say. So we’re all competing again for a shot at the title.”

The so-called ‘Queen of Flavour’ said the show is “really challenging,” but it’s one of the key reasons that brought her back for another season.

“They don’t make it easy for you,” she said. “You’re competing not just with yourself, but you’re competing with other super talented cooks and it’s very intense.”

“You always end up learning so much about yourself and also just about food in general when you’re in the MasterChef kitchen. That’s why I wanted to return.”

Since her stint on the show, VanHerwaarden notes she learned a lot and continues to develop her cooking skills.

“I love to cook. After season four, I opened up my own company called ‘Théasty’. I do recipe development for large companies, videos, classes, and private dinners.”

“Food is my life,” she explained.

While VanHerwaarden was born in Comox, she’s currently living in downtown Vancouver. However, her hometown will always be a place she holds dear.

“All my family lives there, all my friends are there. So you can’t really keep me in Vancouver, I always want to be on Vancouver Island,” she added.