Thea Andrews to host 'Top Chef Canada'

Slated to debut in spring 2011 on Food Network Canada

TORONTO -- Thea Andrews ("Entertainment Tonight") is to host "Top Chef Canada," the local version of the U.S. "Top Chef" franchise from indie producer Insight Production Company for Food Network Canada.

The U.S. spin-off will also include Toronto restaurant operator Mark McEwen as head judge, alongside Andrews.

Food Network Canada-parent Canwest Broadcasting in April acquired the Canadian format rights for Bravo's "Top Chef" from NBC Universal and hired Insight Productions to produce the Canadian version.

"Top Chef Canada" is slated to debut in spring 2011 after the original U.S. series established a following on Food Network Canada.

NBC Universal previously sold "Top Chef " to M6 in France, and local format rights were sold to Fremantle in Mexico, Brazil, and India.

Toronto-based Insight Productions, which has developed local versions of "Project Runaway," "Deal or No Deal" and "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" for Canwest, will make additional announcements on casting and creative elements for "Top Chef Canada" in the coming weeks.