News: NAIT grad a TV star

Published in the September 9 2010 issue of The NAIT Nugget. News

NAIT grad a TV star

NAIT Supplied Photo

Issues Editor

It’s a culinary dream come true for a NAIT graduate who is now the host of the Food Network’s latest reality show Dinner Party Wars.

Growing up in the small village of Warburg, about 90 km southwest of Edmonton, Corbin Tomaszeski never thought he’d be starring in a TV show – let alone his third.

“It’s my third reality cooking show,” Tomaszeski said over the phone from Toronto, where he currently lives and works.

Graduated in 1992

“It’s a different kind of job … a different element of being a food expert.”

Tomaszeski, 38, graduated from NAIT’s culinary program in 1992.

He worked as a chef for several years at a number of local businesses including the Shaw Conference Centre and Holt’s Café before being transferred to Ontario in 2000 to run the Holt’s Café food services in Toronto, where he’s been ever since.

It was there that the Alberta-born and bred chef was “discovered.”

“A producer asked ‘have you ever considered doing TV?’ and I said ‘well no,’ and she said she was doing a new show, would I be interested in auditioning,” Tomaszeski said.

Restaurant Makeover

That audition led to Tomaszeski’s first television chef role in a Food Network show called Crash my Kitchen. When Crash my Kitchen wasn’t picked up for a second season, Tomaszeski was asked to star in Restaurant Makeover.

“I was on Restaurant Makeover for almost three years and then when that series ended I got a call asking to do Dinner Party Wars,” he said.

Dinner Party Wars, which aired for the first time last week, is a competition pitting three couples against one another to see who can host the best dinner party.

“It’s a very competitive, high-stakes type of competition,” he said.

Tomaszeski and co-host, “etiquette-expert” Anthea Turner, watch everything unfold at the dinner parties through hidden cameras.

“We talk about the food, we talk about the experience, the entertainment and they (the couples) give us their humble-pie thoughts and it makes for brilliant television.”

The winning couple takes home $1,000 in cookware and bragging rights.

Along with the entertainment of seeing dinners go wrong, personality clashes and more, Tomaszeski promises viewers will gain a lot of beneficial cooking tips from watching Dinner Party Wars.

“There’s a lot of take-home information that anyone watching the show can get. There’s always something that you will learn by watching the show,” he said.

“You will get tips like oh, right, Chef Corbin suggested this, or oh, that’s how I do that or I didn’t know you could do that, and that’s the same on the etiquette side of things too.”

And when asked what tips Tomaszeski can give to current NAIT culinary students hoping to “make it,” he says it doesn’t happen overnight.

“Don’t expect things to fall on your lap, you have to have the understanding that it’s going to take years and years of hard work.”

Dinner Party Wars airs on the Food Network at 7 p.m. MST on Wednesdays.

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