Thrill of the Grill 2014 Judges

Cynthia Beretta
Cynthia Beretta
Beretta Farms
Dr. Georg Bjarnason
Dr. Georg Bjarnason
Odette Cancer Centre
Anthony Farnell
Anthony Farnell
Chief Meteorologist, News Hour & News Hour Final
Chef Lora Kirk
Chef Lora Kirk
Ruby Watchco
Amy Rosen
Amy Rosen
Food & Travel Writer
Norman Wilner
Norm Wilner
NOW FIlm Critic and Foodie
Pam Ross
Pamela Ross
Sunnybrook Foundation
Pam Ross
Michelle Jobin
Weather Specialist Global Toronto

Cynthia Beretta
Cynthia and her husband Michael have operated Beretta Farms for the past 22 years in the Toronto area but their products are distributed throughout Canada. The company is a producer, processor, distributor and ingredient supplier of certified organic, grass fed and naturally raised meats.

Living an organic lifestyle has always been Cynthia’s passion. The stars aligned as Cynthia was born on the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. She credits her mother Angela as her inspiration for all things organic.

“My mother was ahead of her time, buying organic foods, having her own organic garden and starting a food co-op in the early 80’s,” Cynthia says. “When I got married and decided to have a farm, farming organically was the only way to go!”

Growing up in an Italian household, gave Cynthia the passion and talent for using simple, high quality ingredients to create great-tasting, nutritious meals. Two and half years ago Cynthia launched Beretta Kitchens focusing on gourmet catering and performance meals for the Torontonian who want to feel good about what they eat, in market and athletes.

No one ever leaves Cynthia’s farm hungry…and she likes it that way.

Dr. Georg Bjarnason - Odette Cancer Centre
Dr. Georg Bjarnason received his MD degree from the University of Iceland in 1979. He moved to Canada in 1983, completing Internal Medicine training at Queen’s University followed by Medical Oncology and Clinical Pharmacology training at the University of Toronto. He has been a Medical Oncologist at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre since 1990 and is currently Associate Professor at The University of Toronto, Senior Scientist in The Cancer Research Program at Sunnybrook and the inaugural recipient of The Anna-Liisa Farquharson Chair in Renal Cell Cancer Research. His basic research has focused on the impact of circadian rhythms in human biology and cancer medicine. His clinical work /research has focused on patients with Kidney Cancer for over 20 years. 

Anthony Farnell - Chief Meteorologist, News Hour & News Hour Final
Anthony Farnell is the meteorologist for the News Hour at 5:30pm and News Hour Final at 11pm.

Anthony grew up on the West Island of Montreal. With the city’s varying climate, he always had his eye on the sky and developed a fascination with weather at a very young age. It wasn’t until he lived through the “Ice Storm of the Century” in 1998, that he considered turning his hobby into a possible career. He attended university at Lyndon State in Vermont, enlisting in one of the best meteorology programs in North America, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology.

Anthony's first job after graduating was with the CBS affiliate in Missoula, Montana as their morning on-air meteorologist. He loved the ever-changing mountain weather, the people and especially the great Montana skiing, but there really is no place like home. He came back to Montreal and took a job with an energy hedge fund where he traded weather derivatives and made forecasts for different regions around the world. After six months, Anthony returned to his true passion, forecasting the weather and presenting it on television.

Anthony then joined the team at Global Quebec as their Evening News meteorologist, and in 2006, he made the move to Global Toronto. However, he didn’t leave his friends and fans in Quebec for long, in early 2008 Anthony resumed his Quebec weather broadcasts, in addition to his Toronto broadcasts.

Anthony supports many charities in the GTA; hosting events for Toronto East General Hospital, HOPE Volleyball and the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to name a few.
Anthony also makes time to visit schools all around the GTA, speaking to students about everything related to the weather, including how the green screen works.

During the cold, snowy winter months, you will also find Anthony shoveling the driveway of a deserving viewer as part of Global Ontario’s, “Snow Trouble”, a contest where viewers can win snow removal after a winter storm.

For fun, Anthony loves to ski and often visits his parent’s cottage in Vermont. He also plays beach volleyball and water polo, but his number one hobby will always be the weather.

Chef Lora Kirk - Ruby Watchco
Lora Kirk is regarded as one of Canada's leading chefs with over 15 years of international culinary experience. While growing up in Peterborough, Ontario, Lora was greatly influenced working on her grandparent's farm and it was there that Lora learnt the importance of supporting local farmers and growers. She set out to pursue her dream of becoming a professional chef. Lora graduated from Algonquin College's culinary program and soon after moved to London, England. She gained her culinary strength and knowledge by working with renowned Chefs Gordon Ramsey and Angela Hartnett at the famous Connaught Hotel for three years.

Lora continued to shine in the industry as an innovative chef and took on her next position as Truffle's Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. Under her leadership, the restaurant received tremendous media attention and awards including the Five Diamond award for two consecutive years and four stars in Toronto Life. Other awards received include the “OHI Top 30 Under 30 Award,” and the “Nine of Dine Award 2010.” Lora was invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York and in Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef America. This year the battle continues as she competes on Top Chef Masters Season Five - “Battle of the Sous Chef”.

Lora continued her culinary journey moving to New York City to take over the kitchen at Allen and Delancey as Chef de Cuisine. Lora received the Top 10 New Restaurants award in the New York Times and a very prestigious Michelin Star for her talents. Lora then went on to run the kitchen at the SOHO House, New York.

Lora returned home to Canada in 2010. She has become one of the most high-profile chefs in the country. Lora now shares her talents, fine culinary acumen, and expertise as Chef of Ruby Watchco in Toronto. Going back to her roots and passion for cooking, Lora is an advocate for supporting local farmers and growers, those who give top chefs the best quality products with which to cook: Locally grown, harvested and raised, cooked to perfection with heart. 

Twitter: @LORAKIRK2

Amy Rosen - Food and Travel Writer
Amy Rosen is a food and travel writer and a former food editor for Chatelaine and House & Home magazines. She’s a regular contributor to the National Post, enRoute, Food Arts and Food & Wine among other magazines and newspapers. Her latest book, "Toronto Cooks", will be out in October 2014.

Pamela Ross
Pamela Ross is the Executive Vice President of Sunnybrook Foundation, responsible for the operations of the Foundation.  She joined the Foundation in 2008 at which time she was responsible for building the Sunnybrook brand and the organization’s base of donors.  Prior roles included Vice President of marketing at WWF-Canada and director of marketing at Plan Canada.  Before her entrée into not-forprofit, she worked for various advertising agencies on clients such as CIBC, Sprint, Jeep, Hewlett Packard, among others. She is a regular contributor to Marketing Magazine and a guest speaker for industry and academic groups.  Pamela’s business and marketing achievements have been recognized both nationally and internationally.  

Norm Wilner - NOW Film Critic and Foodie
Norm Wilner's byline has appeared in Cinema Scope, Marquee and even the Hollywood Reporter, that one time.  You may also remember him from appearances as critic and commentator on any radio or television program that will call him.  A lifelong Torontonian, Norman became the senior film writer for NOW Magazine in early 2008,  having reviewed films for Metro newspapers across Can ada. Norm has also covered every video format imaginable (yes, even Beta) for the Toronto Star from 1988 to 2006.  H e was elected secretary and vice president for the Toronto Film Critics Association and was on the jury for Canada's Top Ten   as well as for festivals in Toronto, Montreal, London, Vienna and Palm Springs.  Norm lives in Kensington Market, just a short walk from any of the fourteen coffee shops.

Michelle Jobin - Weather Specialist Global Toronto
Michelle brings close to ten years of experience in broadcast media/journalism to the Global Toronto News Team. Always intrigued by the science of meteorology, she was naturally fascinated with the unofficial national past time that unites all Canadians: talking about the weather. Michelle's experience includes everything from Weather Specialist, Anchor and Reporter to Producer, and her work has been featured across Canada and internationally.

Born in Toronto, Michelle began her career in 2006 as a Weather Broadcaster for The Weather Network. In 2007, Michelle joined the Global News team as a Weather Specialist in Calgary and provided live coverage/reports of the floods that plagued Southern Alberta in 2008.

Later that year, Michelle left the picturesque Rocky Mountains to return home and provide her weather forecasting skills for the Global Toronto News team from 2008 to 2011. After an absence of just over a year to work as a Senior Weather Specialist on a national scale, Michelle happily returned to the award-winning team of journalists and news professionals at Global News in Toronto in 2012.

In addition to her work as a weather specialist, Michelle has also reported Toronto's vibrant arts and culinary community. Other career highlights include interviewing numerous celebrities during the Toronto International Film Festival and the delicious task of tasting some of the best food Toronto has to offer as Host/Producer for Toronto Dining.

Michelle is an Honours BFA Graduate from York University and her passion for the arts, food and travel has brought her to such diverse destinations as Spain, California, and Taiwan, to name a few. In addition, Michelle is deeply committed to healthy living and enjoys several fitness activities such as crossfit, yoga, pilates and snowboarding.

Produced By

The Danforth Experience

Presenting Sponsor


Research Sponsor

Pfizer Oncology

Grill Master Sponsor

RBC Royal Bank


Media Sponsors

Global Toronto


The Toronto Star


Thrill Sponsors

Beretta Family Farms

The BIA Group


Car 2 Go


Daniel et Daniel

Eska Water

Gnarly Head

Higgins Event Rentals

Kitchen Aid


Sponge Towels

Steam Whistle

Kidney Cancer Canada

Proceeds will support kidney cancer research at Sunnybrook's Odette Cancer Centre

The Sunnybrook Foundation


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