Come Dine with Me Canada will begin airing its Prince Edward Island episodes Monday that showcase Islanders in an all-out food battle.
Five local foodies were chosen to go around to different people’s houses to eat dinner and judge who made the best dishes.
The most challenging part of picking the P.E.I. contestants? Trying to find five Islanders who didn’t know each other very well, said Amy Hosking, an executive producer of the show.
“We had to pick people that kind of knew each other.”
The W Network will air the P.E.I. episodes on Monday at 8:30 p.m. AST.
“We’ve done over 190 shows in Ontario, so it was refreshing to get out for a change,” said Hosking.
“The attitude was very different on set and the contestants were right into it; some people we’ve had before don’t even get excited.”
But not everything can go according to plan on set and there was some tension, said Hosking.
“There was a big divide between the Islanders and the folks from away. We have three people from off Island and two that were born here.”
When the crew was coming to the Island to film everything, almost all of them hadn’t even been on the Island before.
“One of our sound guys started planning a family trip as soon as he could,” she said. “I think this will be good for the rest of Canada to see the beauty of the Island.”
The variety of food will also be a surprise to Island viewers, but P.E.I. food will be showcased in the first episode.
“We had one person do Lebanese food and another did some dishes from Britain, there was a huge variety which is better then our normal shows,” said Hosking, ”and sometimes we even sneak some bites of the food.”
When Come Dine with Me Canada aired episodes from Edmonton, it received some of the highest ratings they’ve ever had. They’re hoping that P.E.I. will set a new record.
“We’re expecting good ratings for these episodes,” said Hosking. ”I’m so excited about them and these are the proudest shows I’ve ever done.”
The tension in the beginning didn’t last all week, as everyone only spent five days, a total of 20 hours, together.
“They became a family quickly,” she said. “It’s a dinner party, everyone is fighting over food. They have a sense of humour. After all, they are the only five people on the Island to be able to share this experience.”
The P.E.I. government provided $30,000 to assist in the production costs while the show was on the Island. The province also purchased $35,000 worth of advertising on the W-Network to supplement the marketing effort.
The same episodes will air again on Sunday, March 3 at 2:30 p.m. AST.
The P.E.I. shows will not only feature Island food, it will feature P.E.I. entertainment, said Hosking.
“One person had Kim Albert, a local singer at his dinner, and another one had Cynthia McLeod, a local fiddler. Those are acts of entertainment that we don’t normally see.”
Overall the experience was a lot of fun for the crew and the contestants. She expects Islanders will love the show and people from off the Island will get to see oyster shucking, fiddling and lobster.
“We want to show that they live on such a magnificent Island and we had such a great time.”