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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Ottawa's Rene Rodriguez wins Top Chef Canada competition

TORONTO - Ottawa-based chef Rene Rodriguez (Navarra) has survived 10 weeks of fierce competition to win the fourth season of Food Network Canada's series Top Chef Canada.

Rodriguez, the owner and chef of Navarra in Ottawa, defeated 13 fellow chefs to collect a top prize of $100,000.

He defeated Terry Salmond, the executive chef at the Walper Hotel in Kitchener, Ont., and Six Nations resident Rich Francis, the chef and owner of Aboriginal Culinary Concepts in the final showdown.

Then, it was on to the last elimination challenge at Muskoka-based Taboo Spa and Resort, where Rodriguez's four-course meal won over host Lisa Ray and judges Mark McEwan, Shereen Arazm and Ruth Reichl.

"Winning Top Chef Canada means everything to me," said Rodriguez.

"During this competition I was able to dig deep into my roots and explore my passion in ways that I never thought possible. It has been an incredible journey and I have grown not only as a chef, but as a person."

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