“It’s not the humidity. It’s The Heat.”




THE HEAT with Mark McEwan takes you on a full throttle, sweat drenched ride into the catering kitchens of one of Canada’s most renowned, successful and infamous chefs as he and his irreverent staff of talented protégés cater to the masses. THE HEAT uncovers like never before, exactly what it takes to plate perfect meals for very demanding clients. From corporate dinners to richer than rich private parties to massive stadium style events, McEwan takes his kitchen anywhere they have a party, and makes new fans with every entree.
Catering in remote locations for hundreds of guests is a daunting task to begin with, then throw in delicate and time sensitive McEwan style restaurant food and some over-the-top demanding clients, and you’ve got a recipe for high stakes entertainment. From start to finish, this disarmingly honest and opinionated rock-star / master chef guides you through each step of a major catering event, obsessing over every last detail. Whether it be finding the perfect blue fin tuna, his passion for pork loin, or trying to keep his staff at his level of perfection, you’ll find yourself drawn into this intense, determined chef and his world. From fois gras to frites, you’ll enjoy a front row seat each week on this mouth-watering visit inside a Mark McEwan kitchen.
…It’s not the humidity, it’s THE HEAT.


Buffalo native Mark McEwan studied at George Brown College and graduated in 1979 as the winner of the Red Seal Award scholarship. McEwan began his career in food in the late 70’s at Toronto’s Constellation Hotel. His career started to flourish when he was hired as executive sous chef at the Sutton Place Hotel. Shortly after that, he was promoted to chef, the youngest in Canada to hold such a position. In 1985, Mark acquired his first business, Pronto Ristorante, which he sold in 1992. Mark opened up North 44 Restaurant and Catering in 1990. With North 44 under his belt, Mark decided to invest in Terra Restaurant, which he later sold in 1999. With all this experience, Mark opened Bymark Restaurant, a hotspot in the heart of Toronto’s financial district. Mark made a dramatic return to the hotel business in 2007 with the launch of “ONE,” his restaurant in The Hazelton Hotel in Yorkville. ONE has become a place to be seen with Hollywood starlets and Toronto socialites. In addition to the three successful restaurants in operation and one catering company running successfully, Mark McEwan’s has just opened up a twenty-three-thousand-square-foot fine food emporium called McEwan. Mark also plans to open a new Italian restaurant across from the food store. With no end in sight, Mark continues to grow his empire.

Season 1

EP·1 'Gallery'

McEwan is hired to cater a small but complicated event from a makeshift kitchen in an art gallery. It’s a challenge to cater in a room surrounded by priceless sculptures, and things get even hotter when the guests are late.

EP·2 'Patio Opening'

McEwan invites his regular clientele to his restaurant to celebrate the opening of the patio – it’s his way of thanking them for their business. It’s sure to be mayhem with the restaurant fully booked and a rapidly growing guest list.

EP·3 'Steak Tasting'

Mark competes against top chefs and food critics to see who can buy and prepare with the best steak.
Will Mark win?

EP·4 'Beach Wedding'

McEwan heads out to cottage country to cater a beach wedding. It’s hours from the city, and things get hot real fast for the chef and his team.

EP·5 'Inniskillin'

The last time he catered in wine country, it was a total disaster. The heat is on for McEwan, and he better redeem himself this time around.

EP·6 'Road to Champions'

McEwan teams up with chef Jamie Kennedy to cater a massive charity event for the Canadian Olympic Committee. Complicated courses, tough timelines and sport celebrities have Mark feeling the heat.

EP·7 'TD Securities'

One of McEwan’s most prized clients hire him to cater their 1200 person Xmas party. It’s a massive undertaking and the sheer volume of food is unbelievable.

EP·8 'Winterlicious'

Both of McEwan’s busy restaurants get slammed for two weeks when the city’s promotional dining event draws thousands of extra customers through the doors.

EP·9 'National Ballet'

It’s Russian intrigue as McEwan caters a fundraising dinner for the National Ballet in a condo kitchen.

EP·10 'Distillery Wedding'

McEwan competes with go-go dancers & a champagne pouring angel at this one of a kind wedding for Indy race car driver, Marty Roth.

EP·11 'Integra'

Celebrity chef Rob Feenie flies in from the west coast to join McEwan in catering a charity dinner. Things get competitive when both choose to showcase lamb.

EP·12 'Opera House'

The Canadian Opera Company is unveiling their brand new, world-class facility, and McEwan’s feeling the pressure as he the first caterer to break in the new venue.

EP·13 'Mexican Birthday Bash'

It’s McEwan’s first time doing Mexican. Will Mark be able to pull it off while sticking to 5 star standards?

Season 2

EP·1 'Chef’s Wedding'

One of Mark’s own is taking the plunge and Mark has been asked to cater the event. With most of his team either on the guest list, or working at the restaurant, will Mark have to trade his tux for chef whites to ensure the event runs smoothly?

EP·2 'Upcountry'

Catering a wedding held in a 30,000 square foot furniture store proves to be a challenge. Can Mark and his team successfully transform a dark, dingy, and extremely dusty loading dock into a clean and functioning kitchen to serve 400 guests?

EP·3-4 'Fallsview'

Mark battles time, volume, and an exhausting two-day schedule for this over-the-top event at the Fallsview Casino Resort. On night one, Mark prepares an intimate dinner for 100 performers including the likes of Michael Buble and Andrea Bocelli. On night two, Mark is given just 90 minutes to serve his largest event to date – a dinner for 1200.

EP·5 'Whistler'

Who is the best Chef in Canada? Mark travels to Whislter B.C. to battle Canada’s top Chefs in the Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championships. Following three days of intense competition, only one Chef will be awarded the gold medal.

EP·6 'Pork Obsession'

Four of Mark’s competitive and talented up and coming Chefs compete to create the perfect pork dish. The stakes are high as the winning dish will be added to the North 44 menu.

EP·7 'Hugo Boss Charity Event'

Held at a stunning mansion, with a performance by Grammy-award winning artist John Legend and an exclusive fashion show, Hugo Boss Canada pulls out all the stops for their annual Charity event. Held on a hot summer day, can Mark and his team pull off the event without a refrigerator?

EP·8 'Farm Wedding'

Mark and his team travel two hours north to cater an outdoor farm wedding held on a beautiful 6 acre spread. A kitchen set up under a tent proves to be a major challenge when the weather suddenly changes. Can Mark pull off a sophisticated affair while battling the elements?

EP·9 'One Opening'

Toronto’s hottest neighbourhood is a buzz with anticipation surrounding the opening of Mark’s new restaurant One. The Toronto International Film Festival is fast approaching, celebrity parties have been booked, can Mark navigate through the roadblocks to have the restaurant open on time? The pressure is on!

EP·10 'Watch Dealer'

The clock is literally ticking! Mark has been asked to cater a client appreciation dinner for one of his regular clients and the owner of Louis Black Watches. This anniversary party will be held in a lavish backyard that has been designed specifically for this event. The success of this outdoor event is threatened when an unexpected storm passes through.

EP·11 'A Night at the Museum'

Mark and his team cater a lavish bar mitzvah held in the shadow of Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum. Limited staff and set up time add to the pressures of creating the perfect menu for this very important client. Can Mark please his client while at the same time ensuring that he will be welcomed back to what is considered to be one of the hottest new venues in the city?

EP·12 'Burger Wars'

It’s a busy Saturday night Mark caters two events, for two of his best clients, on opposite ends of the city. Mark is forced to leave a junior Chef in charge as he splits his time between the locations. Adding to the pressure, Mark has chosen this as the evening to debut his new street burger. How will this burger measure up against the famous Bymark Burger?

EP·13 'Condo Launch'

Mark caters the launch of a prestigious new lakefront condo. With limited staff forced to navigate through a small space, the entire team feels the heat when the client proves to be extremely demanding. To top if off, at the last minute, a demand for more party space forces Mark and his team to set-up their kitchen outside on a freezing November night. Will the food be hot enough to please this high maintenance client?

Season 3

EP·1 'New World Order'

Mark is a successful chef and restaurateur, running 3 of Toronto’s top restaurants. But this driven businessman wants to expand his empire. He wants to open a high-end grocery store named mcewan that will give the city’s best a run for their money. Mark can pretty well cook anyone under the table, but he knows nothing about setting up a food store. Can this chef parlay his skills in the grocery world? It’s film festival time and One is busier than ever. With Kate Hudson hosting a party, and the swat team threatening to shutdown One, has Mark perhaps bitten off more than he can chew?

EP·2 'New York, New York!'

Ground has been broken; the base has been built and off mcewan goes! This is Mark’s first venture into the grocery world, and he wants to do it right. Watching other local specialty grocers do it, just isn’t enough. With Drew by his side, Mark sets off to NYC to see how high-end shops take grocery to a whole new level. From staffing and product searching, to finding the perfect coffee cup, Mark wants to see it all. Back at home, Sash is left to run a massive event at the ROM, but food is running out fast. With Mark being distracted with the grocery store, is it possible that the rest of his world is suffering?

EP·3 'Ivana Rising'

Mark has big plans for Ivana. He’d like for her to be the executive chef at the grocery store. At 23 years of age, can Mark really expect Ivana to take this opportunity and run with it? Mark and Drew test Ivana’s talents and dedication to the organization. The walls are up at the grocery store and Mark is finally ready to tour Ivana around her new home!

EP·4 'Brand New Day'

Mark needs to finalize branding for the store, right down to what his staff will be wearing. The grocery store is coming together very fast and final decisions need to be made. What will the overall look for mcewan be? What products will they carry? Who in the city will make Mark’s supplier short list? With all these decisions still up the air, Mark doesn’t have the time to deal with issues that come up at his restaurants, but he doesn’t really have a choice. Mark is informed that a pipe has burst at North 44, just one day away from the start of Winterlicious. Mark needs to switch hats and deal with the issue that could potentially mean losing thousands of dollars.

EP·5 'In Staff I Trust'

Mark needs to find the best talents in the city to pull this new venture off. He can poach from within, but ultimately he’s going to have to hire a whole new team he can trust. On the construction front, the store is now coming together quickly and it’s time to really finalize the supplier list. We’ll explore cheese and the local story that Mark wants to tell through one of his key suppliers in Jordan, Ontario. Meanwhile, the rumour mill is producing more and more talk. What is the city saying about Mark’s very risky venture? Mark has very little time to think about the rumour mill, he has grocery, the restaurants and an event at the distillery to occupy his thoughts.

EP·6 'Meat the People'

The clock is ticking at mcewan and Mark’s ambitious deadlines are passing him by. Mark is being pulled in a million directions at once. He brings in his butchers to talk about the meat counter at the grocery store. Mark also plans on providing wholesale meat to his own restaurants as well as 6 other restaurants around the city, before he even opens mcewan! With space already at a premium where will all the meat go!? The kitchen hasn’t passed its last inspection so Ivana hasn’t been able to start cooking. If it doesn’t happen soon she’ll never get ahead. In the midst of all this chaos Ivana, Drew and Mark have to participate in an event showcasing the Shops at Don Mills. The excitement builds – now Mark’s only real fear is being overrun by all of these potential customers. Four weeks until opening day and he’s more nervous than ever!

EP·7 'Today or Tomorrow'

All good things come to those who wait. Mark’s relentless drive to meet his ambitious opening deadline weighs heavily on his staff. Departments race to the finish line, however, it may be a goal this dedicated team cannot reach. Ivana starts experimenting with recipes. They start preparing pickles, soups and sauces, but unlike a catering, the numbers are unknown. Drew steps up as mentor and makes sure Ivana and the kitchen are taken care of. Despite having no extra time Mark is asked to judge a bourbon cocktail event at ONE. In the middle of the store’s deadline madness the last thing Mark wants to do is sit through a flashy media-driven bartender contest. But, he has to make an appearance (he just doesn’t have to like it) it’s all just part of the game he’s playing! With so much still left to do, things don’t look good for mcewan to meet its opening deadline.

EP·8 'The Clock is Ticking'

Mark is beginning to wonder if his opening will ever happen. He is continually disappointed in the performance of his retail staff and leans more and more on his restaurant staff. Retail may be the final beast that Mark McEwan can’t tame. Mark is asked to attend Toronto Taste the weekend before his opening. He doesn’t have the time to deal with the details of this event, so he calls upon his “A” team to pull it off. With Mark by their side, we see all the boys in action: Drew, Sash and Brooke. In some ways Toronto Taste has become an island of refuge for Mark.

EP·9 'Now or Never'

Doors finally open at mcewan. There has been some serious hype about the opening of the grocery store, so people are lined up to get in. There are many challenges tied to day one. The POS system keeps failing, the lines are building and the prepared food seems to be running out. The kitchen has been working around the clock to stock food, but they can’t seem to catch up. They’ve made jarred items to last 3 weeks, but things are starting to run out and it’s only day one. Exhaustion sets in, the opening day adrenaline is wearing thin, but Mark continues to push harder than ever.

EP·10 'Game On'

It’s Saturday morning, the day after opening. Mark’s staff was completely blindsided by the store’s popularity the day before and are now facing their first weekend. Thankfully the kitchen staff managers grabbed 3-4 hours of sleep and are ready to go. Mark is determined to have his first Saturday appear flawless. Mark’s chicken soup is given a B- in the Toronto Star and he’s not happy. He asks Jordie to track down the cook who made it. On the grocery floor computer system problems still plague floor manager Cheryl. She’s on top of the front-end staff to make sure they know that Mark expects restaurant quality service at the store and often uses restaurant terms to train her staff. Each manager struggles to make sure that his or her domain meets Marks’ approval. To top it off Mark’s world outside the grocery store pulls him back in as North 44 is asked to cater a huge charity event called The Powerball. Mark gladly attends — happy to escape the rollercoaster ride of the store and watch Sash execute a wild event.

EP·11 'Changes'

It’s six weeks after opening and Mark and his staff finally have the time to take a breath and assess their circumstances. In a short amount of time a lot of changes have taken place at the store. The kitchen is quieter and notable people are missing, but despite the difficult changes Mark’s core staff has shined. Always pushing forward, Mark decides it’s time to make menu changes at both the store and his restaurants. With Drew by his side, Mark heads south of the border to NYC to see what’s new in food in one of the biggest foodie cities in North America. Inspired by his trip Mark decides to try one of his new ideas out at a very important event for one of his biggest spenders at Bymark. Brooke and Mark get together to revamp some of the menu and see if one of Mark’s ideas will translate into a hit or potentially a complete flop.

EP·12 'Building a Brand'

With 3 restaurants and a grocery store under his belt Mark’s once small empire is now a fully-fledged brand that’s growing everyday. In order to expand that brand he’s decided launch a cookware line and create a cookbook. A cookbook has always been one of Mark’s dreams. He enlists food critic Jacob Richler to work alongside him to test and write recipes for the book. Mark wants the cookbook to be accessible for every home cook, well used, and not a pretty book that ends up on a coffee table. He decides to take an extra step in the process and enlists Roxanne his wife to test the written recipes. At the grocery store Mark and Ivana launch mcewan catering – a catering arm of the grocery store that Ivana will be in charge of…with no extra staff. As if Mark and his team don’t have enough on their plate, mcewan catering takes on an event for some influential clients for a very worthy cause. The staff is tested when they are asked to cater the first part of the evening in a make-up store and then later at the grocery store. Can he lean on his retail team to impress his catering clients, or will the evening turn out to be a huge disaster?

EP·13 'The Future'

Grocery has been an absolute success, so there’s no stopping Mark now. He looks to expand his empire with a fourth restaurant located across from his new grocery store. Mark is once again in full planning mode, resting is not an option, at least not one he wants. In fact, just like the grocery store, he’s already envisioned the restaurant right from menu to décor and just has to let Drew, and his design team, in on his ideas and make the plans a reality. Mark and Drew have decided to pluck Sous Chef Rob LeClair from ONE to be the Executive Chef at Mark’s new restaurant. In the midst of all this new activity North 44 catering is asked to cater a huge charity event for a long-time client of Mark’s. Mark attends the event to help Sash and to scout for new talent for his empire. At the event Mark reflects on his journey over the past year. It’s been an intense experience but one he feels very proud to have accomplished. Now it’s on to the next adventure.