Luckily her father, a gourmet chef, introduced her to a culinary wonderland on the weekend – fresh lobster, truffles, Baked Alaska and her favorite pastry encrusted escargot. After all, how many third graders go to school with garlic breath?
Armed with a varied palette she attended McGill University, eating her way through Montreal. Post-graduate, she enjoyed a successful career in TV and the modeling industry. Fueled by her obsession with food, Mary Jo went back to school to get a culinary degree. It launched a 20 year extremely success career based on her passion.
She has starred in, produced and created over 700 episodes of cooking shows. Her first show, “What’s for Dinner”, was a cult classic and is still on the air. Mary Jo and her diminutive, openly gay co-host, Ken Kostick bantered and bickered their way into people’s hearts and kitchens. The show was sold around the world and filmed with specials in Mexico, The Cayman Islands and the Canadian Rockies. Their second show “He said, She said” created by Mary Jo, highlighted the hosts making one ingredient two different ways and bickering, Her shows have played on The Food Network, HGTV, OWN, CBC, Global and The Life Network. She was also nominated twice for a Gemini award for her role as a Lifestyle host.
The shows spawned many successful cookbooks, and gave Mary Jo three best sellers, “The What’s for Dinner ?” cookbook, “By My Side” ( easy side dishes that make the meals) and her most scandalous to date, “The Cougar Cookbook” – How to cook for your cub! She did a lot of research on that one!
She also was the food expert on a national morning show and got to cook and chat with numerous celebrities from George Foreman to John Mayer and her favorite Dominic Chianese, Uncle June from The Sopranos.
The brand of Mary Jo and Ken continued as they hosted a morning radio show called “what’s for breakfast” that put a spotlight on their dysfunctional brand of humor and also highlighted recipes and culinary information on a daily basis.
Through all of this Mary Jo did recipe development and spokesperson work for major corporations and brands – Kellogg’s (She was their Rice Krispie Lady), Campbell’s, Tropicana and Gucci watches (now that was fun)!
Her most personal project yet, a food memoir called “Scared Wheatless” about her family’s journey into gluten free eating after her daughter was diagnosed with auto immune, won book of the year at Taste Canada. Mary Jo is passionate about kid’s health and that everyone has the right to have access to healthy, delicious food.
She is also the brand ambassador for her skincare line Cell Candy, which she created and sold on TSC.
Mary Jo’s book “Divorce Sucks”, was a national best seller, but that is a whole different bio!