Fifty of Canada’s top amateur chefs will soon go head-to-head on "MasterChef Canada" and two Maritimers are among the contenders.

Thousands of amateur chefs from across Canada applied to take part in the new cooking reality show, which airs on CTV this month.

Annapolis Valley, N.S. resident Allison Abernethy says being selected to compete in "MasterChef Canada" is a dream come true.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Out of all the contestants, we all worked pretty hard to get our place,” says Abernethy who, at 19, is the youngest competitor on the TV show.

“It’s going to be a heck of a show. Everyone thinks that Canadians are sweet and nice but the competition comes out and the knives are being thrown.”

For her audition dish, Abernethy tossed seafood in with other local Maritime favourites.

Her roommate says living with the amateur chef certainly has its perks.

“I’ll come home from a long day of classes and Ali will be, it’ll be busy, she’ll be cooking something exciting, chopping,” he says.

When she’s not feeding her friends delicious dishes, Abernethy is studying business at Mount Allison University. One day, she hopes to mix business with pleasure, and plans to go to culinary school after getting her business degree.

“My dream right now is to graduate university in the next few years but after that, I eventually do want to own my own restaurant and I want to make it in my hometown of Annapolis Valley,” she says.

“It’s going to focus on local food and put the Valley on the map.”

Fellow Maritimer Trevor Jessome is also a contestant on the reality show. He is from LaHave, N.S. and is a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

According to the "MasterChef Canada" website, Jessome’s signature dish is a pan-grilled boneless leg of lamb in herb crust with ribbons, yellow zucchini, red onion and cherry tomato and kale pesto gnocchi.

Abernethy says the two quickly became pals on set.

“It was super awesome. It’s like we almost made an alliance from the get-go and we always really cheered each other on. He’s kind of like an older brother figure to me and he’s a great home cook.”

"MasterChef Canada" will begin January 20 on CTV.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Sarah Plowman