BA, Masters in Creative Media Education, University of Bournemouth, UK
Leslie Merklinger is currently the director of original production for Food Network Canada. In her eight years as a broadcast executive for Food Network, Merklinger has supervised all of Food’s prime time programming, including Top Chef Canada, Chopped Canada, Recipe To Riches, Eat St., You Gotta Eat Here!, Food Truck Face Off and web series' Junk Foodies and The Great Canadian Cookbook. She created the Food Factory and Donut Showdown and brought the online series Bitchin’ Kitchen to the Food Network, becoming the first 'net to network' lifestyle series in the country. Prior to coming to the Food Network, she worked as a producer and director across many genres of television, including news and current affairs, entertainment, lifestyle, documentary and talk shows. Launching her career on Citytv’s groundbreaking talk show The Shulman File, Merklinger produced CBC’s flagship news program The Journal, W-FIVE, Canada AM, eNow, and several series for Star!, TVO’s Planet Parent, and Talktv’s live five hour daily talk show the chatroom, where she was an executive producer. Merklinger has also run the entertainment department of Global News, co-created eTalk for CTV, and created and produced Opening Soon: By Design for HGTV, which garnered her a Gemini nomination as Best Director, Lifestyle/Factual Entertainment for the premier episode Gotstyle.