Bravo’s ‘Top Chef: Texas,’ big as its namesake

Top Chef returns for it’s 9th season with a record 29 contestants and new judges Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson. See what host Padma Lakshmi and judge Tom Colicchio have to say about the contestants.

How big?

[info]You already know what the Top Chef competition is all about with the challenges and chef creations. This season has a new webisode series feature for the losers. The additional layer, “Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen,” allows the chefs who maybe had a ‘bad day’ on a challenge to prove that they belong on the show with a ‘last chance’ to compete in the on-air finale. As a twist, judge Tom Colicchio reveals that contestants were told “they were going home” and had no idea of the second chance.

[quote]When asked about the culinary talent in Texas, Tom noted that these days great food can come from anywhere, adding that “there’s a food revolution going on all over the country.”

Celebrities in food, music and entertainment will also be making appearances on the show. The list includes Charlize Theron, Cat Cora, John Besh, Tim Love, Patti LaBelle and Pee-Wee Herman. Maybe the contestants can help him find his bike.

29 “Top Chef: Texas” contestants:

Padma Lakshmi summed up the competition perfectly, “these guys are very passionate but seem to have something personal to prove to themselves or an audience back home.” It’s not just about the fame or money, this time it’s personal.

Nyesha Arrington, 28 – Los Angeles, Calif., Wilshire Restaurant
Lindsay Autry, 29 – West Palm Beach, Fla., Omphoy Ocean Resort & Michelle Bernstein
Jonathan Baltazar, 36 – Long Beach, Calif., Heights Cuisine
Ty-Lör Boring, 34 – Brooklyn, N.Y., Spasso
Molly Brandt, 30 – Hollywood, Fla., Allure of the Seas for Royal Caribbean
Chaz Brown, 29 – New York, N.Y., Fatty Crab
Kimberly Calichio, 27 – New York, N.Y., Fishtail by David Burke
Beverly Kim, 31 – Chicago, Ill., Aria Restaurant
Chris Crary, 29 – Los Angeles, Calif., Whist Restaurant in the Viceroy Hotel
Andrew Curren, 32 – Austin, Texas , 24 Diner
Berenice deAraujo, 33 – Miami, Fla., Sra. Martinez
Janine Falvo, 37 – Atlanta, Ga., Briza Restaurant
Richie Farina, 28 – Chicago, Ill., MOTO
Sarah Grueneberg, 29 – Chicago, Ill., Spiaggia
Chris Jones, 30 – Chicago, Ill., MOTO
Edward Lee, 38 – Louisville, Ky., 610 Magnolia
Whitney Otawka, 30 – Cumberland Island, Ga., Greyfield Inn
Simon Pantet, 30 – Seattle, Wash., Twenty-Two Doors
Colin Patterson, 37 – Seattle, Wash., Sutra
Laurent Quenioux, 51 – Los Angeles, Calif., Vertical Wine Bistro
Paul Qui, 30 – Austin, Texas, Uchiko Restaurant
Keith Rhodes, 39 – Wilmington, N.C., Catch Restaurants
Grayson Schmitz, 27 – New York, N.Y., Exec. Chef
Tyler Stone, 22 – Sacramento, Calif., Personal Chef
Heather Terhune, 39 – Chicago, Ill., Sable Kitchen and Bar
Chuy Valencia, 25 – Chicago, Ill., Chilam Bilam
Nina Vicente, 29 – Seattle, Wash., Spur Gastropub
Ashley Villaluz, 25 – Seattle, Wash., Sous Chef
Dakota Weiss , 35 – Los Angeles, Calif., 9:30 Restaurant and The Backyard

Photography provided by Virginia Sherwood/Bravo/NBCUniversal

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