"Top Chef" Returns to its California Roots with a Two-night Season Premiere Event

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25 November 2015
Top Chef
Photo: Dale Berman/Bravo
 "Top Chef"
2-Night Season Premiere Wednesday, December 2 & Thursday, December 3
at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo

         Bravo Media’s Emmy and James Beard Award-winning “Top Chef” embarks on an epic gastronomic road trip up the coast of California, kicking off with a two-night premiere event on Wednesday, December 2 and Thursday, December 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. With nearly 1000 miles traveled, the unprecedented six-city expedition challenged the cheftestants’ culinary skills like never before as they journey across the Golden State, stopping in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where the series first began, along with San Diego, Santa Barbara, Oakland and the Greater Palm Springs area.  Returning to the judges table for season 13 are host Padma Lakshmi and head judge Tom Colicchio, alongside judges Gail Simmons, Richard Blais and Emeril Lagasse.  The series will air regularly Thursday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

          From cooking for top food writers under the Hollywood sign to serving MC Hammer on the Oakland waterfront and Chrissy Teigen in Palm Springs, the chefs go knife-to-knife in iconic destinations and agricultural regions across the state to prove they have what it takes to out-cook their competition.  Along with the return of the Sudden Death Quickfire challenge, the culinary showdown ups the ante this season with the most daunting Restaurant Wars ever. Additional pressure-filled challenges include catering the ultimate gay wedding in Palm Springs officiated by Lakshmi, a plating challenge inspired by @ChefJacquesLaMerde where the chef’s fate was determined for the first time from fans on Instagram and a final California elimination paying homage to Hubert Keller’s San Francisco institution Fleur De Lys.

         Throughout the season, the chefs will be tasked with serving up food for culinary stars and celebrity guest judges including: Hugh Acheson, Max Silvestri, Ludo Lefebvre, Dana Cowin, Michael Cimarusti, Jose Andres, John Besh, Art Smith, Javier Plascencia, Antonia Lofaso, Michael Voltaggio, Jacques LaMerde, Bill Chait, Jonathan Waxman, Martin Yan, Adam Fleischman, Traci Des Jardins and Hubert Keller. 

          This season features a record number of Executive Chefs and Chefs de Cuisine battling it out for $125,000 furnished by San Pellegrino, a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine, a showcase at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen and the coveted title of “Top Chef.”

Meet the cheftestants:
  Karen Akunowicz - Boston, MA
  Angelina Bastidas - Miami, FL
  Carl Dooley - Boston, MA
  Garret Fleming - Washington, DC
  Jeremy Ford - Miami, FL
  Renee Kelly - Shawnee Mision, KS
  Phillip Frankland Lee - Los Angeles, CA
  Marjorie Meek-Bradley - Washington, D.C.
  Kwame Onwuachi - Washington, D.C.
  Amar Santana - Orange County, CA
  Grayson Schmitz - New York, NY
  Jason Stratton - Seattle, WA
  Frances Tariga-Weshnak - New York, NY
  Isaac Toups - New Orleans, LA
  Wesley True - Atlanta, GA
  Giselle Wellman - Los Angeles, CA
  Chad White - San Diego, CA & Tijuana, Mexico
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