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Bravo announces hosts and judges of new 'Top Chef Masters' spinoff


By Christopher Rocchio, 02/11/2009 

Bravo has announced the host and judges for Top Chef Masters, a new Top Chef spinoff that will pit culinary professionals against one another in a series of weekly challenges.

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Top Chef Masters will be hosted by food journalist Kelly Choi, a former model who currently hosts NYC TV's weekly restaurant show Eat Out NY.  In addition, Choi's new book -- "The 20 Most Delicious Dishes in New York" -- is set to hit stores this spring.

Unlike Top Chef, which follows culinary amateurs competing against one another, Top Chef Masters will instead feature 24 world-renowned chefs competing against each other.

Each episode will feature two challenges -- a twist on Top Chef's classic quickfire challenge that will test the professionals' basic abilities and a second "more involved" elimination challenge designed to test their versatility and creativity.

The dishes will then be tested and evaluated by Top Chef Masters' judging panel, which will consist of restaurant critic Gael Green, culinary expert James Oseland and food critic Jay Rayner.

Only one of the professional participants will be crowned the Top Chef Masters champ and claim the yet-to-be-revealed prize for the charity of his or her choice.

Bravo began developing Top Chef Masters last July, and the series is being produced by Top Chef producers Magical Elves and executive produced by Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz.

"Top Chef lovers rejoice, Bravo and the Magical Elves are teaming up again to bring more of what our fans love most, fabulous food and tasty competition," said Bravo executive Frances Berwick. "This time we're adding world-renowned chefs competing against each other to the menu."

In addition, restaurateur and Top Chef's lead judge Tom Colicchio is serving as a consulting producer for the spinoff.

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