Bravo announces 'Top Chef: Texas' cast, series to debut November 2
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/21/2011
Bravo has revealed the identities of the 29 chefs who will be competing on the reality cooking competition Top Chef: Texas, which will premiere on Wednesday, November 2 at 10PM ET/PT.
In addition, the network has announced Top Chef: Texas will borrow a page from the Survivor handbook and introduce a Redemption Island-like twist in which eliminated contestants will face-off two at a time and compete in a series of off-air challenges in attempt to return to the show's on-air finale and resume competing for the grand prize.
While 29 chefs will begin competing on Top Chef: Texas, only 16 of them will be selected to become actual "chef'testants" -- contestants who will be afforded the chance to wear the Top Chef coat and compete across the state in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.
Padma Lakshmi will be reprising her role as host, while head judge and chef Tom Colicchio and judge Gail Simmons will also be returning for the series' ninth season.
In addition to Colicchio and Simmons, chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse and chef Hugh Acheson will be joining the Top Chef: Texas lineup and serve as two new judges.
Top Chef: Texas will feature appearances from Charlize Theron, Pee-wee Herman, Cat Cora, John Besh, Tim Love, and Patti LaBelle.
The winning chef will receive $125,000, a feature in Food and Wine magazine, a showcase at the Annual Food and Wine Classic in Aspen, and earn the title of "Top Chef."
The 29 contestants competing on Top Chef: Texas are:
- Andrew Curren, a 32-year-old from Austin, TX
- Ashley Villaluz, a 25-year-old from Seattle, WA
- Berenice deAraujo, a 33-year-old from Miami, FL
- Beverly Kim, a 31-year-old from Chicago, IL
- Chaz Brown, a 29-year-old from New York, NY
- Chris Crary, a 29-year-old from Los Angeles, CA
- Chris Jones, a 30-year-old from Chicago, IL
- Chuy Valencia, a 25-year-old from Chicago, IL
- Colin Patterson, a 37-year-old from Seattle, WA
- Dakota Weiss , a 35-year-old from Los Angeles, CA
- Edward Lee, a 38-year-old from Louisville, KY
- Grayson Schmitz, a 27-year-old from New York, NY
- Heather Terhune, a 39-year-old from Chicago, IL
- Janine Falvo, a 37-year-old from Atlanta, GA
- Jonathan Baltazar, a 36-year-old from Long Beach, CA
- Keith Rhodes, a 39-year-old from Wilmington, NC
- Kimberly Calichio, a 27-year-old from New York, NY
- Laurent Quenioux, a 51-year-old from Los Angeles, CA
- Lindsay Autry, a 29-year-old from West Palm Beach, FL
- Molly Brandt, a 30-year-old from Hollywood, FL
- Nina Vicente, a 29-year-old from Seattle, WA
- Nyesha Arrington, a 28-year-old from Los Angeles, CA
- Paul Qui, a 30-year-old from Austin, TX
- Richie Farina, a 28-year-old from Chicago, IL
- Sarah Grueneberg, a 29-year-old from Chicago, IL
- Simon Pantet, a 30-year-old from Seattle, WA
- Tyler Stone, a 22-year-old from Sacramento, CA
- Ty-Lor Boring, a 34-year-old from Brooklyn, NY
- Whitney Otawka, a 30-year-old from Cumberland Island, GA