Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and host Padma Lakshmi will all reprise their roles on the judging panel for the seventh season.
The season will also include guest appearances by former Dancing with the Stars celebrity participant Buzz Aldrin, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, White House chef Sam Kass, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock, Virginia Senator Mark Warner, CIA Director Leon Panetta and NBC White House Correspondent Savannah Guthrie.
Top Chef: Washington, D.C.'s contestants will be competing for a grand-prize package similar to the reality culinary competition's previous seasons: $125,000 in seed money to help open a restaurant; a feature in Food & Wine magazine; a showcase at the Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen; and the title of "Top Chef."
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