Bravo reveals 'Top Chef Masters' second season contestants
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/10/2010
Bravo has revealed the identities of the 22 chefs competing on Top Chef Masters' second season, which will premiere on Wednesday, April 7 at 11PM ET/PT.
Six of the contestants -- Graham Elliot Bowles, Wylie Dufresne, Ludo Lefebvre, Rick Moonen, Mark Peel and Jerry Traunfeld -- competed onTop Chef Masters' first season last summer and have returned to "defend their glory," according to Bravo.
Similar to its first season, the competition will begin with a tournament-style format in which each of the show's first four episodes will feature several chefs competing against each other.
Three chefs from each episode will advance to the next round -- the winner and the next two contestants with the highest star totals from the challenges. The chef who wins each preliminary round will receive a $10,000 cash prize for the charity of his or her choice.
Once the four preliminary rounds have concluded, the show will then switch to a more typical elimination format.
Over the course of six episodes, the 12 contestants will engage in new challenges and be eliminated at the conclusion of each episode -- as only one will be crowned "Top Chef Master" and awarded $100,000 towards the charity of his or her choice.
Top Chef judge Gail Simmons will join the judging panel, along with New York Magazine food critic Gael Greene, Saveur magazine editor-in-chief James Oseland, and British journalist/broadcaster Jay Rayner -- who are all returning as judges.
Guest judges joining the panel during the second season will include actor Mekhi Phifer; The Simpsons creator Matt Groening and Hank Azaria; Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern star Andrew Zimmern; the cast of ABC's Modern Family; U.S. Olympic Swimmer Jason Lezak; and The Real Housewives of Orange County stars Lynne Curtin, Alexis Bellino and Tamra Barney, among others.
In addition, Kelly Choi will reprise her Top Chef Masters hosting role for the new season.