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'Top Chef's thirteenth season to premiere December 2 with 17 new cheftestants


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/23/2015 

Top Chef is returning to its roots in California with 17 new "cheftestants" when Season 13 premieres in early December.

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Bravo has revealed the identities of the 17 people who will be competing on the upcoming edition of Top Chef when it debuts with a two-night event on Wednesday, December 2 and Thursday, December 3 at 10PM ET/PT. After the show's premiere, Top Chef will air regularly on Thursday nights at the same time.

Host Padma Lakshmi and head judge Tom Colicchio will be reprising their roles on the show as well as regular judges Gail Simmons, Richard Blais and Emeril Lagasse. 

The cheftestants will visit iconic destinations across California to prove they have what it takes to out-cook their competition. They'll cook for food writers under the Hollywood sign, serve MC Hammer on the Oakland waterfront and feed Chrissy Teigen in Palm Springs.

In addition to the return of the Sudden Death Quickfire challenge and the "most daunting Restaurant Wars ever," according to the network, the culinary show will feature additional pressure-filled challenges -- including the task of catering a gay wedding in Palm Springs officiated by Lakshmi and an elimination in the hands of Instagram fans.

Throughout the season, the chefs will serve up food for culinary stars and celebrity guest judges 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.

The winner of Top Chef's thirteenth season will receive $125,000, a feature in Food & Wine magazine, a showcase at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and the coveted title of "Top Chef."

Bravo will also be kicking off the fifth season of the digital video series, "Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen," hosted by Colicchio. Each week, the ousted cheftestants will compete in challenges with the hope of rejoining the original competition. The selected winner will earn a spot in Top Chef's finale.

Top Chef is produced by Magical Elves with Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serving as executive producers.

Below is a list of Top Chef's Season 13 cheftestants:



- Karen Akunowicz from Boston, MA

- Angelina Bastidas from Miami, FL

- Carl Dooley from Boston, MA

- Garret Fleming from Washington, DC

- Jeremy Ford from Miami, FL

- Renee Kelly from Shawnee Mision, KS

- Phillip Frankland Lee from Los Angeles, CA

- Marjorie Meek-Bradley from Washington, D.C.

- Kwame Onwuachi from Washington, D.C.

- Amar Santana from Orange County, CA

- Grayson Schmitz from New York, NY

- Jason Stratton from Seattle, WA

- Frances Tariga-Weshnak from New York, NY

- Isaac Toups from New Orleans, LA

- Wesley True from Atlanta, GA

- Giselle Wellman from Los Angeles, CA

- Chad White from San Diego, CA and Tijuana, Mexico


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