Bravo has announced Top Chef's third season will premiere this summer and feature a new cast of would-be culinary experts competing against each other in Miami Beach, FL.

In early January, Bravo announced that it had renewed Top Chef for a third season despite the fact the reality competition show's second edition had yet to end its broadcast run.  Casting for Top Chef's third season began later in January, with stops in Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, New York and San Francisco.

While the cast and location may be new (Season 1 filmed in San Francisco, Season 2 filmed in Los Angeles) Top Chef 3 will feature some familiar faces to viewers.  Padma Lakshmi will return for her second season of hosting duties.  Renowned American chef Tom Colicchio and Food & Wine magazine editor Gail Simmons will return as judges, and will regularly be joined by soon-to-be former Queer Eye food and wine expert Ted Allen.  Bravo also announced special guest judges will include "some of the culinary world's most renowned figures."

Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves -- the production company that also produces the network's Emmy-nominated Project Runway -- will return as executive producers for the third season of Top Chef.

In addition to Top Chef 3, Bravo has announced that Hey Paula! -- American Idol judge Paula Abdul's new reality series -- and the third season of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List will also air this summer.  Noticeably absent from Bravo's summer programming schedule will be Project Runway's fourth season -- although although Project Runway 3 set all-time Bravo ratings records when it aired last summer, Project Runway 4 won't premiere until late 2007.
About The Author: Christopher Rocchio
Christopher Rocchio is an entertainment reporter for Reality TV World and has covered the reality TV genre for several years.