Top Chef New Orleans Cast Revealed; Debuts 10/2

Angelina Jolie’s leg also appears as a guest judge.

The latest season of Top Chef will debut on Bravo on October 2, 2013. Set in the Big Easy, the season is sure to put cheftestants to the test by challenging them to tackle some of NOLA’s most beloved culinary specialties. If you thought risotto sent people packing their knives, can you imagine what will happen when competitors are tasked with taking on gumbo? I’m pretty sure they’ll roux the day.

The competitors include Bene Bartolotta formerly of CircoRamon Bojorquez of NINE-TENShirley Chung formerly at China PoblanoJason Cichonski of ElaNina Compton of Scarpetta Fontainebleau Miami BeachStephanie Cmar of No.9 Park, Justin Devillier of La Petite GroceryNick Elmi formerly of Rittenhouse TavernCarlos Gaytan of MexiqueBrian Huskey of PiccaLouis Maldonado of SpoonbarCarrie Mashaney formerly of Cascina SpinasseBret Pelaggi formerly of Chiara Bistro, and Patricia Vega of David Burke Fishtail.Continue Reading

Ahoy, Foodies: Set Sail for ‘Top Chef: The Cruise’ in Spring 2013!

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to mix and mingle with a cast of Top Chef celebrities this April!

Don’t miss the launch of the first-ever Top Chef: The Cruise in April 2013. Brought to you by Bravo Media, Celebrity Cruises, Magical Elves, and Rose Tours, come aboard the modern, luxurious Celebrity Constellation to spend quality time with the show’s judges and chefs on this culinary voyage of a lifetime.

Hosted by Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, and featuring Top Chef Masters and past chef’testants, including Hubert Keller (Fleur de Lys), Tim Love (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro), Richard Blais (The Spence), Jennifer Carroll, Tiffany Derry (Private Social), Chris Hanmer, Angelo Sosa (Social Eatz), Yigit Pura, Paul Qui, Hosea Rosenberg, Casey Thompson (Shinsei Restaurant), Fabio Viviani (Cafe Firenze), among others, the April 11-15, 2013, cruise will sail round trip from Miami, Florida, with stops in Key West, Florida, and Cozumel, Mexico. During the voyage, guests will have the opportunity to savor events, such as interactive “Quickfire” cooking challenges, culinary demonstrations, question-and-answer sessions, Top Chef menus and Celebrity’s own award-winning cuisine.

Learn more and book your reservations now!

Catching up with Antonia Lofaso + Fabio Viviani at Top Chef Kitchen by Bravo

Chefs Antonia Lofaso and Fabio Viviani mug for the camera before a busy dinner service at Top Chef Kitchen in New York.

This week at Top Chef Kitchen by Bravo in New York City, Top Chef alums Antonia Lofaso and Fabio Viviani are the featured chefs at the one-of-a-kind, four-course dining experience from Bravo’s Emmy®- and James Beard Award-winning television series, Top Chef. Viviani has two restaurants in Los Angeles, is opening a new restaurant in Chicago, and is scouting a location for another in Miami. When he’s not in one of his restaurants, he is filming his show Chow Ciao! on Yahoo! Lofaso owns Black Market in Studio City, California, and is opening a second as-yet-unnamed restaurant in March 2013 (although Viviani claims they do know the name and it is one he suggested). We caught up with them pre-service in Top Chef Kitchen, as Chef Lofaso was making ravioli for the evening’s dinner. 

Were you intimidated to cook for New York foodies?

FV: I’ve done a lot of private parties in New York, but I never cooked for a restaurant. I got kicked off Top Chef twice in New York, both seasons, so New York doesn’t faze me anymore.

Fabio, what was it like working with Antonia?

FV: We were on a season of Top Chef together, so I know she can be very difficult at times.

AL: That’s when I turn my head [away from him].

FV: I love her to pieces.

Were you excited to work with someone you were a little familiar with?

AL: With Fabio? For this? Yes! So many times when we do these events, it can feel like we’re being more competitive *after* the actual competition versus during. After [Top Chef], it’s more like, ‘Oh my god! What is everyone doing? Is my food better?’ Fabio is just so easy. Not easy in a sleeps-with-a-lot-of-women sort of a way.

FV: What?!

AL: I called you easy. [Pause] Actually, he may be easy in both senses of the word.

FV: I’m easy — easy to please.

AL: Yes, that’s for sure. He’s just sweet, and he’s all about good food, There’s no ‘I’m so much better than you’ air.

FV: It’s not about bragging rights. It’s about having fun! And making good food today! Even though my food is better.

You have created separate Top Chef Kitchen menus, but diners can mix and match. Was there a discussion ahead of time about how they would meld?

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A Visit to Top Chef Kitchen by Bravo with Chefs Richard Blais + Grayson Schmitz

On Saturday night, we were pleased to get a peek inside Top Chef Kitchen by Bravo, an impressive four-course dining experience from Bravo’s Emmy®- and James Beard Award-winning television series, Top Chef. Open for a limited time, Top Chef Kitchen hosted Richard Blais (The Spence) and Grayson Schmitz last weekDue to Hurricane Sandy, Top Chef Kitchen was closed for more than a week, but reopened this past Saturday, and we were lucky enough to pop in.

Peep some pictures below from our visit, and check back later for an exclusive interview with Fabio Viviani (Cafe Firenze and Firenze Osteria) and Antonia Lofaso (Black Market Liquor Bar), who are currently behind the burner at Top Chef Kitchen through Sunday.