Accomplished Aussie is glad to be on the other side of a Quickfire challenge.

Jan 26, 2011 - The Dish

Top Chef Masters host Curtis Stone
After gigs on Celebrity Apprentice and The Biggest Loser, and with a string of reality projects in the pipeline, it seems only natural that chef Curtis Stone's next stop is as host of Top Chef Masters.

The easy-on-the-eyes Aussie replaces former host Kelly Choi, and brings a pantry full of perspective to the proceedings. "I think it's good to have a chef on there who can empathize with the other chefs during the competitions. I'll be on the judges panel, but I'm not going to cast advice, because I don't want to judge my peers," Curtis tells Slashfood.com.

Filming starts next week for the new season and the culinary expert, who was named by People magazine as one of the sexiest men alive, is eager to begin. "Top Chef Masters is a whole different ball game," he says. "Top Chef is a great show, but with Masters, these guys are seriously established chefs on the restaurant scene with Michelin stars, James Beard awards, and all that stuff."

With those pedigrees, Curtis will no doubt find the Top Chef Masters contestants and little less, ahem, unique than his Celebrity Apprentice cohorts.

"The Apprentice was bizarre," he tells Slashfood. "I was sitting there before the first day and Cyndi [Lauper] was sort of singing to herself and I was thinking, 'What am I doing here with all of these freaks?' But you know what? I made a lot of good friends from it."

Next up on this chef's plate is America's Next Great Restaurant, which will find Curtis and fellow culinary kingpins like Bobby Flay voting for the idea most worthy of a new restaurant chain.

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