Whether you're craving good ol' comfort food, fine French fare, or a place that changes culinary concepts practically every time you walk in the door, these Bravolebs are going to have you feeling full this year when their restaurants open.
Current Top Chef hopeful Carl Dooley will debut his Cambridge, MA restaurant The Table on January 12. The 20-seat restaurant with standing wine bar will offer a four-course prix fixe of contemporary French fare.
“Opening a restaurant in January in Boston is probably the stupidest idea,” he told Boston magazine. “Hopefully, people will watch the TV show and come through three feet of snow to trek over for dinner.”
The Top Chef Season 6 champ plans to add to his growing restaurant empire with two adjacent projects debuting this year on bustling Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. One will be a new version of his imaginative sandwich shop ink.sack, the other an intimate 20-30 seat restaurant with an omakase (Japanese for chef’s choice) menu. He’s yet to announce the name, but has revealed that the concept will be to have no fixed concept.
“I want it to be constantly evolving, as I am as a person,” Voltaggio shared with West Hollywood Lifestyle. “So to say it’s going to be an Italian restaurant, it’s going to be a Chinese restaurant, it’s going to be a modern American restaurant — I can’t, because it could be all of that at some point.”
You’ll soon get to know the acclaimed New York chef and restaurateur Jonathan Waxman as one of the judges on Bravo’s new cooking competition Recipe for Deception, which premieres on January 21. The California native and former Chez Panisse chef is also busy getting ready to open Brezza Emporio and Pizzeria, his first San Francisco restaurant in the landmark Ghirardelli Square early this year.
Current Top Chef competitor Chad White announced in November that he’d be moving from San Diego back to his hometown of Spokane, Washington in December to open a small restaurant called Native Post & Provisions in the spring. He’ll be cooking mainly with wood and fire for an aesthetic he’s described as “borderless flavor meets the inland Northwest.”
After competing on Top Chef Season 4, Ryan Scott went on to host a television series called Food Rush, for which he won two Emmys, and open Market & Rye restaurant in San Francisco. He’s planning at least two new restaurants in the Bay Area this year, a return of his 2014 concept Mason and the unveiling of a new project called Finn Town. Both will be located in the heart of SF’s Castro neighborhood and balance fun cocktails with killer comfort food.
Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis
Top Chef powerhouse couple (Janine of Season 11, Jeff of Season 5) plan to open their second restaurant Sarsparilla Club at the Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach in Miami early this year, taking over the space formerly occupied by Morimoto South Beach. According to Miami.com, they’ll be serving “American dim sum,” which might mean a point-and-eat type of service style where carts filled with goodies pass your table for impulse buying.
Plano, Texas will soon have a new cooking class shop courtesy of Top Chef Season 3 vet Tre Wilcox. Due to debut in March, Tre Wilcox Cooking Concepts will be a welcoming space to experience both hands-on and demonstration cooking classes as well as a fun location for private parties. Tre describes it as “part communal dining space, part contemporary TV network cooking studio,” which might hint at further plans afield here for this charming chef.
Top Chef Season 9 finalist Lindsay Autry is preparing to open The Regional Kitchen & Public House early this year in Downtown West Palm Beach. Her ode to the charm of the American kitchen table is gonna be a biggie, too, a 10,000 square-foot space with a bar, lounge, open kitchen and outdoor patio.
"Locally sourcing is important, but one of the big aspects of her skillset is that she does have a strong understanding of what region produces the best products," a rep for the restaurant told The Palm Beacher.
After his turn on Top Chef Season 6, Mike Isabella went on what seems like a restaurant-opening spree in the Southeast. He’s currently got six restaurants and four airport concessions humming, and this year he’ll open two locations of his third Greek concept, the home-style and rustic Kapnos Kouzina, in Bethesda, Maryland and Fairfax, Virginia. He also plans to open a seafood-driven Mediterranean restaurant called Requin in 2017 with fellow Top Chef finalist Jennifer Carroll in Washington DC.
Need more Top Chef in your life? Take a look at what's to come on Season 13's return to California.