In its upcoming 14th season, Top Chef will be going where it's never gone before. When the culinary competition kicks off with a supersized Season 14 premiere on Thursday, December 1 at 10/9c, not only will we meet eight new cheftestants ready to vie for the coveted title of Top Chef, but we'll also welcome back eight chefs from seasons past, hungry to take home the honor that they weren't able to attain the first time around.
Well, that's some mouth-watering news if we've ever heard it! But before we dig into the full Season 14 cast, you'll have to guess who will be returning from clues provided on Top Chef's Facebook and Instagram pages over the next week. Join in the #TopChef social conversation, and you'll get exclusive hints about the identities of these familiar faces.
But you can meet the new contestants entering the Top Chef competition right here, right now. Think of it as an amuse bouche for Season 14.
- Annie Pettry – Louisville, Kentucky
- BJ Smith – Portland, Oregon
- Emily Hahn – Charleston, South Caroline
- Gerald Sombright – Marco Island, Florida
- Jamie Lynch – Charlotte, North Carolina
- Jim Smith – Montgomery, Alabama
- Silvia Barban –Brooklyn, New York
- Sylva Senat – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
To sweeten the deal, you can meet the new cheftestants in the above sneak peek of the Season 14 premiere. You'll soon see that this is one talented and competitive crew made up of James Beard Award nominees, students of some of the most famous chefs of all time, badasses, nerds, and everything in between.
In order to win the grand prize of $125,000 furnished by S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine, a showcase at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, and, of course, the coveted title of Top Chef, the cheftestants will have to impress an illustrious panel of judges, including host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons, as well as new judge and Top Chef Masters alum Graham Elliot.
Along the way, some of the biggest culinary stars of today will also serve as guest judges, such as Daniel Humm, William Guidara, Jeremiah Tower, Dominique Ansel, Sean Brock, Frank Lee, Richard Blais, Chris Cosentino, Michael Voltaggio, Hugh Acheson, BJ Dennis, Carey Morey, Nilou Motamed, Mike Lata, John Currence, Alexander Smalls, Michael Cimarusti, and Michael Solomonov.
This season, the cheftestants will be heading down to Charleston, South Carolina, and as such, they will be challenged in the best of southern cuisine, such as cooking for barbecue king Rodney Scott to the soundtrack of Darius Rucker, paying tribute to Edna Lewis, and firing up some shrimp and grits. One sure-to-be-unforgettable challenge will task the cheftestants with cooking for culinary legends in order to win the chance to serve the winning dish at the James Beard House in New York. Yes, the dreaded Sudden Death Quickfires will make a return as well.
If your fave cheftestant doesn't end up taking home the top prize, don't you worry. You can always vote for him or her to win the title of "Top Chef Fan Favorite" on Bravotv.com. The winner will receive $10,000 furnished by S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water and will be announced on finale night during Watch What Happens Live.
For now, keep those guesses about who will be returning to Top Chef coming, and when you need a break, find out where Top Chef winners from seasons past are now, below.