Any home kitchen cook who has tried to whip up a meringue that won't melt or blend a brûlée that doesn't turn into a brick knows that desserts are the devils and angels of the culinary world — hellish to create, but heavenly to taste when made just right.
Same goes for the highly trained professionals who compete in Top Chef Just Desserts, which returns for its second season August 24th. Gail Simmons returns once again as host, along with judges Johnny Iuzzini, Hubert Keller and Dannielle Kyrillos. This time around, they'll put 14 pastry perfectionists through a gauntlet of Quickfires and Elimination Challenges before awarding one the competition's $100,000 grand prize.
Digging in to help the celebrity chefs taste and rate the treats will be the usual cadre of guest judges, including Beastie Boy Ad Rock and the cast of — what else? — Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.
Here's a look at the 14 chefs who do their best to not melt in the heat of Top Chef Just Desserts Season 2:
Amanda Rockman – Hometown: Katy, Texas (currently resides in Chicago, Illinois)
Carlos Enriquez – Hometown: Los Angeles, California (currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada)
Chris Hanmer – Hometown: Costa Mesa, California (currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada)
Craig Poirier – Hometown: Derry, New Hampshire (currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada)
Katzie Guy-Hamilton – Hometown: Worcester, Massachusetts (currently resides in New York, New York)
Lina Biancamano – Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona (currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas)
Matthew Petersen – Hometown: Dublin, Pennsylvania (currently resides in Arlington, Virginia)
Megan Ketover – Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio (currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio)
Melissa Camacho – Hometown: Port-au-Prince, Haiti (currently resides in New York , New York)
Nelson Paz – Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina (currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts)
Orlando Santos – Hometown: St. Croix, US Virgin Islands (currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Rebecca Masson – Hometown: Laramie, Wyoming (currently resides in Houston, Texas)
Sally Camacho – Hometown: Los Angeles, California (currently resides in Los Angeles, California)
Vanarin Kuch – Hometown: Houston, Texas (currently resides in Houston, Texas)