Toby Young

Meet Top Chef's newest judge. After reading, you just might like him more.

on Jan 7, 2009

My one big worry in last night's episode is that there's a bit of history between Jean-Christophe Novelli and me. A few years ago, I appeared as a judge on an episode of the British version of Hell's Kitchen and Jean-Christophe was one of two celebrity chefs leading a team of contestants. To cut a long story short, he took such violent exception to my remarks about his team's food that he banned me from all his restaurants. Until last night, our paths hadn't crossed and I was concerned that the tension between us might spill out on to the show.

In fact, after some perfunctory squaring off, we decided to bury the hatchet and - as is the way with these things - ended up getting horribly drunk together when the show had wrapped. We may have even pricked our fingers and become blood brothers - I'm afraid I don't remember. It was the first of what I hope will be many wonderful experiences working on Top Chef.

For more about Toby, visit his Web site at