There are a lot of reasons to be excited about tonight's return of Top Chef, but one the biggest might be the promise of star Southern chef Hugh Acheson's presence at Judges' Table.
The coolly confident culinary cutie -- who has three restaurants in Georgia and a cookbook just hitting the shelves -- made such a splash as a competitor on Top Chef Masters, mocking his own unibrow and spouting coolly hilarious quips while everyone else spazzed, that he was invited to guest judge an episode of Top Chef Just Desserts. (Watch our favorite Hugh moments.) Now the star chef has a stint as a rotating judge on the show that started it all.
Hugh looks back fondly at his stint on TCM. He tells the Atlanta Journal Constitution's TV blog, "I was really excited about doing it for a number of reasons. It's for charity and just a fun thing to do though sometimes I felt like I was one of the only ones having fun on the show."
After being a cheftestant, the role of judge suits Hugh just fine. He tells the paper, "It's a lot easier, a lot less stress. It's exciting to see a crew of chefs try their best. Some of them excel. Some do belly flops you don't see coming. As a judge, I don't see myself as an expert. I can learn about food and wine every day and never get bored. I just bring my wit and sarcasm to the table."
Fans don't have to wait until Judges' Table for fresh servings of Hugh's wit -- he'll be joining fans and other Top Chef VIPs in our Talk Bubble live viewing party here at Bravotv.com during tonight's season premiere.