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A Top Chef Champion Returns for the First Time as a Judge 15 Years After Winning the Competition
A familiar face is back as Season 19's chefs create street food dishes for an Asian night market.
Bravo's Top Chef has welcomed back several past winners, finalists, and fan favorites to the competition this season to lend their guidance and expertise to the new batch of cheftestants vying for the top title in Houston. And the upcoming March 17 episode will mark the return of one chef that's been 15 years in the making.
Top Chef Season 3 winner Hung Huynh will be back as an All Star guest judge, and the cheftestants are definitely excited to be part of his return to the competition, as you can see in the above first look at the episode exclusive to Bravo Insider members. "Chef Hung, he was the first Asian to win Top Chef, and I'm like, 'Oh yeah!'" Season 19 contestant Sam Kang says in an interview in the clip. "He's the reason why I own a cleaver."
While Hung couldn't have been happier to be back on Top Chef after taking home the title more than a decade ago in Miami (he was also one of the sous chefs in the Season 7 finale), he admits that the competition looks a little different these days. "It's been 15 years, but it's good to be back," he tells the Season 19 chefs. "I don't remember the kitchen being this big."
This week, the Top Chef kitchen has been transformed into an Asian night market featuring 10 of the best local chefs representing Vietnamese, Indian, Chinese, Filipino, and Japanese cuisines. Host Padma Lakshmi informs the cheftestants that there's no Quickfire this week, but the elimination challenge is pretty major: The contestants will need to create a street food dish inspired by what they sample in the Top Chef kitchen that day for their own Asian night market at the POST Houston.
Sign up for Bravo Insider, above, to see the elimination challenge get underway and find out what Padma is "really excited" for the chefs to experience as they prep their dishes.
Want more Top Chef? New episodes air every Thursday at 8/7c or catch up on the Bravo app.