Tapping Vegas talent (again) for ‘Top Chef Masters’ Season Two
Wed, Feb 10, 2010 (3 p.m.)
The Top Chef kitchen may have packed up its knives and left Las Vegas months ago, but the city continues to leave its mark on Bravo's culinary brand.
Bravo has announced the return of Top Chef Masters for a second season, and three chefs with Vegas restaurants are featured on the all-star roster. Rick Moonen of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay will be looking to avenge his Season One elimination, which can be attributed to his inability to plate a corndog during a Quickfire challenge. Apparently, the dog had its day at Moonen's expense.
- Top Chef Coverage
- Top Chef blog
- Rick Moonen falls victim to a corndog on Top Chef Masters (07/16/09)
- Vegas chefs sharpen their knives for Top Chef Master (6/9/09)
- Local chefs to light up kitchen on Top Chef Masters (4/9/09)
- Restaurant Guides
- RM Seafood
- David Burke
- Border Grill
- Show Details
- Premieres April 7 at 11 p.m. on Bravo
- Beyond the Weekly
- Bravo TV
The vocal proponent of sustainable seafood is one of six Season One chefs returning for a second helping of the spin-off series. Joining them will be 16 newcomers, including David Burke, celebrity chef behind the eponymous David Burke at the Venetian and Susan Feniger, founder of Border Grill at Mandalay Bay. For anyone counting, that adds up to 22 season culinary competitors in all, down two from the first run.
At the judges' table, returning from Season One to decide the fate of these master chef'testants are restaurant critic Gael Greene, culinary expert James Oseland, food critic Jay Rayner and Top Chef judge Gail Simmons. Food journalist Kelly Choi also returns as host.
Bravo's also released the names of a slew of guest stars and judges set to appear on Top Chef Masters Season Two. They include cast members from Modern Family and Real Housewives of OC, actor Mekhi Phifer (now of Fox's Lie to Me) and Simpsons-creator Matt Groening (cross your fingers for an Homer-inspired "Mmmmm, donuts" challenge).
The format for this season of Top Chef Masters will mirror its first. The first half will involve different groupings of chefs competing against one another in Quickfire and elimination challenges for prize money, which will be donated to a charity of the winning chef's choosing. Dishes will be given star ratings, and the two chefs from each episode with the highest scores will move onto the second round, which will whittle away chefs via more Quickfire and elimination challenges until only one remains.
This ultimate winner — the Top Chef Master, if you will — will receive $100,000 for the charity of his or her choice and inherit the top spot currently held by Season One winner Rick Bayless. Let the cooking begin!
Top Chef Masters will premiere April 7 at 11 p.m. Its regular time slot will be Wednesdays at 10 p.m.
The complete list of Top Chef Master chef'testants:
• Jody Adams — Rialto Restaurant, Cambridge, Mass.
• Govind Armstrong — 8 oz Burger Bar, Los Angeles, Calif.
• Graham Elliot Bowles — Graham Elliot Restaurant, Chicago, Ill.
• Jimmy Bradley — The Red Cat, New York, N.Y.
• David Burke — David Burke Townhouse, New York, N.Y.
• Wylie Dufresne — wd~50, New York, N.Y.
• Susan Feniger — Street, Los Angeles, Calif.
• Debbie Gold — The American Restaurant, Kansas City, Mo.
• Carmen Gonzalez — Chef Consultant, New York, N.Y.
• Maria Hines — Tilth, Seattle, Wash.
• Susur Lee — Madeline's, Toronto, Canada
• Ludo Lefebvre — Ludo Bites, Los Angeles, Calif.
• Tony Mantuano — Spiaggia, Chicago, Ill.
• Rick Moonen — Rick Moonen's RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nev.
• Mark Peel — Campanile, Los Angeles, Calif.
• Monica Pope — t'afla, Houston, Texas
• Thierry Rautureau — Rover's, Seattle, Wash.
• Marcus Samuelsson — The Red Rooster, New York, N.Y.
• Ana Sortun — Oleana, Cambridge, Mass.
• Rick Tramonto — TRU, Chicago, Ill.
• Jerry Traunfeld — Poppy, Seattle, Wash.
• Jonathan Waxman — Barbuto, New York, N.Y.