January 23, 2008 10:54 AM by Jennifer_Brown
Hungry for more Top Chef? Eat up! Bravo’s taking orders and is serving up a heaping platter of Chicago for ourdiscriminating realitytaste buds (yeah, okay, you’re right, enough with the eating analogy).
Bravo has announced that season four of its hit show Top Chef will premierein March, testing the culinary abilities of 16 of the country’s finest rising chefs,in the Windy City.
Top Chef: Chicago will promise the drama we’ve grown to know and love, ascontestants will take on two tasks in each episode: a quickfire testdesigned to assess their basic abilities, and a more complicated elimination challengethat will judge the chefs’ abilities with inventiveness and versatility with exotic and unique ingredients. These challenges are designed to not only judge the contestants’ abilties to cook, but also to manage a restaurant and thrive under the high-pressure, competitive atmosphere that is the rule of chefdom, rather than the exception. At the end of each episode, one chef will be asked to “pack up their knives” and go home.
Actress, cookbook author,and host Padma Lakshmi will be back to preside over the judging table. The other judges will be (head judge) Tom Colicchio (Craft Restaurants), Gail Simmons (Food & Wine Magazine), and Ted Allen (Robert Mondavi Private selection wines).
The 16 contestants who will be vying for the enviable title of Top Chef (and super-awesome prize of $100,000, a feature in Food& Wine Magazine, a showcase at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and a gourmet dream vacay in the French Alps) are:
-Andrew, 30 – Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL; Resides in N.Y.
-Antonia, 31 – Hometown/Resides in: Los Angeles, CA
-Dale, 29 – Hometown: Chicago, IL; Resides in N.Y.
-Erik, 38 – Hometown: Chappaqua, NY; Resides in San Francisco, CA
-Jennifer, 35 – Hometown: Brooklyn, NY; Resides in San Francisco, CA
-Lisa, 27 – Hometown: Toronto, Canada; Resides in N.Y.
-Manuel, 33 – Hometown: Laredo, TX; Resides in N.Y.
-Mark, 29 – Hometown: Invercargill, New Zealand; Resides in N.Y.
-Nikki, 35 – Hometown/Resides in: N.Y.
-Nimma, 26 – Hometown: Peachtree City, GA; Resides in Atlanta, GA
-Richard, 35 – Hometown: Uniondale, NY; Resides in Atlanta, GA
-Ryan, 28 – Hometown: Los Banos, CA; Resides in San Francisco, CA
-Spike, 27 – Hometown: Clearwater Beach, FL; Resides in Williamsburg, N.Y.
-Stephanie, 31 – Hometown: Stamford, CT; Resides in Chicago, IL
-Valerie, 32 – Hometown/Resides in: Chicago, IL
-Zoi, 30, – Hometown: Seattle, WA; Resides in San Francisco, CA
Fans of the show can find everything from bios and photos of the contestants to recipes from the show and cooking webisodes on bravotv.com.
Top Chef: Chicago will premiere Wednesday, March 12, 10:00 PM (ET) on Bravo.
Photo Courtesy: F. Scott Schafer