The wait is almost over, Top Chef Masters fans! Bravo confirmed the start date for the hit show’s fifth season will be July 24. And, this time, there’s a twist! This season there will be a corresponding online competition (think Last Chance Kitchen) called Battle of the Sous Chefs. Hosted by Hugh Acheson, each master will have his or her sous chef represent him/herself and the results will directly impact the master chefs in ways such as immunity and, sometimes, disadvantages depending on their chef’s performances. See below for episode 1!
Curtis Stone will return as host and is joined by newly promoted head critic, Gail Simmons. Celebrity guest judges on Season 5 will include Ali Larter, Mindy Kaling, Kathie Lee Gifford, Busy Philipps and more, according to Bravo.
Also, former Top Chef contestant Bryan Voltaggio will be joining the Masters cast–and he’s the first former Top Chef contestant to do so. You may remember him as the elder of the Voltaggio brother duo from Top Chef Season 6. Both brothers made it to the finale and Bryan was barely edged out by his brother Michael who took home the win. But, now that he’s a Master, we’re wishing Bryan best of luck in his second attempt to win the top spot!
The 13 cheftestants competing in Season 5 are:
David Burke (David Burke Townhouse, NYC);
Douglas Keane (formerly of Cyrus, Healdsburg, CA);
Sue Zemanick (Gautreau’s, New Orleans);
Richard Sandoval (Richard Sandoval Restaurants);
Bryan Voltaggio (Volt, Frederick, MD);
Franklin Becker (The Little Beet, NYC);
Lynn Crawford (Ruby Watchco, Toronto, Canada);
Odette Fada (formerly of San Domenico, NYC);
Neal Fraser (formerly of Grace, Los Angeles);
Jennifer Jasinski (Bistro Vendôme, Denver, CO);
Jenn Louis (Lincoln Restaurant, Portland, OR);
Herbert Wilson (Sushi Samba, Las Vegas); and
Sang Yoon (Father’s Office, Los Angeles).
The series will air Wednesdays @ 10pm on Bravo.
Get a first look at Season 5:
Battle of the Sous Chefs Episode 1: