Just in (via press release) are the names of the 24 contestants on the upcoming "Top Chef Masters" series, which pits established chefs against each other in culinary battles a la "Top Chef."
The boldface chef names include Christopher Lee, Wylie Dufresne, John Besh, Rick Bayless, Suzanne Tracht, and Jonathan Waxman, among others.
The list of guest stars and judges is also surprising, featuring (at right) actress/musician Zooey Deschanel, actor Neil Patrick Harris, and (calling all "Lost" nerds) "Darlton," which would be "Lost" writers and executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof.
The names of the host and judges for the new show were announced in February.
Per the press release, a complete list of the competing chefs is below:
- Rick Bayless – Frontera Grill, Chicago, Ill.
- Wilo Benet – Pikayo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
- John Besh – Restaurant August, New Orleans, LA
- Graham Elliot Bowles – Graham Elliot Restaurant, Chicago, Ill.
- Michael Chiarello – Bottega Restaurant, Yountville, Calif.
- Michael Cimarusti – Providence, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Wylie Dufresne – wd~50, New York, N.Y.
- Elizabeth Falkner – Orson, San Francisco, Calif.
- Hubert Keller – Fleur de Lys, San Francisco, Calif.
- Christopher Lee – Aureole, New York, N.Y.
- Ludo Lefebvre – Ludo Bites, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Anita Lo – Annisa, New York, N.Y.
- Tim Love – The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Fort Worth, Texas
- Rick Moonen – Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nev.
- Nils Noren – French Culinary Institute, New York, N.Y.
- Lachlan McKinnon Patterson – Frasca Food & Wine, Boulder, Colo.
- Cindy Pawlcyn – Mustards Grill, Napa Valley, Calif.
- Mark Peel – Campanile, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Douglas Rodriguez – Alma de Cuba, Philadelphia, PA
- Michael Schlow – Radius Restaurant, Boston, Mass.
- Art Smith – Table Fifty-Two, Chicago, Ill.
- Suzanne Tracht – Jar, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Jonathan Waxman – Barbuto, New York, N.Y.
- Roy Yamaguchi – Roy's Restaurants, San Diego, Calif.