has announced the 12 culinary favorites competing for the next title of "Top Chef
Masters," as well as the show's judging panel, some celebrity guests and new format.
That's a lot of announcements for one press release!
Of note to fans of the "Top Chef" franchise, this season of "Top Chef Masters
" will find the contestants judged elimination-style by the panel -- following the format of the regular "Top Chef" brand -- rather than on the strange sliding scale used in previous "Masters" installments. Each Quickfire win will be worth $5,000 for the chef's charities-of-choice, with $10,000 going to the charities of each elimination challenge winner.
James Oseland will return as judge, along with new regular judge Ruth Reichl. As was previously announced, Curtis Stone will be the new host for "Top Chef Masters."
Bravo also revealed that this season's celebrity guest judges will include "Mad Men" Emmy nominee Christina Hendricks, singer Kelis and Maroon 5.
Here are the 12 cheftestants who will be competing to win $100,000 for the charity of their choice:
- Hugh Acheson - Chef/ Partner: Five& Ten, The National, Gosford Wine – in Athens, GA and Empire State South, Atlanta, GA; Competing for Wholesome Wave Foundation
- Floyd Cardoz – Former Executive Chef/Partner- of Tabla and soon-to-be Executive Chef/Partner of a new Danny Meyer restaurant; Competing for Young Scientist Cancer Research Fund
- John Currence - City Grocery Restaurant Group, Oxford, MS Competing for No Kid Hungry
- Traci Des Jardins - Chef/Co-owner of Jardinière, Mijita Cocina Mexicana and Public House and Manzanita, San Francisco, CA; Competing for La Cocina
- George Mendes - Chef/Co-Owner of ALDEA, Manhattan, NY; Competing for Charity: Water
- Mary Sue Milliken - Co-Chef/ Owner: Border Grill Restaurants and Truck, Los Angeles, CA; Competing for Share Our Strength
- Naomi Pomeroy - Owner: Beast in Portland, OR; Competing for Seed Savers Exchange
- Suvir Saran - Executive Chef: Dévi, New York, NY; Competing for Agricultural Stewardship Association
- John Rivera Sedlar - Owner: Playa, Los Angeles, CA; Competing for American Diabetes Association
- Alex Stratta - Executive Chef: Stratta, Las Vegas, NV; Competing for Faster Cures, part of the Milken Prostate Cancer Foundation
- Celina Tio - Chef/Owner: JULIAN Restaurant, Kansas City, MO, Competing for Harvesters
- Sue Zemanick - Executive Chef: Gautreau’s, New Orleans, LA; Competing for the Louisiana SPCA
"Top Chef Masters" premieres on Bravo on Wednesday, April 6 at 11 p.m. and will move to its regular 10 p.m. time slot the following week.