'Top Chef' host Padma Lakshmi
The season will include appearances by many of The District's most powerful personalities from politics and the media, including Apollo Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, White House chef Sam Kass, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, Congressman Aaron Schock of Illinois, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, CIA Director Leon Panetta and NBC White House Correspondent Savannah Guthrie.
Padma Lakshmi will return as host and Tom Colicchio is back as head judge. The rest of the judging panel includes returning critic Gail Simmons, plus "regular guest judge" Eric Ripert
, chef and owner of New York's acclaimed Le Bernardin restaurant. Ripert will be taking the place of Toby Young.
This season's contestants are:
- Alex Reznik, 33 – Hometown: Brooklyn, NY; Resides in Hollywood, CA
- Amanda Baumgarten, 27 – Hometown/Resides in: Los Angeles, CA
- Andrea Curto-Randazzo, 39 – Hometown: Vero Beach, FL/Resides in: Miami Beach, FL.
- Angelo Sosa, 34 – Hometown: Connecticut; Resides in New York, NY.
- Arnold Myint, 32 – Hometown/Resides in: Nashville, TN.
- Ed Cotton, 32 – Hometown: Boston, MA; Resides in New York, NY.
- Jacqueline Lombard, 33 – Hometown: Boston, MA/Resides in Brooklyn, NY.
- John Somerville, 42 – Hometown/Resides in: West Bloomfield, MI.
- Kelly Liken, 33 – Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA/Resides in: Vail, CO.
- Kenny Gilbert, 36 – Hometown: Cleveland, OH/Resides in: Telluride, CO
- Kevin Sbraga, 30 – Hometown/Resides in: Willingboro, NJ.
- Lynne Gigliotti, 51 – Hometown: Philadelphia, PA/Resides in Hyde Park, NY.
- Stephen Hopcraft, 40 – Hometown: Cleveland, OH.; Resides in Las Vegas, NV
- Tamesha Warren, 24 – Hometown: Barbados; Resides in Washington D.C.
- Tiffany Derry, 26 – Hometown: Beaumont, TX/Resides in: Dallas, TX
- Timothy Dean, 39 – Hometown: Washington D.C./Resides in Baltimore, MD
- Tracey Bloom, 33 – Hometown: Rochester, NY/Resides in Atlanta, GA
The Emmy-nominated Magical Elves (as always, not real magical elves, alas) return to produce "Top Chef: Washington D.C." Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz ("Top Chef Masters," "Dance Your Ass Off"), Liz Cook and Casey Kriley serve as executive producers. Chaz Gray serves as co-executive producer.
"Top Chef: Masters" is currently airing its second season on Bravo.