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'Top Chef 11: New Orleans' Contestants Revealed



Premiering Wednesday, October 2, the new season of the Bravo competition kicks-off with a new digital video series, "Padma's Picks," to choose to the last chef'testant.



Jason Cichonski in "Top Chef 11: New Orleans"
Jason Cichonski Top Chef 11: New OrleansAugust 12, 2013

Carrie Mashaney in "Top Chef 11: New Orleans"
Carrie Mashaney in "Top Chef 11: New Orleans"
Carlos Gaytan in "Top Chef 11: New Orleans"
Carlos Gaytan in "Top Chef 11: New Orleans"
NEW YORK, NY — Bravo Media's Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series, "Top Chef," is back and heads to New Orleans for season 11 on Wednesday, October 2 at 10PM ET/PT. This season kicks-off with a new pre-premiere digital video series, "Padma's Picks," sponsored by Cigna and available on Bravo online beginning Wednesday, August 14. "Padma's Picks" gives one of New Orleans' most talented chefs the opportunity to cook their way on to the actual show. Host and Judge Padma Lakshmi visits some of The Big Easy's most celebrated establishments to find 10 of the best and brightest chefs from New Orleans. These chefs will then battle head-to-head to make it to the "Cigna GO YOU Challenge" finale of "Padma's Picks" with the ultimate winner earning a coveted spot on this season's cast.

Returning to the judges table in NOLA for Top Chef Season 11 are lead judge Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson, and New Orleans' own Emeril Lagasse, alongside host Padma Lakshmi. This season will up the ante against the backdrop of the gastronomically diverse city of New Orleans — and the chefs will be tasked with serving up food for top entertainers, culinary stars and celebrity guest judges including Jon Favreau, Lea Michele, Anthony Mackie, Questlove, Leah Chase, Paul Prudhomme, Jacques Pepin, David Chang, John Besh, and Eddie Huang as well as local legends Kermit Ruffins and Dr. John.



The chef'testants will bring out their knives as they battle it out for $125,000 furnished by Healthy Choice, a feature in Food & Wine magazine, a showcase at the Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and the title of "Top Chef."

The "Top Chef 11: New Orleans" contestants include:

Benedetto Bartolotta, 37 — Astoria, N.Y.
Ramon Bojorquez, 31 — San Diego, Calif.
Janine Booth, 25 — New York, N.Y.
Shirley Chung, 36 — Las Vegas, Nev.
Jason Cichonski, 27 — Philadelphia, Pa.
Stephanie Cmar, 28 — Boston, Mass.
Nina Compton, 34 — Miami, Fla.
Aaron Cuschieri, 29 — Chicago, Ill.
Nicholas Elmi, 32 — Philadelphia, Pa.
Carlos Gaytan, 42 — Chicago, Ill.
Brian Huskey, 32 — Los Angeles, Calif.
Sara Johannes — Minneapolis, Minn.
Louis Maldonado, 32 — Healdsburg, Calif.
Travis Masar, 27 — Philadelphia, Pa.
Carrie Mashaney, 35 — Seattle, Wash.
Bret Pelaggi, 34 — Miami, Fla.
Patricia Vega, 29 — New York, N.Y.

Additionally, "Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen," the Emmy-nominated groundbreaking digital video series sponsored by Toyota and hosted by Tom Colicchio, returns for its third season. Each week, two eliminated chef'testants face-off to compete for the ultimate prize — redemption and a spot in the "Top Chef" finale.

Magical Elves return to produce "Top Chef." Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serve as executive producers.
 
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