BIG APPLE, BIG STAKES - BRAVO'S "TOP CHEF: NEW YORK" PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 AT 10 PM ET/PT
17 Sizzling New Chefs Take To Gotham Along With Guest Judges And Stars Including Martha Stewart, Foo Fighters, Jean-Georges, Eric Ripert, Natasha Richardson And New Judge Toby Young
NEW YORK � October 1, 2008 � Bright knives, Big city. The fifth season of the No. 1 food show on cable, Bravo's Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series returns with "Top Chef: New York," premiering a super-sized episode Wednesday, November 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The 17 new chef'testants take on The Big Apple this season to see if they have what it takes to become Top Chef. Once again returning to the kitchen, cookbook author, actress and host Padma Lakshmi presides over the judge's table alongside head judge Tom Colicchio, renowned culinary figure and chef/owner Craft Restaurants, and judge Gail Simmons, of Food & Wine Magazine. This season introduces new judge Toby Young, food critic and best-selling author of the book "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People," which was the basis for an upcoming film. In what will prove to be the most challenging season yet, some of the biggest names in food, music and entertainment including Martha Stewart, Foo Fighters, Jean-Georges, Eric Ripert, Rocco DiSpirito, Wylie Dufresne, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Natasha Richardson will be featured this season on "Top Chef: New York."
To meet the cast of Season Five, visit www.BravoTV.com.
"Being in New York this season, we've upped the ante � because this is our home turf � so the pressure's on for the chefs to impress us," said Colicchio.
The 17 "Top Chef: New York" chef'testants will be skewered down week by week as they compete to out-flavor, out-cook and out-do their competition. The winning chef will receive $100,000 in seed money to help open a restaurant, furnished by the makers of the Glad family of products, a feature in Food & Wine magazine, a showcase at the Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and will earn the title of "Top Chef." The Emmy-nominated Magical Elves return to produce "Top Chef: New York." Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz ("Project Runway," "Top Design") and Shauna Minoprio return as executive producers.
Following are the 17 new "Top Chef: New York" chef'testants:
- Alex, 33 - Hometown: New York, N.Y.; Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.
- Ariane, 41 - Hometown/Resides in: Verona, N.J.
- Carla, 44 - Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.; Resides in Washington, D.C.
- Danny, 26 � Hometown/ resides in: New Hyde Park, N.Y.
- Fabio, 30 - Hometown: Florence, Italy; Resides in Moorpark, Calif.
- Gene, 33 � Hometown: Whitmore Village, Hawaii; Resides in Las Vegas, Nev.
- Hosea, 34 - Hometown: Taos, N.M.; Resides in Boulder, Colo.
- Jamie, 30 - Hometown: New York, N.Y.; Resides in San Francisco, Calif.
- Jeff, 30 � Hometown: Niceville, Fla.; Resides in: Miami, Fla.
- Jill, 28 - Hometown: Latrobe, Pa.; Resides in Baltimore, Md.
- Lauren, 24 - Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio; currently stationed at Fort Stewart
- Leah, 27 - Hometown: Scarsdale, N.Y.; Resides in New York, N.Y.
- Melissa, 28 � Hometown: Md.; Resides in Boulder, Colo.
- Patrick, 21 - Hometown: Quincy, Mass.; Resides in Hyde Park, N.Y.
- Radhika, 28 - Hometown/Resides in: Chicago, Ill.
- Richard, 27 - Hometown: Long Island, N.Y.; Resides in San Diego, Calif.
- Stefan, 35 � Hometown: Tampere, Finland; Resides in Santa Monica, Calif.
Bravo's "Top Chef" offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. The series features sixteen aspiring chefs who compete for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the prestigious title of "Top Chef." Each episode holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a quickfire test of their basic abilities and the second is a more involved elimination challenge designed to test the versatility and inventiveness of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for a range of demanding clients. The challenges not only test their skills in the kitchen, but also uncover if they have the customer service, management and teamwork abilities required of a Top Chef. The competing chefs live and breathe the high-pressure lifestyle that comes with being a master chef and each week someone is asked to "pack up their knives" and go home.
www.BravoTV.com will continue to be the home for a robust food and drink destination dedicated to "Top Chef" fans and foodies. This season, the site unveils a new treat: in the "Top Chef Fantasy Game," fans can choose a dream team of three contestants each week, and compete for points based on the performance of their selected chefs. Plus, there'll be several more online features for the "Top Chef" fanatic to feast on: video interviews and tips from the judges and contestants, photo galleries and recipes from each episode, and blogs from current and past stars (including new judge Toby Young and season 4 winner Stephanie Izard). Visitors can also "Rate The Plate" and vote for the dish they think deserves top honors each week, play our popular "Memory Match" photo games, or test their Foodie IQ in a challenging quiz about all things delicious. And "Top Chef" season 1 star Lee Anne Wong returns with her weekly online exclusive cooking webisode series, "The Wong Way To Cook," teaching viewers how to make each week's winning recipe at home.
"Chef" fans can also visit m.bravotv.com from their web-enabled phone for exclusive content including contestant and judge Q&A's, photo diaries, foodie faves, video tips, wallpapers and ringtones. Fans who text CHEF to 27286 can join the Top Chef mobile fan club and receive behind-the-scenes dish and exclusive interactive content from the chef'testants, hosts and judges. Two new games allow viewers to compete to be "Top Chef.". Mobile fans can try the "Top Chef Challenge," a game designed and developed by leading mobile publisher LimeLife, Inc., set behind-the-scenes of a Tom Colicchio fictional restaurant, where players enter the game's virtual kitchen as an entry-level dishwasher and must work their way up. PC and MAC users can try "Top Chef: The Game" developed by Gamelab, LLC and distributed by Brighter Minds Media LLC where fans can test their culinary flair as they create 5-star dishes in their own virtual kitchen.
"Top Chef" debuted in March 2006 to critical acclaim and ratings success, returning with season two in October 2006 which averaged over two million total viewers. Season three which premiered on June 2007 finished out the season averaging over 2.5 million viewers, and most recently season four which premiered in March 2008, averaged over 3.0 million viewers securing the title of No. 1 food show on cable.
Source: Nielsen Media Research, Live+7 data 12/31/07-9/14/08, blended with Live + Same Day through 9/25/08, Top Chef 4 Premieres vs. Premiere airings of Food Network programs, P18-49 and P2+ (000), subject to qualifications.