'Top Chef Masters' to Return with Web-Only Companion Series 'Battle of the Sous-Chefs' (Video)
A fifth season of Top Chef Masters, a spinoff of Bravo's Top Chef featuring seasoned culinary all-stars, has been announced by the cable network.
Set to debut July 24, the returning series will again be hosted by Curtis Stone and feature the new addition of Gail Simmons as head critic, who'll lead the judging panel featuring returning critics James Oseland, Ruth Reichl and Francis Lam. Also joining the series this season as judge is Lesley Suter, food editor at Los Angeles magazine.
Fans of Hugh Acheson will be pleased to learn that he'll host a parallel online competition, pitting the sous chefs of the competitors against one another. Battle of the Sous Chefs will have a direct impact on Masters. Sous chef wins, for example, garner immunity for the masters chefs, while landing in last place hobbles their partners with obstacles. Catch the first episode below, which is already streaming on Hulu.
Among the masters competing for charity and bragging rights this season is one familiar face to fans of the franchise: Bryan Voltaggio, a season-six Top Chef finalist who ultimately lost to his tattooed brother, Michael Voltaggio.
Among the celebrity guests who'll appear on the show this season are Mindy Kaling, Busy Philipps and Kathie Lee Gifford, plus the cast of Yo Gabba Gabba!
The full list of masters competing in season five:
Franklin Becker - Executive Chef, The Little Beet (New York, N.Y.)
David Burke - Executive Chef/Owner, David Burke Townhouse, Burke in the Box, David Burke Fishtail, David Burke Fromagerie, David Burke Prime, David Burke's Primehouse and David Burke's Kitchen (New York, N.Y.)
Lynn Crawford - Chef-Owner, Ruby Watchco and Ruby Eats (Toronto, Canada)
Odette Fada - Executive Chef, San Domenico (New York, N.Y.)
Neal Fraser - Owner, BLD, Fritzi Dog, The Strand House, Neal Fraser & Co. at Vibiana, Redbird at Vibiana (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Jennifer Jasinski - Executive Chef/Owner, Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen (Denver, Colo.)
Douglas Keane – Former Chef of the 2 Michelin Starred Cyrus (Sonoma County, Calif.)
Jenn Louis - Executive Chef/Co-Owner, Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern (Portland, Ore.)
Richard Sandoval - Chef-Owner, Richard Sandoval Restaurants (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Bryan Voltaggio - Executive Chef/Owner, VOLT, Lunchbox, Family Meal and RANGE, (Frederick, Md.)
Herbert Wilson - Executive Chef, Sushi Samba, (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Sang Yoon - Executive Chef/Owner, Father’s Office and Lukshon Restaurant (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Sue Zemanick - Executive Chef, Gautreau’s, (New Orleans, La.)