"This season the chefs bring a diverse wealth of talent and skill to the table that we've not seen before," said Colicchio. "The title 'Top Chef' has proven to be an amazing opportunity for these chefs to make a name for themselves in the competitive culinary world."
The 16 "Top Chef: Chicago" 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, a gourmet dream vacation in the French Alps and will earn the title of "Top Chef."
Following are the 16 new "Top Chef: Chicago" chef'testants (Bios enclosed):
-Andrew, 30 – Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL; Resides in N.Y.
-Antonia, 31 – Hometown/Resides in: Los Angeles, CA
-Dale, 29 – Hometown: Chicago, IL; Resides in N.Y.
-Erik, 38 – Hometown: Chappaqua, NY; Resides in San Francisco, CA
-Jennifer, 35 – Hometown: Brooklyn, NY; Resides in San Francisco, CA
-Lisa, 27 Hometown: Toronto, Canada; Resides in N.Y.
-Manuel, 33 – Hometown: Laredo, TX; Resides in N.Y.
-Mark, 29 – Hometown: Invercargill, New Zealand; Resides in N.Y.
-Nikki, 35 – Hometown/Resides in: N.Y.
-Nimma, 26 – Hometown: Peachtree City, GA; Resides in Atlanta, GA
-Richard, 35 – Hometown: Uniondale, NY; Resides in Atlanta, GA
-Ryan, 28 – Hometown: Los Banos, CA; Resides in San Francisco, CA
-Spike, 27 Hometown: Clearwater Beach, FL; Resides in Williamsburg, N.Y.
-Stephanie, 31 – Hometown: Stamford, CT; Resides in Chicago, IL
-Valerie, 32 – Hometown/Resides in: Chicago, IL
-Zoi, 30, – Hometown: Seattle, WA; Resides in San Francisco, CA
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.