Top Chef Season 5 New York Premiers Tonight

Top_chef

The uber popular #1 foodie show Top Chef is back for a fifth season premiering tonight on Bravo. This really is one of the best cooking shows on television. You can feel the passion, excitement, and heat in the kitchen as if you were right there leaning on the stainless stove. I was a huge fan of Season 4's Richard Blais and am really looking forward to this season's culinary standouts. With 17 new contestants, this time in New York City, Top Chef Season 5 should definitely be one of the best (at least I hope) yet.

The triple threat, Tom Colicchio of Craft Restaurants, Gail Simmons of Food & Wine and the sultry Padma Lakshmi are back on the judges stand and ready to set the stage for the contestants in their home town of NYC. Season 5 will also introduce Toby Young, a food critic and author of the book How to Lose Friends and Alienate People to the judges table. This season will feature familiar faces Martha Stewart, Foo Fighters, Jean-Georges, Eric Ripert, Rocco DiSpirito, Wylie Dufresne, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Natasha Richardson.

The countdown is on to see which chefs can take the heat and prove to be "Top Chef" worthy and seeing who melts in the kitchen and is sent home packing…

Here are the Top Chef Season 5 contestants below:

Alex

Age: 33
Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Current Home: Los Angeles, Calif
Profession: Executive Chef, Restaurant 15
Culinary Education: The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) – New York, N.Y.

Ariane

Age: 41
Hometown: Verona, N.J.
Profession: Chef/owner of CulinAriane in Montclair, N.J.
Culinary Education: AOS, Culinary Institute of America

Danny

Age: 26
Hometown: New Hyde Park, N.Y.
Profession: Chef de Cuisine, Babylon Carriage House
Culinary Education: C.I.A Hyde Park

Fabio

Age: 30
Hometown: Florence, Italy
Current Home: Moorpark, Calif.
Profession: Owner, Cafe Firenze Italian Restaurant Martini Bar
Culinary Education: I.P.S.S.A.R Aurelio Saffi, Hotel and Restaurant Management School in Florence, Italy

Gene

Age: 33
Hometown: Whitmore Village, Hawaii
Current Home: Las Vegas, Nev.
Profession: Executive Chef, Executive Sushi Chef & Chef Consultant
Culinary Education: Self-taught

Hosea

Age: 34
Hometown: Taos, N.M.
Current Home: Boulder, Colo.
Profession: Executive Chef, Jax Fish House
Culinary Education: Self-taught

Jamie

Age: 30
Hometown: New York City
Current Home: San Francisco, Calif.
Profession: Executive Chef, Absinthe Brasserie and Bar
Culinary Education: A.O.S Culinary Arts, C.I.A

Jeff

Age: 30
Hometown: Niceville, Fla.
Current Home: Miami, Fla.
Profession: Chef de Cuisine, The DiLido Beach Club
Culinary Education: Johnson & Wales University

Jill

Age: 28
Hometown: Latrobe, Pa.
Current Home: Baltimore, Md.
Profession: Executive Chef, Red Maple
Culinary Education: Baltimore International College

Lauren

Age: 24
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Current Home: Fort Stewart
Profession: Chef Tournant, Jag's Steak and Seafood
Culinary Education: B.P.S. Culinary Arts Management, CIA

Leah

Age: 27
Hometown: Scarsdale, N.Y.
Current Home: New York, N.Y.
Profession: Sous Chef, Centro Vinoteca
Culinary Education: A.O.S./ B.A., CIA

Patrick

Age: 21
Hometown: Quincy, Mass.
Profession: Culinary Student
Culinary Education: A.O.S Culinary Arts, C.I.A working on BPS Culinary Arts Management

Radhika

Age: 28
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Current Home: Chicago
Profession: Executive Chef, Between Boutique Café & Lounge
Culinary Education: A.O.S. Culinary Arts, The Cooking & Hospitality Institute of Chicago

Richard

Age: 27
Hometown: Sayville, Long Island, N.Y.
Current Home: San Diego, Calif.
Profession: Executive Sous Chef, Confidential Restaurant & Loft, San Diego
Culinary Education: Diplome Professionale du Commis de Cuisine, San Diego Culinary Institute

Stefan

Age: 35
Hometown: Tampere, Finland
Current Home: Santa Monica, Calif.
Profession: Chef, StefansCatering.com
Culinary Education: CMC, Wurzburg Schweinfurt

Melissa

Age: 28
Hometown: Maryland
Current Home: Boulder, Colo.
Profession: Sous Chef, Centro Latin Kitchen and Refreshment Palace
Culinary Education: Baltimore International College

Carla

Age: 44
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
Current Home: Washington, D.C.
Profession: Owner/Chef, Alchemy Caterers
Culinary Education: C.C.T. L'Academie de Cuisine

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