Top Chef Season 5 New York Premiers Tonight


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:


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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