Top Chef Texas is almost upon us. An enormous group of chefs from around the country have agreed to step into the ring with two of Austin’s best cooks; Paul Qui and Andrew Curren.
Lots of star power will be featured on this season including Charlize Theron, Pee-wee Herman, Cat Cora, John Besh, Tim Love and Patti LaBelle.
To enhance the drama of the affair there’s a new, web only, gimmick called Last Chance Kitchen where two eliminated contestants will brawl for an opportunity to return to the show. Think Kurt Russell vs Ox Baker in Escape From New York [hopefully including the baseball bat studded with nails]. The producers hopefully sat around watching lots of old Jim Cornette, loser leaves town, videos before hatching this scheme.
Nyesha Arrington – LA, Wilshire Restaurant
Lindsay Autry – West Palm Beach, Fla., Michelle Bernstein’s at Omphoy Ocean Resort
Jonathan Baltazar – Long Beach, Calif., Heights Cuisine
Ty-Lör Boring – New York, Spasso
Molly Brandt – Hollywood, Fla., Allure of the Seas for Royal Caribbean
Chaz Brown – New York, Fatty Crab
Kimberly Calichio – New York, Fishtail
Beverly Kim – Chicago, Aria Restaurant
Chris Crary – LA, Whist Restaurant in the Viceroy Hotel
Andrew Curren – Austin, Texas, 24 Diner
Berenice deAraujo – Miami, Fla., Sra. Martinez
Janine Falvo – Atlanta, Ga., Briza Restaurant
Richie Farina – Chicago, MOTO
Sarah Grueneberg – Chicago, Spiaggia
Chris Jones – Chicago, MOTO
Edward Lee – Louisville, Ky., 610 Magnolia
Whitney Otawka – Cumberland Island, Ga., Greyfield Inn
Simon Pantet – Seattle, 22
Colin Patterson – Seattle, Sutra
Laurent Quenioux – LA, Vertical Wine Bistro
Paul Qui – Austin, Texas, Uchiko Restaurant
Keith Rhodes – Wilmington, N.C., Catch Restaurants
Grayson Schmitz – New York, Villa Pacri
Tyler Stone – Sacramento, Calif., Personal Chef
Heather Terhune – Chicago, Sable Kitchen and Bar
Chuy Valencia – Chicago, Chilam Bilam
Nina Vicente – Seattle, Spur Gastropub
Ashley Villaluz – Seattle, Sous Chef
Dakota Weiss – LA, 9:30 Restaurant and The Backyard
all our Top Chef Texas articles here http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/Top-Chef-Texas
That’s a lot of chefs-29. Thankfully there will be a vicious bloodletting on the first night so the viewers can have their options winnowed down to a manageable number  right off the bat.
Here’s video of Andrew Curren of 24 Diner, one of the top cooks in Austin, http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/season-9/videos/casting-videos?id=99262#selected
and here’s more video of Paul Qui of the Uchi family http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/season-9/videos/casting-videos?id=99272#selected
We’ll be reporting more on this august season as the week progresses. Good luck to Curren and Qui.