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Top Chef 3: New, Improved, Spiced-up With Ted Allen and Miami

"Top Chef 3 Miami" premieres on June 13th (10 PM ET) and so it is once again time to run the now-annual Bravo press release. Before we do, here's our takeaway on this season: Ted Allen, newly added as a judge, and the relocation to Miami are both spicy touches, clearly aimed at Bravo's Project Runway/Queer Eye/Sheer Genius demo. Smart moves. And here are the New York players that will be competing this season:

AGE: 34
HOMETOWN: Elizabeth, N.J. - currently resides in Brooklyn, N.Y.
PROFESSION: Owner/Chef, Paloma
CULINARY EDUCATION: Culinary School, Academy of Culinary Arts

AGE: 29
HOMETOWN: Franklin Square, Long Island, N.Y. - currently resides in New York City
PROFESSION: Executive Chef, Café Des Artistes
EDUCATION: Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School; Vong, Jean Georges

AGE: 28
HOMETOWN: Tacoma, Wash. - currently resides in Brooklyn, N.Y.
PROFESSION: Executive Sous Chef, Jean Georges

AGE: 25
HOMETOWN: Santa Monica, Calif. - currently resides in New York City
PROFESSION: Executive Sous Chef, Boucarou
CULINARY EDUCATION: Culinary Arts/Management Degree from the Institute of Culinary Education; Per Se, Stone Rose

And now, the official press release. Brace.


Whet Your Palate For Season Three With Hour-Long Special "Top Chef: 4-Star All-Stars” On Wed, June 6 at 10:00 P.M. ET/PT

Bravo Adds "Queer Eye's” Culinary Expert Ted Allen As Judge Joining Host Padma Lakshmi, Head Chef/Judge Tom Colicchio, And Returning Judge Gail Simmons

NEW YORK - May 8, 2007 - Just when you thought it safe to go back in the kitchen, Bravo's hit culinary competition series "Top Chef 3 Miami” returns with an hour-long special "Top Chef: 4-Star All-Stars” on Wednesday, June 6 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. "Top Chef: 4-Star All-Stars” reunites four of the finalists from season's one and two - team one's inaugural winner Harold Dieterle, Stephen Asprinio, Tiffani Faison, and Dave Martin compete against season two's winner Ilan Hall, Fan Favorite Sam Talbot, Elia Aboumrad, and molecular gastronomist Marcel Vigneron in a $20,000 cook-off for charity. The cook-off concludes with the two teams serving their meals to "Top Chef 3 Miami's” 15 new chefs. Photography from this series is available on Media Village at

Set your kitchen timers for the premiere of "Top Chef 3 Miami” on Wednesday, June 13 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, as the latest crop of 15 of the country's most impressive rising chefs hit beautiful Miami Beach - where the sun is hot and the competition hotter - in this third tropical season. "Queer Eye's” culinary expert Ted Allen brings his expertise to the judges table this season, joining cookbook author, actress and host Padma Lakshmi; Tom Colicchio, celebrated culinary figure and co-founder of Craft Restaurants; and returning judge Gail Simmons of Food & Wine.

"The new chefs bring an undeniably high level of talent and expertise to the table this season,” said Colicchio. "It'll be very interesting to see what they can do with Miami's flavorful fruits, fresh seafood, and cultural influences.”

The 15 contestants will reside in the luxurious beachfront Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, where the season's production activity will be centered. The "Top Chef 3 Miami” chefs are:

· Brian, 34 - San Diego, Calif.
· Camille, 34 - Brooklyn, N.Y.
· Casey, 29 - Dallas, Texas
· Chris, 31 - Venice, Calif.
· Clay, 27 - Santa Barbara, Calif.
· Dale, 33 - Chicago, Ill.
· Howie, 31 - Miami, Fla.
· Hung, 29 - Las Vegas, Nev.
· Joey, 29 - Franklin Square, N.Y.
· Lia, 28 - Brooklyn, N.Y.
· Micah, 33 - Boca Raton, Fla.
· Sandee, 39 – Miami Beach, Fla.
· Sara M., 34 - Miami, Fla.
· Sara N., 28 - New York, N.Y.
· Tre, 30 - Cedar Hill, Texas

The winning chef receives $100,000 in seed money to help open a restaurant, be featured in Food & Wine and earn the title of "Top Chef.” "Top Chef” season one winner Dieterle recently opened his new restaurant Perilla in Manhattan's trendy West Village, and plans are underway for season two winner Hall to open his NYC-based restaurant later this year. will be home to a robust food and drink destination dedicated to "Top Chef” fans and foodies. Fans will feast on contestant profiles featuring bios, video interviews, questionnaires and photo galleries. The site will also be bringing back blogs from Colicchio, Lakshmi and Simmons, in addition to introducing new blogs from Allen and season two's runner-up Vigneron. Visitors can also "Rate The Plate” and vote for the dish they think deserves top honors each week, in addition to getting weekly cooking tips from Lakshmi and Colicchio. Those with an insatiable "Top Chef” appetite can catch interviews with special series guests in the return of "Watch What Happens,” a weekly, live-streaming, online program hosted by Bravo's own pop culture pundit Andy Cohen, Senior Vice President, Production and Programming and writer of the popular Andy's Blog. Still hungry? "Top Chef” season one star Lee Anne Wong returns with weekly online exclusive cooking webisodes entitled "The Wong Way To Cook,” teaching viewers how to make the winning recipe at home.

"Chef” fans can also visit from their web-enabled phone for exclusive contestant and judge Q & As, photo diaries, foodie favorites, video tips, wallpapers, and ringtones. Fans also can text CHEF to 27286 to get the spicy behind-the-scenes dish (three in-show text messages every week). Also, devotees can use their cell phones for exclusive mobisodes featuring interviews with the "Top Chef” special guest judges.

Lakshmi Bio: Actress, model, food expert, and award-winning cookbook writer, Lakshmi returns as host of "Top Chef 3 Miami,” introducing the challenges to the contestants and presiding over judges' table each week. Lakshmi's second cookbook, "Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet,” is a culinary endeavor of over 120 recipes from around the world and intriguing personal memoirs and is due in October 2007 from Weinstein Books. This is a follow up to her successful first cookbook, "Easy Exotic,” for which she won the International Versailles Event for best cookbook by a first time writer. Lakshmi hosted "Padma's Passport” on The Food Network, cooking diverse and low-fat cuisine based on those recipes from her first cookbook. Lakshmi also hosted the documentary series "Planet Food” for The Food Network and worldwide Discovery Channel, in which she journeyed the world for exotic cuisine.

Colicchio Bio: Colicchio is the chef and owner of Craft, Craftbar and Craftsteak in New York; Craft Dallas; Craftsteak Las Vegas; and 'wichcraft in New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas. He's the former chef and co-owner of Gramercy Tavern in New York, and is soon opening Craft Los Angeles (2007) and Craft at the Mansion on Peachtree in Atlanta (2008). Colicchio is the recipient of a three-star review for Craft restaurant from The New York Times and three James Beard Awards. He is the author of two cookbooks and is currently at work on a 'wichcraft sandwich book.

Simmons Bio: Simmons lends her strong culinary expertise as a judge and critic for Bravo's "Top Chef,” and will taste and critique the competing chefs' creations each week alongside judge Colicchio. Simmons has been with Food & Wine since 2004, currently in charge of special projects for the epicurean magazine. In this role, Simmons oversees the brand's signature event, the Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen, which will celebrate its 25th year next June. In addition, she works on the magazine's chef-related events and programs.

Allen Bio: Allen is the food and wine specialist on the Emmy Award-winning Bravo hit "Queer Eye,” where he helps guests and viewers sharpen their cooking and entertaining skills. He is also the host/narrator of a new wine show on PBS, "Uncorked: Wine Made Simple,” due out this summer, and is author of "The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes” (Clarkson-Potter), a cookbook for beginners that features easy, all-natural recipes for everything from steak to cocktails. Allen also appears regularly as a judge on Food Network's "Iron Chef America.”

Bravo's hit reality competition series "Top Chef” offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. A delight for all the senses, 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 invention 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 heat is on in Miami as 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. In addition, each week will feature a special guest judge, some of the most respected figures in the culinary industry.

"Top Chef” debuted in March 2006 to critical acclaim and ratings success, only to return with season two in August 2006, which averaged over 2 million total viewers, ranking as the top food series on cable among adults18-49. The "Top Chef” season two finale was cable's most-watched entertainment telecast of the month among adults 18-49.

Magical Elves returns to produce "Top Chef 3 Miami.” Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, who also produced "Project Runway” and "Project Greenlight” for Bravo, return as executive producers. Shauna Minoprio also serves as executive producer.

Bravo is the cable network that plugs people into arts, entertainment and pop culture with original programming, acclaimed drama series, movies, comedy and music specials, and by showing a whole different side of celebrities. Currently available in more than 84 million homes, Bravo is known for breaking exciting new personalities, shaking up the way we look at style, media, fame and Hollywood, pulling back the curtain on the creative process, and making influential and inventive original programming. Its critically acclaimed original programming includes the Emmy-nominated "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” 12-time Emmy-nominated "Inside the Actors Studio," "The Real Housewives of Orange County,” "Top Chef,” "Celebrity Poker Showdown,” as well as the 2004 Emmy winner for Outstanding Reality Program, "Queer Eye," and the four-time Emmy-nominated hit competition series, "Project Runway.”

Bravo is a program service of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBC Universal one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Bravo has been an NBC cable network since December 2002 and was the first television service dedicated to film and the performing arts when it launched in December 1980. For more information visit
· Top Chef [Bravo]