Get ready for Top Chef: Charleston, South Carolina.! According to the PR, “Charleston is the perfect location to inject our next batch of chefs. We know Charleston and are excited by the food, people and possibility it brings with its rich cultural and historical background which has played an important role in shaping South Carolina’s unique cuisine.” Season 14 of Top Chef premieres Thursday, December 1 with a supersized premiere from 10:00 to 11:15pm . I hate when these shows go over an hour. It makes DVRing them on time a bit impossible.
The first twist of this season is that there will be eight returning chefs and eight new chefs. Last Chance Kitchen will also be returning for season 14.
The returning chefs for Season 14
Sam Talbot (Season 2: Los Angeles) – Brooklyn, New York
I don’t remember season 2. Sam is a Yankee who wants to make “healthy and elevated Southern comfort food.” No. Just Noe.
Casey Thompson (Season 3: Miami & Season 8: All-Stars) – Napa Valley, California
She might be that obnoxious blonde woman from Texas that we hate, from that one season. Or she might be a different blond woman from Texas.
Amanda Baumgarten (Season 7: Washington, D.C.) – Chicago, Illinois
Don’t know her. Did we watch the DC series?
Brooke Williamson (Season 10: Seattle) – Los Angeles, California
Sheldon Simeon (Season 10: Seattle) – Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
John Tesar (Season 10: Seattle) – Dallas, Texas
Wait, whut? Three people from Seattle? Did we watch that series?
Shirley Chung (Season 11: New Orleans) – Orange County, California
I remember this one. She’s great and was a finalist. She’s the one to beat.
Katsuji Tanabe (Season 12: Boston) – Los Angeles, California
Boston was the worst season ever. He was also on Top Chef Mexico. He’s half Mexican, half Japanese And Jewish. This is his third rodeo and so he knows the ropes. If I recall correctly, he’s funny.
There are also 8 “rookies” who are not happy being designated as rookie chefs.
Annie Pettry – Louisville, Kentucky
BJ Smith – Portland, Oregon
Emily Hahn – Charleston, South Carolina
Gerald Sombright – Marco Island, Florida
Jamie Lynch – Charlotte, North Carolina
Jim Smith – Montgomery, Alabama
Silvia Barban – Brooklyn, New York
Sylva Senat – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I’ll probably be rooting for Emily, the home town girl.