Top Chef Season 11 Premieres Tonight: Miami Represents
Season 11 of Top Chef, the Bravo cooking competition that paved the way for the cooking-show craze, premieres tonight. This time, the cheftestants compete in New Orleans, where regulars Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, and Gail Simmons are joined by Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson.
Bravo Top Chef Season 11 premieres tonight. Miami has three reasons to celebrate.
Though some critics scoff at Bravo's television lineup, which includes mainly Real Housewives cast members drinking Pinot Grigio and stabbing one another in the back, the cable network started out producing quality shows such as Inside the Actors Studio and Top Chef, which has won two Emmys.
Top Chef has also launched the careers of many of the chefs on the show, including Jeff McInnis, Lindsay Autry, Bryan Voltaggio, and Fabio Viviani. It can be argued that a talented toque would have risen to the top of his or her game organically, but there's no denying that their stint on television put them on a career fast track.
This season offers Miamians a few chefs with local connections to root for:
Bret Pelaggi, a native of Massachusetts and graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, spent most of his career at Boston restaurants such as L' Espalier, Kingfish Hall, Sibling Rivalry, and Chiara before moving to Miami to further his career, according to his Top Chef bio.
Bravo Bret Pelaggi: New to Miami and Top Chef.
Janine Booth is from Perth, Australia, and is working on opening a restaurant in New York City, but the blond beauty studied culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Miami and worked in Miami restaurants alongside former Top Chef alum Jeff McInnis.
Bravo Janine Booth: Miami-trained chef.