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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Top Chef Masters" reveals Season 2 field

Ever since Bravo concocted that totally transparent Voltaggio smackdown last season, we've been going through some serious "Top Chef" withdrawal at Channel Surfing.

So it was nice to finally see the list of esteemed names who'll be competing in Season 2 of the all-star laden "Top Chef Masters" spin-off.

Unless you've been avoiding our glorious Channel Surfing odes (tsk, tsk), you should already know that Chicago's own Rick Bayless took the "Masters" crown in Season 1. Well, six competitors from that same culinary-rich season are back, including fellow Windy City restaurateur Graham Elliot Bowles, Mark Peel, Jonathan Waxman and three names that "Masters" viewers should immediately remember, Wylie Dufresne, Rick Moonen, and of course, snooty Frenchman Ludo Lefebvre.

The show also welcomes back Kelly Choi as host, along with judges Gael Greene, James Oseland, Jay Rayner and another familiar face, "Top Chef" regular Gail Simmons (who apparently is also the host of "Top Chef: Just Desserts" and quite possibly, "CSI: Top Chef.")

Wait, it gets better! The list of Season 2 special guests includes "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening and voice guru Hank Azaria, Mekhi Phifer and the casts of "Modern Family" and "Real Housewives of Orange County."

Moe the Bartender and Manny Delgado? You've outdone yourself, Bravo network.

The new season of "Top Chef Masters" premieres April 7. Here are all 22 competitors:

Jody Adams Rialto Restaurant, Cambridge, Mass.
Govind Armstrong — 8 oz Burger Bar, Los Angeles
Graham Elliot Bowles — Graham Elliot Restaurant, Chicago
Jimmy Bradley — The Red Cat, New York
David Burke — David Burke Townhouse, New York
Wylie Dufresnewd~50, New York
Susan Feniger — Street, Los Angeles
Debbie Gold — The American Restaurant, Kansas City
Carmen Gonzalez — Chef Consultant, New York
Maria HinesTilth, Seattle
Susur Lee — Madeline's, Toronto
Ludo Lefebvre — Ludo Bites, Los Angeles
Tony MantuanoSpiaggia, Chicago
Rick Moonen — Rick Moonen's RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Mark Peel — Campanile, Los Angeles
Monica Popet'afla, Houston
Thierry Rautureau — Rover's, Seattle
Marcus Samuelsson — The Red Rooster, New York
Ana Sortun
Oleana, Cambridge, Mass.
Rick TramontoTRU, Chicago
Jerry Traunfeld — Poppy, Seattle
Jonathan WaxmanBarbuto, New York

-- Thomas Rozwadowski,

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