“Top Chef Season 17 All Stars We’re Looking Forward to Returning”
There are a number of Top Chef season 17 All Stars we’re looking forward to returning. After all, the popular cooking competition has delivered audiences a motley crew of characters throughout its 14-year run. This year, fans will watch the action unfold in Los Angeles.
Chef Eric Adjepong was a breakout star on season 16, which took place in Kentucky. He made it all the way to the final three, only to be eliminated before the finale. Adjepong was an expectant father at the time, so it’ll be wonderful catching up with him and his young family. The first-generation Ghanaian-American was born and raised in New York City, but now lives in Washington, D.C. Since Top Chef, he’s been earning a living as a personal chef, caterer and public health and nutrition professional. Adjepong holds a degree from Johnson & Wales in Culinary Arts, Culinary Nutrition (BS) and also has his Master’s in International Public Health Nutrition. Also from season 16 is Nini Nguyen. She hails from New Orleans, but is currently New York-based. Her cuisine was described as a mix of her Vietnamese culture merged with Southern comfort food. Since her elimination on the “Restaurant Wars” episode, Nguyen has been working as a chef, instructor, and recipe developer. She was a front-runner on her season before being knocked out of contention, so redemption is likely to be her greatest motivator.
Another culinary master who is a joy to watch in the kitchen is Top Chef heartthrob Angelo Sosa. Sosa discovered his love of cooking at an early age, with an Italian mother and a Dominican father. His family had a huge garden and he was his father’s helper in the kitchen. All that time helping prepare food as a child paid off. Recently, Sosa moved to Encinitas, Ca., to open Death by Tequila, which is a Baja-inspired restaurant that was recently named “Best New Restaurant” by San Diego Magazine.
Shining star Bryan Voltaggio left viewers on the edges of their seats when he competed on Top Chef season 6 in Las Vegas (against his brother and winner Michael) and Top Chef Masters season 5. Voltaggio is a machine. He’s a fierce competitor whose technical style is unmatched. Voltaggio is a James Beard Foundation Award finalist, and is the executive chef and owner of both VOLT and Family Meal. He and his brother also have additional restaurants, including Estuary, Voltaggio Brothers Steak House and STRFSH. The busy chef/owner has written two cookbooks and is a passionate philanthropist who has helped raise more than one million dollars for non-profits Chefs Cycle and No Kid Hungry. He’ll be cooking with lots of heart and an awe-inspiring skill set. Finally, returning to the kitchen is LGBTQ+ phenom Gregory Gourdet. The hipster chef calls Portland, Oregon, home, but is a native New Yorker. His flavor profile draws from curating local products with the flavors and traditions of China, Japan, Thailand, Korea and Vietnam. Gourdet was the runner-up on Top Chef season 12, which took place in Boston. Currently, he’s the Director of Culinary Operations at Departure Restaurant. What makes him memorable is the experiential flare he brings to every meal he prepares.
Season 17 of Top Chef: All Stars promises to be one of the tightest competitions the series has ever had. This roster of culinary artists is truly fantastic. Watching people who have a deep appreciation for the food that nourishes us all is part of the charm of Top Chef. Each episode is its own master class in cooking. The only problem with All Stars is knowing that people with immense skill may have to go home. However, it’s the dramatic moments in between that also make the show so entertaining. Judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons as well as host Padma Lakshi have the best and worst jobs in television: having to eat and judge their way through too much talent.
Top Chef premieres on March 19 at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.
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