Top Chef Masters: New Judge, New Host, New Format

Top Chef Masters bringing not only a new judge to the table for it’s upcoming third season, but also a new format!

Bravo announced Wednesday that famous food critic and author Ruth Reichl will replace Gael Greene at the judge’s table to sit alongside regular James Oseland. And Greene [who will however, return for one episode], isn’t the only one packing her knives. Host Kelly Choi is also leaving, and will be replaced by celebrity chef Curtis Stone.

To spice things up even more, Masters is also revamping its format! — The old faithful scale system is out, while a format more similar to series Top Chef will take over. Which means? Quickfire and elimination-style challenges that will give the 12 contestants a chance to compete for a charity of their choice to win $5,000 and $10,000 prizes. And as for the the Top Chef Masters? They’ll be awarded $100,000 for their charity!

Celebrity guest judges will include Maroon 5, Kelis and Christina Hendricks, and Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks is already on the guests’ of honor list to taste the top-scale courses.

Here’s your complete list of the twelve competing chefs, the restaurants they currently on and/or work at, as well as their residing towns….

Hugh Acheson — Five & Ten, The National, and Gosford Wine; Athens, G.A.
Flord Cardoz — Formerly at Tabla; New York, N.Y.
John Currence — City Grocery Restaurant Group; Oxford, Miss.
Traci Des Jardins — Jardiniére, Mijita Cocina Mexicana and Public House, and Manzanita; San Francisco, Calif.
George Mendes — ALDEA; New York, N.Y.
Mary Sue Milliken — Border Grill Restaurants; Los Angeles, Calif.
Naomi Pomeroy — Beast; Portland, Ore.
Suvir Saran — Dévi; New York, N.Y.
John Rivera Sedlar — Playa; Los Angeles, Calif.
Alex Stratta — Stratta; Las Vegas, Nev.
Celina Tio — Julian; Kansas City, M.O.
Sue Zemanick — Gautreau’s; New Orleans, L.A.

Top Chef Masters returns on Wed., April 6 at 11/10c on Bravo. Which chefs/guests are you excited to see?

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