'Top Chef' is gonna be big in Texas
The next edition of "Top Chef" might be held in Texas, but Southern California will be well-represented, with five Los Angeles-area chefs competing, including probably the biggest surprise of the season: 51-year-old Laurent Quenioux, late of Bistro LQ, now popping up at various places including Vertical Wine Bistro.
Also representing for the Southland are Nyesha Arrington from Wilshire, Chris Crary from Whist, Dakota Weiss from NineThirty Restaurant and the Backyard, and Jonathan Baltazar from Heights Cuisine in Long Beach.
The season, which debuts Nov. 2 on Bravo, will shift locations among Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. So expect lots of "yee-haw" jokes.
The judges' table will once again be anchored by Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons, with Emeril Lagasse and new face Hugh Acheson, a chef from Georgia. Guest judges will be the usual motley crew of semi-celebs, including Charlize Theron, John Besh and, oh my, Pee-wee Herman.
-- Russ Parsons
Photo: Head judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons arrive at the 2011 Emmy awards. Credit: Danny Moloshok/Reuters