Exclusive: 'Top Chef Masters' season 2 competing chef lineup

Top-Chef-MastersImage Credit: Kelsey McNeal/BravoChicago chef Tony Mantuano, New York’s David Burke, and Los Angeles’ Susan Feniger are among the 22 renowned chefs set to compete on the upcoming second season of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters. The lineup also includes six returning chefs from season 1: Graham Elliot Bowles,  Wylie Dufresne, Ludo Lefebvre, Rick Moonen, Mark Peel, and Jonathan Waxman.

Top Chef‘s Gail Simmons will serve as a regular judge along with returning TCM judges Gael Greene, James Oseland, and Jay Rayner, and Kelly Choi (pictured) will return as host. Season 2 guest stars and judges will include Mekhi Phifer, Matt Groening, Hank Azaria, Andrew Zimmerman, Jason Lezak, Lynne Curtin, Alexis Bellino, Tamra Barney, and the cast of Modern Family

The second season of Top Chef Masters premieres April 7 at 11 p.m. ET/PT before moving to its regular slot at 10 p.m. on April 14.

The complete list of Top Chef Masters season 2’s 22 competing chefs:

* — returning from season 1

Jody Adams – Rialto Restaurant, Cambridge, Mass.
Govind Armstrong – 8 oz Burger Bar, Los Angeles, Calif.
Graham Elliot Bowles – Graham Elliot Restaurant, Chicago, Ill. *
Jimmy Bradley – The Red Cat, New York, N.Y.
David Burke – David Burke Townhouse, New York, N.Y.
Wylie Dufresne – wd~50, New York, N.Y. *
Susan Feniger – Street, Los Angeles, Calif.
Debbie Gold – The American Restaurant, Kansas City, Mo.
Carmen Gonzalez – Chef Consultant, New York, N.Y.
Maria Hines – Tilth, Seattle, Wash.
Susur Lee – Madeline’s, Toronto, Canada
Ludo Lefebvre – Ludo Bites, Los Angeles, Calif. *
Tony Mantuano – Spiaggia, Chicago, Ill.
Rick Moonen – Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nev. *
Mark Peel – Campanile, Los Angeles, Calif. *
Monica Pope – t’afla, Houston, Texas
Thierry Rautureau – Rover’s, Seattle, Wash.
Marcus Samuelsson – The Red Rooster, New York, N.Y.
Ana Sortun – Oleana, Cambridge, Mass.
Rick Tramonto – TRU, Chicago, Ill.
Jerry Traunfeld – Poppy, Seattle, Wash.
Jonathan Waxman – Barbuto, New York, N.Y. *

Comments (104 total) Add your comment
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  • sara

    I’m looking forward to this. I enjoyed the Top Chef Masters Show much more than Top Chef. I get so sick of the immaturity and profanity of the Top Chef contestants.

    • thesaladgirl

      Its sad that people cant handle the reality of a commercial kitchen, profanity is what comes with a hot stressful work place.

      • Anthony

        work for Chef Hubert Keller, profanity is rare, perfection a must,positive atitude-easily accomplished

  • Peachy

    Kate, I think you’re referring to Andrew Zimmern as one of the special guests, right? The one who eats all the bizarre food with the Travel Channel show?

    • Amanda

      Yeah, but when Zimmern came to Hawaii, he refused to eat Spam. Does he think that in the 21st century they use snouts and ears? The process is no different than it is for hot dogs or balogna. Anthony Bourdain ate Spam and enjoyed it.

  • Quagmire

    Where is Papa John?

    • TK


    • Kiara

      Hey, even Domino’s Pizza have Chefs. LOL!

  • Jon

    I wish Wylie Dufresne would just go away. That smug hairy manimal always exposes his food as flavorless junk whenever he appears on TV.

    • David

      Wow lot of hate for Wylie… For the record I had a blast at his restaurant recently… Not every course worked, but it was really fun, I would definitely consider going again. Not for everyone though, so I guess i get your dislike.

    • hudson

      I’m not sure Wylie’s food translates well to the limited cooking times for Top Chef, but, OH, when you eat in restaurant WD-50 … what an experience. What (mostly) great food. Delicious, fun, interesting, sometimes requiring some thought. What a great meal. I would eat Wylie’s food any time.

  • laurie

    I wish more chefs were from places other than NY or CA. Other than that I am excited to see the diversity this group brings to the table, literally.

    • SKR

      I understand you saying you want to see a Chef thats not from NY or CA, but its like saying you dont want to see more film makers not from LA, a lot didnt originate there, but its kinda where you have to go to make it big

    • Bill Fugitt

      They are. There are a few in Chicago….Tramonto, Mantuano, Achatz, Gras, Trotter. The list goes on people. Chi-town is food lovers paradise.

    • steve

      agreed and I DISAGREE on the LA and NYC being where all the chefs go to make it big. Anyone ever hear of a little food town called New Orleans (which is definitely superior to L.A.)? In fact, minus the sole contestant from Houston, there are NO southern chefs. Can’t tell me there’s not worthy chefs from the south or southwest

    • Deane

      Don’t forget Susur Lee from Canada (Toronto.) He is a very well known chef in both Canada and The U.S., so I am excited to see him compete. I do wish they had a few more Canadian chefs – like Massimoto, Lynn Crawford, Rob Feeney and David Adjey…just to name a few. :)

  • Bayless Fan

    Kind of wondering why last year’s Top Chef Master’s Champion Rick Bayless wasn’t mentioned as a guest judge. You’d think he would be somewhere in the season as the reigning champ.

    • Kiara

      I agree. I loved it when he won and I think he should be a judge or atleast a guest judge. I am happy Jonathan is back. Is that French Chef back? I don’t remember his name but he was a pain in the AZZ.

      • Are you for Real?

        I hope you are not talking about Hubert Keller. If so, that is some blasphemy you are talking in the world of food!

      • DebWhy

        No, I think Kiara is referring to Ludo LeFebvre and yes, he is returning. And yes, I thought he was an arrogant PITA too.

        I have one more comment: Govind Armstrong – handsome man. I think I’ll be pulling for him, though I am happy to see that Jonathan Waxman is coming back.

      • Kiara

        No it wasn’t Hubert Keller, I love that one. It was the one who kept giving the winner last season a hard time and he was real tough on his helpers.

      • Kitty

        I would love for Hubert to come back. He is legendary!

    • David

      Yea I would like to see him guest judge as well. It is amazing how nice and humble he seems, compared to his brother. Total opposites. I can barely stand skip and yet rick seems like the nicest guy in the world. Families can just be so different and weird.

    • Marie

      Whoo! Go Chicago! Guess Rick Bayless can’t compete again because he won the first one? ;)

      Also nice to see more women this time around.

    • Markjayson

      tammy June 12, 2011 hey cassie, great post and super inrenestitg (in a squeamish, ick sort of way).do you have ken’s current email addy? i sent to the aol one but it bounced back.hope all is well. tammy

  • Mark

    I cannot WAIT for this to return. While I love Top Chef, of course, there was something wonderful about all of these amazing chefs competing for their favorite charities. All of the incredible cooking, none of the backstabbing.

    • TK

      totally agree. Plus, I like when the Master Chefs are like “wow this hard” and “man I didn’t manage my time”. Althought they still produce things way better than the stuff on Top Chef, it’s nice that these Masters acknowledge the challenge of Top Chef.

    • Kiara

      I totally agree also. I loved how they were nice to each other and had fun and laughed. It was great to see how real professionals are with each other, respect.

  • Bob

    Why?? The first one SUCKED!

    • Kiara

      Then Bob don’t watch the second one. Simple as that. BTW it didn’t suck but I assume you do. :)

    • Resky

      To those who aren’t seeing the reply bottun: on my Blogger, the “Preview” was not sufficient to view the new reply bottun, but “Save Template” was. Back up your original template first, then take the plunge and “Save Template” to see the change.

  • madduxfan

    The OC housewives as guest judges?? Seriously, hide the wine so they are sober enough to taste the food.

  • tamuchi

    Marcus Samuelsson FTW!!!

    • Rally

      Agreed, love Marcus.

  • Taylor

    NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! They brought back Kelly Choi!?!? oh gosh…. she’s terrible…. why cant every host be like Padma… :-p

    • daisyj

      Completely agree– how did she even get the job when she can barely deliver a line to the camera? And I get distracted worrying that one of the chefs is going to accidentally use one of her arms to stick in a canape.

    • parmamom

      Word. She really is hard to watch, and painfully thin.

    • peggym

      She is like Padma– boring and robotic.

      • amye

        At least she’s not that God Awful host on the new Shear Genius!

        NO ONE, not even the former Katie Joel, is Camilla Alvarez.

        What happened to the beautiful, REAL, Jaclyn Smith?

      • Kiara

        I would like to know the answer to that too Amye. I loved Jaclyn Smith on Shear Genius. Don’t forget to watch that tonight, someone quits before they are sent home.

    • josh

      completely disagree. love her and glad they brought someone fresh to host the show!

  • erin

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the host of this show looks like she’s never eaten a meal in her life?

    • Tom

      Are you fat or overweight? Is that why you said that thing about her?

      • jhc3

        She said it because it’s true, Tom. And she’s a terrible host regardless.

      • Jack

        Tom, beautiful and talented women can cause others to bring out the claws.

      • HMB

        I just wanna bring her a sammich

  • cb

    They’re bringing back Top Chef Masters?? YAWN!

    • Kiara

      CB I hope it did put you to sleep, then won’t have to read your stupid comments. Just don’t snore, ok? Ha ha.

      • cb

        Now why was that necessary?

      • Kitty

        Awww come one cb, Kiara was having fun, yeah at your expense but it was done in fun, atleast I think it was!

    • Temecula

      Top Chef Masters’ challenges are no where near regular Top Chefs’ challenges. Add that to less competitive nature to the chef (since they are already at the top), it’s a show that lacks any heat. Pretty bland, as they say in both foodie and tv worlds.

  • Jennifer

    I am excited to see someone from Houston. The name of the restaurant is t’afia.

  • Leo

    Susur Lee Is INCREDIBLE. He stands a strong chance of winning

    I wonder why they haven’t asked any other Canadians – some have kicked ass in Iron Chef and other competitions.

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