Six chefs are returning to compete in the sophomore season of Bravo's Top Chef Masters, but none of them are from San Francisco and nor are any of the fresh competitors. As EW reports, the returnees include molecular gastromony enthusiast Wylie Dufresne, who's become a favorite of the Top Chef franchise, and chef Mark Peel of Campanile in L.A. Among the newcomers are herb enthusiast Jerry Traunfeld of Poppy in Seattle, NY's Marcus Samuelsson, and Susan Feniger of L.A.'s Street.
Granted the last season's finale was NoCal-heavy, with Hubert Keller and Michael Chiarello making it to the final three, only to lose to Rick Bayless. But did not a single Bay Area chef have the time or inclination to compete for a little national exposure? Did none of them make the cut? Season 1's Elizabeth Falkner may be busy relocating a restaurant right now, but what's everyone else's excuse?
No guts no glory, guys. Bayless saw a healthy bounce in his restaurants' popularity after his win. Let's represent next time, k?
The full list of competitors is below, and the new season premieres on April 7th.
* indicates a returning chef-testant.
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. *
Top Chef Masters Season 2 Competing Chef Lineup [EW]
Earlier: Allow Wylie Dufresne to Fix You a Drink [Grub Street NY]
Bayless Takes Top Chef: Masters; Vegas Could be About the Food [Grub Street SF]