Season 16 of Bravo’s hit present High Chef premieres at 9 p.m. tonight, with a solid of 14 cooks from across the nation. This season has a Kentucky theme, so a scorching brown cook-off appears seemingly, and don’t be stunned if bourbon discover its means into a number of of the challenges, too.
As all the time, Padma Lakshmi is the host of the present, and Tom Colicchio and Graham Elliot are again on the judges’ desk. Common decide Gail Simmons might be in a number of of the episodes, though she stepped away for maternity depart throughout a part of the filming of this season so former Meals & Wine editor-in-chief Nilou Motamed will fill her seat. High Chef: Kentucky will even function visitor decide appearances from chef Eric Ripert, Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill, boxer Laila Ali, and actor/author/director Lena Waithe.
Right here’s every little thing it’s worthwhile to know in regards to the cooks competing this time round:
Sara Bradley (Paducah, Kentucky): Bradley is the chef/proprietor of Freight Home, a farm-to-table vacation spot in her hometown of Paducah, Kentucky. After graduating from Johnson & Wales, Bradley hung out working in Michelin-starred kitchens below big-name cooks John Fraser and Paul Kahan in New York Metropolis and Chicago, earlier than returning house to open a restaurant that includes fashionable Southern delicacies.

Kelsey Barnard, Eric AdjepongMichael Hickey/Bravo

Eric Adjepong (Washington, D.C.): Adjepong doesn’t work in a restaurant kitchen, as an alternative operating a catering and private chef firm referred to as Pinch & Plate. A primary-generation Ghanaian who grew up in New York Metropolis, the chef beforehand helped with the opening of D.C.’s Kith/Kin (operated by High Chef alum Kwame Onwuachi), and he now makes use of his enterprise to introduce Beltway diners to West African delicacies.
Kelsey Barnard Clark (Dothan, Alabama): Within the small city of Dothan, Alabama, the so-called “peanut capital of the world,” Kelsey Barnard Clark serves Southern fare that’s dressed up due to her big-city resume. Clark graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and gained skilled expertise in New York Metropolis below Gavin Kaysen at Cafe Boulud and John Frazer at Dovetail, earlier than returning to her hometown to open KBC in 2008.
Edmund “Eddie” Konrad (Philadelphia): One in all two Philadelphia-based cooks competing this season, Eddie Konrad could have a leg up on the High Chef competitors due to some recommendation from his employer — he works as a sous chef below Season 11 winner Nicholas Elmi at French-American standout Laurel. Konrad, who makes a speciality of French and Italian cookery, obtained a culinary diploma from Johnson & Wales, and his resume consists of stops in lauded kitchens resembling New York Metropolis’s Del Posto and Philly’s Le Bec Fin
Pablo Lamon (Miami Seashore): Lamon, a local of Buenos Aires, Argentina, brings international expertise to this season of High Chef, having working on the award-winning Palacio Duhau Hyatt lodge in his house metropolis earlier than cooking for rich ocean lovers on luxurious cruise traces. Lamon has labored below superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and High Chef: Season 13 winner Jeremy Ford in Miami, and he’s now chef de delicacies at 27 Restaurant & Bar, the place his meals is impressed by the Mediterranean, Latin America, and Europe.

Natalie MaronskiMichael Hickey/Bravo

Natalie Maronski (Philadelphia): Maronski is one in every of two Philadelphia-based contestants this season, taking a break from her day job of launching an experiential eating enterprise referred to as Underground Ideas in a “nationally historic and iconic Philadelphia landmark.” Maronski’s army household modified addresses usually in her childhood — she hung out rising up in Indonesia, Malaysia, Hawaii, and Virginia — and the spotlight of her resume is 10 years with superstar chef José Andrés, cooking a wide range of cuisines at a number of eating places.
Michelle Minori (San Francisco): Minori plies her commerce at Barzotto, a fast-casual pasta bar in San Francisco, the place she serves Italian-influenced California cuisines. A graduate of San Francisco’s Le Cordon Bleu cooking faculty, Minori beforehand labored at Michelin-starred Bay Space eating places Aqua, Acquerello, and La Folie. The chef has additionally run the kitchen at Flour + Water in San Francisco and overseen pasta and bread operations at Religion & Flower in Los Angeles.

Nini NguyenMichael Hickey/Bravo

Nini Nguyen (Brooklyn, New York Metropolis): Initially hailing from New Orleans, Nini Nguyen is the culinary director of the Brooklyn training heart Prepare dinner Area. Earlier than becoming a member of the college, Nguyen labored on the pastry station at Sucre and Coquette in New Orleans, and at Manhattan’s celebrated Eleven Madison Park. “I prefer to hone in on my heritage — I’m Vietnamese and French-trained, and Vietnamese meals has a variety of French affect in it,” Nguyen lately informed AMNY.
Brandon Rosen (San Mateo, California): Rosen obtained his begin within the meals world working in his household’s Detroit-area chocolate manufacturing unit. After highschool, he moved to New York Metropolis to work at Alain Ducasse on the Essex Home and at Eleven Madison Park, earlier than decamping to Yountville, California to affix the French Laundry group. Later, Rosen helped his colleague Corey Lee open Benu in San Francisco, after which he accepted a place operating the kitchen at Richard Reddington’s Redd in Yountville. After 5 years at Redd, Rosen is now working as a non-public chef in Silicon Valley.
Kevin Scharpf (Dubuque, Iowa): Midwestern chef Kevin Scharpf lower his tooth within the kitchen at Daniel in New York Metropolis, Elizabeth in Chicago, and Spoon and Steady in Minneapolis earlier than touchdown in his house state the place he now runs the three-year-old farm-to-table restaurant Brazen Open Kitchen & Bar. Scharpf lately informed the Des Moines Register that it’s “nice to have the chance to characterize Iowa and the rising culinary scene that’s taking place right here.”
Caitlin Steininger (Cincinnati, Ohio): Steininger at present runs a restaurant along with her sister Kelly Trush in Wyoming, Ohio referred to as Cooking with Caitlin. The sisters are additionally planning to open a brand new smoked meat restaurant close by referred to as Station + Household BBQ. Steininger has been watching High Chef since its first season, when she was only a culinary scholar. “I didn’t wish to apply till I assumed I might win it,” she informed the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Having the restaurant actually made me really feel like I might do it.”
Justin Sutherland (St. Paul, Minnesota): Sutherland is the chief chef on the nose-to-tail restaurant Good-looking Hog in St. Paul, and the seafood restaurant the Pearl and the Thief in close by Stillwater. Earlier this 12 months, Sutherland gained an episode of Iron Chef, and he lately took over culinary operations for the Madison Restaurant Group, which incorporates Twin Cities scorching spots Eagle Avenue Grill, Fitzgerald’s, Public Kitchen and Bar, OxCart Alehouse, and Grey Duck.

Michael Hickey/Bravo

David Viana (Previous Bridge, New Jersey): Parole officer-turned chef David Viana hung out within the kitchens of Eleven Madison Park and Centro Vinoteca in Manhattan earlier than heading again house to New Jersey to open the tasting counter restaurant Heirloom Kitchen. “I grew up on this trade, and I’ve all the time labored exhausting, however watching Bravo’s High Chef over the past twelve 12 years has actually been motivation and inspiration to push myself even additional — to be the perfect chef I could be,” Viana lately informed the Asbury Park Press. “So to really be on the present is a dream come true.”
Adrienne Wright (Boston): As a younger chef, Connecticut native Adrienne Wright labored in kitchens across the Northeast earlier than touchdown at Michael Schlow’s Radius in Boston. After serving as sous chef for almost three years at that restaurant, Wright moved to Chris Coomb’s restaurant Deuxave in 2011. She’s been a part of Coomb’s restaurant group ever since and now oversees the kitchens at Deuxave, Dbar, and two places of Boston Chops.
Brian Younger (Boston): Earlier than changing into the chef de delicacies at Cultivar in Boston, Brian Younger labored at close by hotspots Harvest and Citizen Public Home & Oyster Bar. Though Younger and his fellow High Chef competitor Adrienne Wright each work in Boston, they’d by no means met one another earlier than taking pictures the present. “We have now respect for each other, as a result of despite the fact that we didn’t know one another, we had been conversant in what the opposite does in the neighborhood of eating places and our physique of labor,” Younger lately informed Boston Journal. “So it was good to have the ability to have any individual to narrate to and cook dinner subsequent to who I knew I might belief.”
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