Chef Renee Kelly will become cheftestant Renee Kelly on December 2 at 9 p.m. That’s when the first part of a two-part premiere of Top Chef Season 13 airs on Bravo. The latest hook for the reality cooking competition is that it will take place in six cities in California (San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Palm Springs). For anyone who has missed the first dozen, chefs compete in a series of elimination challenges in order to be named ‘Top Chef,’ and earn the grand prize of $125,00, a feature in Food & Wine magazine and a showcase at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado.
Kelly, the owner and chef at Renee Kelly’s Harvest in Shawnee, Kansas, is one of 17 contestants on the show and the only chef from the Midwest. [A pair of Kansas City chefs, Julian’s Celina Tio and Debbie Gold, appeared on previous installments of Top Chef Masters.]
Karen Akunowicz (Boston), Angelina Bastidas (Miami), Carl Dooley (Boston), Garret Flemming (Washington, D.C.), Jeremy Ford (Miami), Phillip Frankland Lee (Los Angeles), Marjorie Meek-Bradley (Washington, D.C.), Kwame Onwuachi (Washington, D.C.) Amar Santana, (Orange County, California), Grayson Schmitz (New York City), Isaac Toups (New Orleans), Jason Stratton (Seattle), Frances Tariga-Weshnak (New York City), Wesley True (Atlanta), Giselle Wellman (Los Angeles), and Chad White (San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico) will be competing alongside Kelly. Schmitz was previously a contestant on Season 9 of Top Chef (Top Chef Texas).
The show’s judging panel includes host Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Richard Blais and Emeril Lagasse. Over the course of the season, Chrissy Teigen, Josh Besh, Hubert Keller and MC Hammer will be among those making appearances. The cheftestants will cook with Bugles and spam. They’ll cook on a golf course and at a “big fat gay wedding,” according to chef Art Smith.
The cheftestants will cook with Bugles and spam. They’ll cook on a golf course and at a “big fat gay wedding,” according to chef Art Smith. And one cheftestant will earnestly freestyle for MC Hammer. Top Chef Season 13 has a two night premiere. It will air on Bravo on Wednesday, December 2, and Thursday, December 3, at 9 p.m. It airs regularly on Thursdays at 9 p.m.[Image via Bravo: Top Chef]