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Full List of Top Chef Masters 2 participants and some judges

Some repeat chefs which is kind of lame, but I love some of the judges, especially Matt Groening and the cast of Modern Family.


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  1. In terms of the judges, they're doing just fine (with regards to non-chefs or self-proclaimed foodies). The Simpsons is possibly the greatest sitcom of all time, and Modern Family is absolutely brilliant.

    1. Thanks for posting this! I really enjoyed TCM the first go round so I am looking forward to season 2. I love Modern Family, so that should be a fun episode. I think TC in general does a good job of balancing celebrity judges with people who really know food. So far they haven't gone too far for my liking with the celebrity angle. If they do I would probably start tuning out.

      1. Is there any news if TCM first year will be available on DVD?

        1. I loved Season 1 and am really looking forward to seeing Ludo get his butt kicked again!

          1. No Hubert Keller!? Thanks for the post, and for giving me something to anticipate/obsess over

            7 Replies
            1. re: toutefrite

              "No Hubert Keller!? "
              they wouldn't bring back the champ as a contestant...though it would be great to see him as a judge.

              i'm surprised they've got 6 chefs from last season competing again - that strikes me as a lot. if only they could have found a new host...

                1. re: jackbauer

                  Yeah! Boston representation. Ana and Jody are both wonderful wonderful chefs.

                    1. re: StheJ

                      duh. i meant finalist, not champ! thanks for the correction :)

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          well, yes and no. Keller is amazing and inspiring, but i'm always happy to see the the underdog win...and i have immense respect for Bayless as a chef and a person. but if we were to get Freudian about it, i guess there must have been a reason for my slip ;)

              1. Wow Susur Lee! Very interesting...

                1 Reply
                1. re: s0memale

                  I could watch Susur Lee all day long.

                2. Missed this post earlier - glad to see it's coming up. Local chefs to me - Jody Adams of Rialto and Ana Sortun of Oleana - will be interested to see how both do!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    My local chefs:
                    Thierry Rautureau – Rover’s, Seattle, Wash.
                    Maria Hines – Tilth, Seattle, Wash.
                    Jerry Traunfeld – Poppy, Seattle, Wash.
                    All three are very well known, restaurants are high end with positive reviews.

                    Does it seem there are alot more chefs competing this time?
                    I don't remember exactly how many were on board for the first season.

                    1. re: ritabwh

                      Eighteen competed in TCM1; 22 this season - so an additional 4.


                  2. Seriously? Lynne Curtin, Alexis Bellino, Tamra Barney from The Real Housewives of Orange County as judges? (Yes, I admit to watching this. My sister lives in Orange County and we snark about this show all the time). The Housewives were in San Francisco last episode and ate at Hubert Keller's Fleur de Lys. I use the term "eat" loosely. Tamra is a self-proclaimed "Del Taco kind of gal" and Alexis literally spit out a bit of pate into her napkin at dinner claiming that the "liver" had an odd texture. And Lynn never eats becuase she takes pride in wearing her teenage daughters clothes. Unless of course there is alcohol around. Yeah, they are qualified to be Top Chef Masters judges.

                    31 Replies
                    1. re: Squint

                      I imagine they'd only be there for the Quickfire round, like the Girl Scouts or the people from Flipping Out last season.

                      1. re: Squint

                        ITA, Squint. It is an abomination to have these women involved with anything where a modicum of sophistication would be required. Despite what they think of themselves, they have all the class of litigants on Judge Judy.

                        Cross promotion, I guess, but illmaking all the same.

                        1. re: Squint

                          I guess Bravo thinks maybe no one will watch if they don't include "celebrity" (I use the term loosely here) judges. Of course, chowhounds need no greater celebrity than that of the chefs to be glued to their tvs!

                          1. re: ChefJune

                            Having the "Real Housewives" on the show is just a sickening cross promotion of Bravo shows. I don't watch any of them. Although I would think Bethany Frankel (from NY) would have at least some minor shred of credibility.

                          2. re: Squint

                            Yeah, I wasn't too thrilled to see them listed as "guest judges". Didn't like the Flipping Out folks either. But Bravo's going to pimp their other shows as much as they can; no getting around that.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Send a tweet to Andy Cohen. His handle is BravoAndy.

                              1. re: Phaedrus

                                I don't tweet. Nor do I use Facebook or MySpace. And I doubt Andy Cohen would listen to me. :-)

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  He is actually pretty good at responding. I emailed him once and he got right back to me. I would like to think I was the one who talked him into firing Katie Lee Joel.

                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                    If you were the one responsible for the firing of Katie Lee Joel, let me just say Thank You!!!

                                    1. re: Squint

                                      LOL! I concur with Squint - THANK YOU Phaedrus - you've done the entire viewing audience a world of good! LOL

                                    2. re: Phaedrus

                                      Phaedrus, if that's the case, then we all owe you a debt of gratitude...and i think you should work your magic on Andy Cohen again to convince him they should give Kelly Choi the ax too!

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        Agreed. Kelly Choi should be replaced... She's awful.

                              2. re: Squint

                                isn't that the same group that made a complete spectacle of themselves at the restaurant at the Chandon winery in Napa? if i'm not mistaken, they were spitting out their food on that occasion as well.

                                it's too bad Hell's Kitchen is a Fox property instead of NBC...the housewives would be more at home as judges there, with all the food that gets spit into the trash. come to think of it, the same goes for that Chef Academy show on Bravo.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Yes, this is the group that was at the Chandon Winery. Vicki (I guess not judging Top Chef) and her husband along with Tamra and her husband. They were spitting out food...the little they ate. They didn't eat "that" kind of food and just drank Chardonney instead of trying the wine pairings.

                                  Coney, that may be insulting to some of Judge Judy's litigants! These women put the "trash" in the phrase "white trash". When Vicki was in Rome with her mother and daughter, at a restaurant she kept asking the waiter which Italian wines compared to California wines because she "missed her California wines". And said the shopping was better at South Coast Plaza!

                                  I felt sorry for Hubert Keller. He was greeting them at the door and several of them blew by him like he was the bus boy. Their table was full of incredible looking starters and none of them were even trying them. Lynn was lamenting that one bite would mean 5 extra hours at the gym and Tamra said the lettuce on her starter was incredible. Just classless.

                                  Yes, it's all about the cross-promotion but these chefs deserve better.

                                  1. re: Squint

                                    "these chefs deserve better."
                                    that's what i find most disturbing about all this. maybe some people believe it makes for good TV, but i find it incredibly disrespectful to the chefs. it's a waste of their time, talent, and [sometimes] very expensive ingredients.

                                    and considering the near-certainty that they've seen the footage and heard the responses to their antics, i find it mind-boggling that they continue to act so childish and crass.

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      I get the distinct impression that they (the OC housewives, or at least most of them) think they're better than the average bear because of their money, so good manners don't apply to them.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        What makes you think they actually have money? I've read in several places that most of them are just putting on apperances and really don't have money at all. Real Estate agents and Mercedes sales men don't earn what they use to.

                                        1. re: KTinNYC

                                          Either noveau riche or pretend money. Either way - the ostentatious display of money - whether they have it or not...they still think they're better than other people.

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            Lynn and her husband just got evicted from their 4th rental home in 2 years due to non-payment of rent and security deposits. He's a general contractor that has essentially been out of work for the last 2 years. She is a "jewelry designer" and makes these braclet-y cuffs that look like Michaels do-it-yourself projects. So no money there. Tamra's husband was fired from the Mercedes dealership and she has no job. Alexis' husband Jim is a "bidnessman" (her words) but what bidness he's in is in question. There has been rumors that their McMansion is in foreclose. So no money, pretend or otherwise, but they are "reality stars" so they do think they are better than other people. They dine at 5-star restaurants, take limos everywhere and go on trips....all on Bravo's dime. Now hanging my head in shame that I know all of this!

                                            1. re: Squint

                                              The impression that they've *all* given out is that they have money. Yes, true reality is way different from TV reality, as you've noted. But their attitudes shown on their own show as well as Top Chef is really rather obnoxious and just oozes "better than thou" when it's obvious they're not.

                                              1. re: Squint

                                                ooh, squint, do you post on TWOP (or read it religiously, like I do?)

                                                The RHOCs have zero class, zero sophistication--real money doesn't buy those qualities, much less fake money, so what qualifies them to speak to food at all? Maybe if it was "Top Bartender Masters"...

                                                1. re: coney with everything

                                                  Coney, I have posted on TWOP but only rarely. By the time I get around to posting someone else has already posted the same thing I would have. I am like you...I read it religiously! The snark factor there is just so snarky! It is so great to take a break from work and just laugh at these women who think they are all that.

                                                  Your last paragraph sums up the HoWives! Hmmm...I wonder if Andy Cohen has thought of Top Bartender Masters? Let's watch what happens!

                                                2. re: Squint

                                                  There, there Squint. The first step to recovery is to admit the problem.

                                                  1. re: Squint

                                                    Jim Bellino is supposedly a pawn broker. Now who is hanging their head!

                                                    1. re: jules127

                                                      Jim Bellino, AKA Fat F*** Taliban Jim!

                                                      Certainly qualifies him to be a food critic, NOT

                                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                                        Not sure if they ever found out the true meaning of surf & turf!

                                                        1. re: coney with everything

                                                          Coney, I love that you are using his Television without Pity nickname! It's a good thing Alexis is the judge since she tastes all the food for him before he eats. Of course I'm not sure how good she will be at judging since...as noted below...the only food she eats is a miniscule morsel.

                                                          Rumors also abound that Jim is in "waste management" ala the Sopranos.

                                                          1. re: Squint

                                                            "Rumors also abound that Jim is in "waste management" ala the Sopranos"

                                                            I could see that...

                                                            Maybe Alexis could be the amuse-bouche tester, then she'll be too full for anything else!

                                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                My thoughts exactly. And how can they (Bravo) really expect the chefs to take the criticism of such philistines seriously?

                                                That said, I'm excited to see Debbie Gold of Kansas City's American Restaurant!

                                                This got posted in the wrong place. I was responding to "disrespectful to the chefs".

                                          2. re: Squint

                                            Alexis appears to also have an eating disorder, she seems to eat nothing except a small bit of bread.