“Top Chef,” the cooking-based reality show that first debuted in 2006, returns next week to cable for its 15th season on Bravo starting Dec. 7.
But before a new cast of 15 competitors is introduced to TV viewers, Bravo is bringing back veterans of the show to take part in the Emmy Award-winning digital companion series “Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen.” Among the chefs featured in the first episode, available online now, is current Hawaii resident and Koko Head Cafe owner Lee Anne Wong, who competed in Season 1 of “Top Chef” while living in New York.
“It’s been 8 years since I’ve been in/built the Top Chef kitchen,” said Wong, who worked as a culinary producer on the show after appearing in Season 1, in an Instagram post earlier today. “It was both deja vu and a bit of a homecoming for me to be back in the largest (Top Chef) kitchen I’ve ever stood in.”
Wong — who is now a mom after giving birth to her first child on Nov. 17 — will face off against chefs Jennifer Carroll (Season 6 and Season 8: All Stars), Kwame Onwuachi (Season 13) and Marcel Vigneron (Season 2 and Season 8: All Stars). Hosted by Tom Colicchio, the chef that ultimately wins the online component of “Last Chance Kitchen” will get the chance to compete during the current season of “Top Chef.”
Watch the new “Last Chance Kitchen” web episode at bravotv.com; future episodes will be made available online via the Bravo website, Bravo Now app, cable video-on-demand and YouTube.com at the conclusion of each week’s new “Top Chef” broadcast.
The new season of “Top Chef” was filmed earlier this year in Colorado; along with head judge Colicchio, the series also features host Padma Lakshmi and judges Gail Simmons and Graham Elliot.
Wong isn’t the only “Top Chef” with Hawaii ties. Maui-based chef Sheldon Simeon first competed during Season 10 before returning for Season 14. While he didn’t win either time, he was selected as “Fan Favorite” during his second stint on the series.
Click here to watch the first web episode of the new season of “Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen.”