Food Industry

Top Chef: Angelina Bastidas and Jeremy Ford to Compete in December

Top Chef has just announced the chef roster and location for its upcoming season  — with two Miami toques competing for the title.

Top Chef season 13 debuts with a two-night premiere on Wednesday, December 2, and Thursday, December 3, at 10 p.m. on Bravo.

The cheftestants will fire up their burners in California. This time, however, the competition will take place in six different cities, with stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Oakland, and the Palm Springs area during competition.

Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio are back, alongside Gail Simmons, Richard Blais, and Emeril Lagasse, who serve as judges during competition

This being California, expect the culinary hopefuls to cook for a host of famous faces. Already announced are one-time rap sensation MC Hammer and supermodel Chrissy Teigen. Guest chefs and industry veterans taking turns as judges and mentors include Hugh Acheson, Max Silvestri, Ludo Lefebvre, Dana Cowin, Michael Cimarusti, José Andrés, John Besh, Art Smith, Javier Plascencia, Antonia Lofaso, Michael Voltaggio, Jacques LaMerde, Bill Chait, Jonathan Waxman, Martin Yan, Adam Fleischman, Traci Des Jardins, and Hubert Keller.

Miami has a particularly strong reason to stay tuned this season, because two of the chefs competing for the $125,000 prize and feature in Food & Wine magazine are local. 

Angelina Bastidas, the 25-year-old wunderkind who recently took over the kitchen in Piripi, only to suddenly depart, is competing on the show. The Cordon Bleu graduate worked in several Miami restaurants including Area 31, the Bazaar, Taperia Raca, and Tongue & Cheek and says her favorite simple fall dessert recipe is an olive oil citrus sponge cake with bee pollen, creme fraiche mousse, and smoked citrus marmalade.

Jeremy Ford, the executive chef at Matador Room, is also representing us this season. The 30-year-old chef lists his formal culinary education as the School of Hard Knocks. He started working in kitchens at age 16 and has amassed an impressive resume that includes L'Orangerie under the helm of executive chef Christophe Eme in Los Angeles and Patina with Joachim Spilchal. His favorite dessert for fall is a kabocha pumpkin strudel with ginger ice cream. 

Other cheftestants include Karen Akunowicz (Boston), Carl Dooley (Boston), Renee Kelly (Shawnee Mision, Kansas), 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), Jason Stratton (Seattle), Frances Tariga-Weshnak (New York), Isaac Toups (New Orleans), Wesley True (Atlanta), Giselle Wellman (Los Angeles), and Chad White (San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico).

Past Top Chef contestants from Miami include Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth (co-owners of Root & Bone in New York City), Carla Pellegrino (Touche), Howie Kleinberg (Bulldog Barbecue), and Bret Peleggi (former chef at Uvaggio Wine Bar). Two years ago, Nina Compton, then chef de cuisine at Scott Conant's Scarpetta, became a household name by making it to the finals of Top Chef: New Orleans and winning the coveted fan-favorite title. Compton, who clearly fell for the Crescent City while filming, opened Compere Lapin in New Orleans earlier this year.