Film & TV

Lorena Garcia, Robyn Almodovar on Hell's Kitchen, Top Chef Masters

For decades, talent scouts and filmmakers have scoured our tropical city in search of beautiful faces attached to perfect tanned bodies. It's true that Miami has more than its fair share of perfection in human form. But we also have talent and brains to go with that beauty.

Take local chefs, Robyn Almodovar and Lorena Garcia, for example. While both are clearly beautiful, they also have the skills and cunning to land them on two of the most popular cooking shows on television for the upcoming summer season.

The chefs join a growing list of Miami chefs who have appeared on television cooking shows.

Jeff McInnis (Yardbird Southern Table & Bar), Kenny Gilbert (Swine Southern Table & Bar), Andrea Curto-Randazzo, Howie Kleinberg (Bulldog Barbecue), and Micah Edelstein (neMesis Urban Bistro) have all appeared on Top Chef as contestants, while Paula DaSilva (1500 Degrees at Eden Roc) competed on Hell's Kitchen.

Lorena Garcia - Top Chef Masters
Lorena Garcia is one of 11 chefs competing on season four of Top Chef Masters.

This spinoff of the wildly popular, Emmy award-winning Top Chef,

pits seasoned chefs and restaurateurs against each other in weekly

battles for culinary supremacy.

Garcia will be competing against heavy hitters like two-time

James Beard winner and former Oprah Winfrey chef Art Smith, Chris

Cosentino (Incanto Restaurant, San Francisco), and James Beard winner

Debbie Gold (The American Restaurant, Kansas City).

Chef/author/critic/tweeter Ruth Reichl and Saveur's editor-in-chief

James Oseland are among the judges who will be deciding which chef packs

their knives each week. Top Chef Masters season four premieres

Wednesday, July 25 at 10 p.m. on Bravo.

Garcia is the owner and executive chef of Lorena Garcia Cocina at Miami International Airport,

and plans to expand her restaurant concept of healthy Latin food to

Atlanta International and Dallas-Ft. Worth International airports. The

Venezuelan-born chef moved to the U.S. to complete an associate's degree

in paralegal studies

before deciding to trade in the law books for a set of knives. After

graduating Johnson & Wales culinary arts program, Garcia traveled

the world to complete her education, working as an apprentice in

kitchens in France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and China before

heading back to Miami.

Robyn Almodovar - Hell's Kitchen
Robyn Almodovar is a contestant on the slightly edgier Hell's Kitchen

You know -- the one that has chef Gordon Ramsay scream, belittle, and

intimidate chefs while the world watches. Almodovar is one of 18 chefs

who will volunteer for weekly verbal abuse by Ramsay as they compete for

the grand prize -- a job as head chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak at the

Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, where they will get to be abused by Ramsay on a

regular basis.

Almodovar is uniquely qualified for the

high-pressure circus of a television show. As the owner of the Palate

Party food truck, Almodovar has experienced first-hand large crowds,

rain-outs, and even a propane tank accident that had the chef airlifted to Broward General Hospital last September.


Le Cordon Bleu graduate, Almodovar has worked at the Hyatt Regency Fort

Lauderdale and The Forge in Miami Beach before rolling out her food


Hell's Kitchen premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on

Fox, with part two of the premiere airing tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Chef

Almodovar is hosting a watch party tonight at the Food Truck Invasion

at Arts Park in Hollywood. Dine at one of the 28 food trucks from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., the watch Hell's Kitchen at 8 p.m. with chef Almodovar from

the Palate Party truck.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss