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Top Chef Masters' Floyd Cardoz: I Never Picked Myself to Win

Floyd Cardoz

Floyd Cardoz always came up short when facing Mary Sue Milliken on Top Chef Masters, but in the end, he won the one challenge that matters. "I went into the last challenge with the least amount of money. I only had $10,000. I was thinking, 'It would be sweet if I could squeak this one in and make $110,000 for my charity [Young Scientist Cancer Research Fund at Mount Sinai Medical School].' And I did!" he tells TVGuide.com. "So that felt pretty good!"

But the chef, who's working on a Danny Meyer restaurant, insists he never picked himself for the Masters title.
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New Critics, New Host, New Format: Producers Dish on Spicing Up Season 3 of Top Chef Masters

Top Chef Masters, Curtis Stone, Ruth Reichl and James Oseland

It's hotter in the kitchen this time around on Top Chef Masters.

In Wednesday's third season premiere, three of the 12 master cheftestants will fail to complete their Quickfire dishes (failures made all the more painful because the chefs are paired off in head-to-head combat). The group is then immediately hit with a round of Restaurant Wars.

Bringing out the contestants' competitive edge is just part of an overall revamp to the Top Chef spin-off, which arrives following viewership declines between the first and second seasons (2.2 million viewers vs. 1.6 million). Gone are host Kelly Choi, critics Gael Greene and Jay Rayner, the five-star rating scale and the tournament-style elimination. The masters are still playing for charity but, by design, they'll feel more... read more

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