Bravo will kick off Season 5 of its cooking competition show Top Chef Masters on July 24, the network announced Wednesday.
The season will feature 13 chefs (see the full list below) competing against each other for $100,000 for charity. In a new twist, the season will also feature the competitors' sous chefs battling against each other in an online competition. Based on their protégé's performance, each Master will be awarded advantages or disadvantages in their own competition.
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...