Here's an exclusive sneak peek at the just-announced cast of Top Chef All-Stars, featuring 18 of the Emmy-winning Bravo reality show's most outstanding contestants — and most outrageous personalities.
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Headstrong Tiffani Faison came in a close second to winner Harold Dieterle in the show's first season. She's back for another crack at the title, along with sommelier Steven Asprinio, best remembered for his insufferably tedious lectures on wine.
Foamophile Marcel Vigneron, however irritating, didn't deserve the bully treatment he received from his Season 2 peers (one of whom was ousted from the show for bad behavior), including fellow finalist Elia Aboumrad, memorable for her impulsive mid-season shaved head and authentic Mexican cuisine.
Season 3 runners-up and close pals Casey Thompson and Dale Levitski rightly deserved their spots in the finale, though many fans felt laid-back, self-taught Texan Tre Wilcox was cut way too soon.
Fauxhawked Richard Blais nearly aced Season 4 with his inventive, witty molecular concoctions but faltered in the final challenge. He's reunited with down-to-earth single mom Antonia Lofaso, snarky Spike Mendelsohn (and his array of trendy hats), and Dale Talde, notable for his spicy Asian fare and his hot temper.
Fabio Viviani, voted Season 5's fan favorite, is back to cook up more authentic Italian dishes and endearing malapropisms alongside spunky, tattooed San Franciscan Jamie Lauren and quirky Carla Hall, the DC pastry chef who nearly pulled off a come-from-behind victory but doubted herself in the season's crucial final moments.
Intense Philadelphia chef Jennifer Carroll gave the formidable Voltaggio brothers a run for their money in the sixth-season finale, while castmate Mike Isabella maintained his confident Jersey swagger right up until he was knifed for lousy leeks in the tenth episode.
Finally, fresh off Season 7 are good-natured Tiffany Derry, the former Texas iHop employee, and Angelo Sosa, front-runner for the top prize until a sickness wiped him out during the Singapore finale and sent him packing for the All Stars — and a second chance.
The battle of the Top Chef All-Stars begins Wed 12/1, 10/9 c, on Bravo.
Do you think the All-Stars cast has the right mix of ingredients?