GREGORY GOURDET: Another favorite of ours, Gourdet was a superstar on “Top Chef: Boston”. The Portland-based chef won five Elimination Challenges, including four in a row, and four Quickfire Challenges before finishing as runner-up to eventual winner Mei Lin. With a new restaurant and his first cookbook on the horizon, Gregory’s star continues to rise.
MELISSA KING: Chef King joined Gregory Gourdet in Mexico as part of the “Top Chef: Boston” final four. The San Francisco-based chef was named “one of the best female chefs in San Francisco” and was Whole Foods’ first food ambassador.
KAREN AKUNOWICZ: A “Top Chef: California” fan favorite, Chef Karen looks to improve upon her seventh-place finish. Akunowicz won a James Beard Award as Best Chef: Northeast while running the kitchen at popular Boston eatery Myers+Chang before leaving to open her own restaurant called Fox & the Knife.
JAMIE LYNCH: In one of the most shocking “Top Chef” eliminations ever, Chef Lynch saved Emily Hahn when he gave up immunity that he’d won. Even more shocking was his own subsequent elimination, resulting in him packing his own knives and leaving despite having won two straight Quickfire Challenges.