Bravo TV has just released a sneak peek of Season 14 of the popular “Top Chef” program that filmed in Charleston earlier this year. The show pits 16 professional chefs from across the country in various cooking challenges with the winner receiving $125,000 furnished by S.Pelligrino and the coveted title of Top Chef. In a twist to casting for this season, eight chefs from around the country will unpack their knives against eight chefs returning from past seasons of the show.
Emily Hahn, of Charleston, represents South Carolina. According to her biography posted at BravoTV.com, Hahn began her career at Mamma Zu in Richmond, VA, before attending the New England Culinary Institute. After graduation, she moved to Charleston to work with James Beard Award winner Mike Lata at FIG Restaurant. After traveling and exploring her passion for the foods of different cultures, Hahn started Empanada Mamma and took the position of Executive Chef at Warehouse Bar + Kitchen. Her cuisine is described as “bright, flavorful and elevates simple ingredients in inventive ways.” In 2015, Hahn was named one of Charleston’s “Rising Star Chefs” by Food & Wine Magazine and Eater Charleston’s “Chef of the Year.”
Other first-time cheftestants include: Silvia Barban –Brooklyn, NY; Jamie Lynch – Charlotte, NC; Annie Pettry – Louisville, KY; Sylva Senat – Philadelphia, PA; Gerald Sombright – Marco Island, FL; BJ Smith – Portland, OR; and Jim Smith – Montgomery, AL.
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Guest judges throughout the season include South Carolina’s Sean Brock (Husk and McCrady’s), BJ Dennis (Gullah Geechee culinary artist), Carrie Morey (Callie’s Biscuits), Frank Lee, and Mike Lata (FIG and The Ordinary) in addition to Daniel Humm, William Guidara, Jeremiah Tower, Dominique Ansel, Richard Blais, Chris Cosentino, Michael Voltaggio, Hugh Acheson, Nilou Motamed, John Currence, Alexander Smalls, Michael Cimarusti and Michael Solomonov.
Some of the competitions are skewed to reflect the surroundings with a biscuit blowout and shrimp and grits cookoff, a tribute to Edna Lewis, and maybe the most challenging, cooking for BBQ legend Rodney Scott, of Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, to the tunes of Darius Rucker.
Returning to the judges’ panel will be host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, and a new judge and “Top Chef Masters” alum Graham Elliot. Season 14 begins airing 10 p.m. Dec. 1 on Bravo, Time Warner channel 47. More information at www.bravotv.com