Spoiler Alert: 'Top Chef' Spoilers
If we're to trust Bravo, the upcoming season of Top Chef is going to be big. Really big.

And from the looks of it, it is. We know we're headed to Texas this season. We know we'll meet 29 chefs instead of the usual 16. But it's more complicated than that. Much more complicated than that. So, to get you up to speed, we've got Top Chef spoilers. You know the drill. If you don't want to be spoiled, then skip the rest of the article. It was nice meeting you!

The Fancy Mechanics

So we'll meet 29 chefs, right? The Top Chef season premiere, which airs November 2, will see these chefs vie for a spot in the actual competition -- only 16 chefs will make it through.

Bravo has released the names of the 29 chefs: you can watch their casting videos here, but here are their names in bullet form:

  • Nyesha Arlington (Wilshire Restaurant, Los Angeles. CA)
  • Lindsay Autry (Michelle Bernstein's at Omphoy Ocean Resort, West Palm Beach, FL)
  • Jonathan Baltazar (Heights Cuisine, Long Heights, CA)
  • Ty-Lor Boring (Spasso, New York, NY)
  • Molly Brandt (Allure of the Seas for Royal Caribbean, Hollywood, FL)
  • Chaz Brown (Fatty Crab, New York, NY)
  • Kimberly Calichio (Fishtail, New York, NY)
  • Chris Crary (Whist Restaurant in the Viceroy Hotel, Los Angeles, CA)
  • Andrew Curren (24 Diner, Austin, TX)
  • Bernice deAraujo (Sra. Martinez, Miami, FL)
  • Janina Falvo (Briza Restaurant, Atlanta, GA)
  • Richie Farina (MOTO, Chicago, IL)
  • Sarah Grueneberg (Spiaggia, Chicago, IL)
  • Chris Jones (MOTO, Chicago, IL)
  • Beverly Kim (Aria Restaurant, Chicago, IL)
  • Edward Lee (610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY)
  • Whitney Otawka (Greyfield Inn, Cumberland Island, GA)
  • Simon Pantet (22, Seattle, WA)
  • Colin Patterson (Sutra, Seattle, WA)
  • Laurent Quenioux (Vertical Wine Bistro, Los Angeles, CA)
  • Paul Qui (Uchiko Restaurant, Austin, TX)
  • Keith Rhodes (Catch Restaurants, Wilmington, NC)
  • Grayson Schmitz (VIlla Pacri, New York, NY)
  • Tyler Stone (Personal chef, Sacramento, CA)
  • Heather Terhune (Sable Kitchen and Bar, Chicago, IL)
  • Chuy Valencia (Chilam Bilam, Chicago, IL)
  • Nina Vicente (Spur Gastropub, Seattle, WA)
  • Ashley Villaluz (Sous chef, Seattle, WA)
  • Dakota Weiss (9:30 Restaurant/The Backyard, Los Angeles, CA)

The Chance of Returning

Top Chef also offers a fancy new twist: eliminated chefs will have a chance to return to the competition through a new contest dubbed Last Chance Kitchen. It's pretty much like Survivor's Redemption Island, only with chefs. These face-offs will only be aired online, though.

The Big Names

Padma Lakshmi, Tom Collichio and Gail Simmons will be joined by two new judges: one-time guest judge Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson, who you might've seen on Top Chef: Masters. Also among the guest judges are Oscar winner Charlize Theron, Pee-Wee Herman, singer Patti LaBelle, and chefs Cat Cora and John Besh.

Top Chef spoilers in detail, then: Herman has mentioned that he's shooting a Top Chef episode at the Alamo, which makes me assume he's appearing in the first episode (since that's there the season premiere will start). However, we're hearing that the show will start in San Antonio, and then tour Austin and Dallas before returning to the Alamo City.

We're also hearing that San Antonio will be the home of this season's Restaurant Wars episode. Oooh, I can see where this Top Chef spoiler is headed: the two chefs from MOTO will be in opposing teams and there'll be tension. Provided, of course, that both chefs make it to the Top 16.

Excited for Top Chef: Texas already? Ditto. The new season premieres on November 2 from 10pm on Bravo.

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(Image courtesy of Bravo)