This season of Top Chef
has a first – an actual real life couple participating as cheftestants. In the first episode, Zoi
Antonitsas and Jennifer
Biesty announced to their fellow competitors that they are partners. This left the other contestants – and the viewers – to wonder: is this an advantage or a disadvantage?
We haven't yet gotten a sense of which way this will go for the couple on Top Chef
, but in the meantime, here are some additional details on one half of the pair, Zoi Antonitsas.
Zoi, 30, is a native of BuddyTV's hometown of Seattle, and has worked for one of the biggest names in our town's culinary community, Tom Douglas, but her roots in food go deeper than that..
Her dad is Greek and her mom owned a café, and although the two divorced when she was six, food was the focus of the family.
"Growing up in a family that has more of a European background, I was never punished with food. It was more of a celebratory thing."
Although her mom was more directly part of the food industry, "Dad did most of the cooking," Zoi said. "He's a natural, an amazing cook. He was really my first chef. He schooled me a lot. He was very particular about how he wanted things done.
"We were really passionate about food. We would go to fish markets together, farmers markets, Pike Place. ... I always picked the weirdest stuff, something I never had before. Give me sardines, sea urchins -- anything weird. I was totally all about it."
She worked for the Seattle food big wig Tom Douglas for a summer when she was 16, but took a brief detour to art school before settling upon food as a career. She returned to the Tom Douglas universe, working at Etta's restaurant in Seattle.
She's now living and working in San Francisco as a chef and restaurant consultant, and, as noted, in a relationship with her fellow Top Chef
As to whether or not the show was aware of their relationship when they were cast, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
asked Bravo, but they declined to respond directly to the question, saying instead, "We'd like those answers to be revealed to viewers as they watch."
- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of Bravo)