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Top Chef Masters Season 5 Preview – Wait, Is That BryanBot Returning?

Douglas Keane – Former Chef of the 2 Michelin Starred Cyrus, Sonoma County, CA; Competing for Green Dog Rescue – Sous Chef: Drew Gassell

Keane – A chef and certified dog trainer. Please no jokes about the two worlds combining. Unless it’s an Alpo joke. He’s won a ton of awards – as have most of these chefs – throughout California. He also has a lot of Japanese influence thanks to his travels overseas. He spends an equal amount of time on his other passion in life, dog rescue. He helped start Green Dog Rescue Project in Sonoma County and remains active and hands on day to day in training and rehabilitating his four legged friends. Now, if we can link him up with Eddie from Survivor, we can get that dog restaurant moving right away.

Gassell – Longtime Keane partner – he works the day-to-day operations at Cyrus. Basically, he’s got the same bio as Keane. Minus the dogs.

Jenn Louis – Executive Chef and Co-Owner: Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern, Portland, OR; Competing for City of Hope – Sous Chef: Cory Chunn

Louis – She’s a Portland chef and successful caterer. Louis opened Lincoln in 2011, and the restaurant became an instant hit, making the Conde Nast Traveler “Hot List” of the top 50 new restaurants in North America within a few months. Louis has appeared on ABC’s The Chew, and her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, and SHAPE, among others. She also wrote a cookbook about gnocchi. Wow, that’s awfully specific.

Chunn – I need to make Law & Order sound effects jokes with that name. Chunn Chunn. A Delaware boy, he’s now with Louis in Portland. He thinks their linkup was destiny, since he has a tattoo of a Samurai Lincoln. Ok. He is her density.

Richard Sandoval – Chef-Owner Richard Sandoval Restaurants, Los Angeles, CA; Competing for C-Cap – Careers Through Culinary Arts Program – Sous Chef: Greg Howe

Sandoval He’s the most interesting man in the competition. Or at least, he just looks like that. He has over 30 Latin restaurants all over the world. Richard Sandoval has built the largest collections of tequilas in North America and the Middle East and aspires to educate diners on their quality and diversity. When not cooking, Sandoval is passionate about training the chefs of the future. He supports their growth on the Board of Trustees at his alma mater, the Culinary Institute of America.

Howe – His bio is twice the size of Sandoval’s bio. The Most Interesting Man in the World doesn’t need to pad his bio, grasshopper. An Indiana native, he chose a career in business at first, but bailed to go into the restaurant industry. That’s a good thing for him – most chefs probably lack the numbers knowledge which enable them to run successful businesses. Not Howe. He basically lists every single move he’s made in the last 20 years on his bio – so let’s just say that he’s done well over time and is Sandoval’s man.

Bryan Voltaggio
- Executive Chef | Owner, VOLT, Lunchbox, Family Meal and RANGE, Frederick, MD; Competing for Share Our Strength –Sous Chef: Graeme Ritchie

BryanBot – Named thusly from his stint on Top Chef because of his frustrating tendency to speak in monotone and never show any emotion. He went to the Finals in Season 6 and can’t even claim to be the best chef named Voltaggio, as his brother won the season. His restaurants are a mere hour from me in Frederick, MD – so I have no excuse to fail to go there. And yet I have. He’s married to his high school sweetheart and they’ve made it work this long. Good for the Volts.

Ritchie – Crazy hair. Tats. Check. You may now come on Top Chef. I still wonder what’s the real ratio among all chefs out there of tats per skin surface. It must be climbing daily. He started in Rochester, the hotbed of New York’s cuisine. Since then he has slowly made it down the East Coast – going to Hyde Park, NYC, Washington DC (another Charlie Palmer guy), and now Frederick.

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