via NBC press release:
BRAVO ANNOUNCES SERIES PICK UP FOR SECOND SEASON OF "TOP CHEF MASTERS"
Gail Simmons To Serve As A Judge In Season 2
NEW YORK – October 22, 2009 – Bravo's highest-rated first season competition series, "Top Chef Masters" is back for season two. Once again the judges' table will be turned, and viewers will see what happens when world-renowned chefs compete against each other in a series of weekly challenges and revert back to basics. Only one chef will make it to the finals to compete for the title of "Top Chef Master" and a prize for the charity of their choice. The announcement was made by Frances Berwick, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Bravo Media.
Food journalist Kelly Choi returns as series' host, alongside renowned restaurant critic Gael Greene, culinary expert James Oseland and food critic Jay Rayner who are all back on the Critic's Table. "Top Chef" series judge Gail Simmons will also serve as a judge this season on "Top Chef Masters."
"In its freshman season, Top Chef Masters resonated with viewers and critics alike, as the best of the best faced each other in fiery competition," said Berwick. "This season we're adding to the pot throwing in more acclaimed chefs – let's see if they can stand the heat."
Each episode of "Top Chef Masters" holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a quickfire challenge which tests their basic abilities. Each quickfire challenge will be judged by a blind taste test and a five-star system, similar to fine dining reviews.
The second challenge is a more involved elimination challenge designed to test the versatility and invention of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for demanding clients. The food will be tasted and evaluated by the judges and a wide range of tasters for whom the challenge is aimed, whether it is patrons at a five-star restaurant or a room full of hungry kids – the food has to appeal to the diner as well as the critics if the chef is to survive.
"Top Chef Masters" wrapped season one as the highest-rated first season competition series ever for Bravo, averaging 2.22 million total viewers and 1.53 million adults 18-49.
"Top Chef Masters" is produced by the Emmy-nominated Magical Elves. Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serve as executive producers. "Top Chef" head judge, renowned culinary figure and chef/owner Craft Restaurants Tom Colicchio serves as consulting producer.
Source: Nielsen Media Research, Live + 7 Day through 8/19/09
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