Top Chef Season 13 heads down to California to find the next master of American cuisine. The action kicks off December 2 at 10p ET/PT, with judges Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and Top Chef alum Richard Blais tasting dishes from the latest group of chefs.

By Food & Wine
Updated December 02, 2015

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Top Chef Season 13 Overview

"Top Chef: California," the thirteenth season of the Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series, premieres Wednesday, December 2 at 10 pm ET/PT.

Returning to the judges table for the new season in New England are head judge Tom Colicchio, judges Gail Simmons, Richard Blais and host Padma Lakshmi.

Season 13 will return to San Francisco and Los Angeles, where the series began, while also making stops in San Diego, Santa Barbara, Oakland, and the Greater Palm Springs area. The season will offer up some unique challenges for the Cheftestants, who are cooking for a myriad of stars—including rapper MC Hammer and supermodel Chrissy Teigen—and face the return of the Sudden Death Quickfire challenge, as well as the most daunting Restaurant Wars ever.

The winner will receive $125,000 furnished by San Pellegrino, a feature in Food & Wine magazine, a showcase at the Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and the title of “Top Chef.”

For more Top Chef news and coverage, visit

Top Chef: California Episode Guide

More Top Chef Features:

Best Top Chef Restaurants
Top Chef Dishes
Gail Simmons Rescues Top Chef Dishes

The Top Chef: California Hopefuls

Karen Akunowicz
Kearny, NJ; Currently resides in Boston, MA

Angelina Bastidas
Miami, Florida

Carl Dooley
Boston, MA

Garret Fleming
Born in Charleston, SC; Currently resides in Washington, DC

Jeremy Ford
Born in Jacksonville, FL; Currently resides in Miami, FL

Renee Kelly
Born in Shawnee, KS; Currently resides in Merriam, KS

Phillip Frankland Lee
Los Angeles, CA

Marjorie Meek-Bradley
Born in Ukiah, CA; Currently resides in Washington, DC

Kwame Onwuachi
Bronx, NY

Amar Santana
Born in Queens, NY; Currently resides in Orange County, CA

Grayson Schmitz
Born in New Holstein, Wisconsin; Currently resides in New York, NY

Jason Stratton
Seattle, WA

Giselle Wellman
San Diego, CA; Currently resides in Los Angeles, CA

Frances Tariga-Weshnak
New York City

Isaac Toups
Born is Rayne, LA; Currently resides in New Orleans, LA

Wesley True
Born in Mobile, AL; Currently resides in Atlanta, GA

Chad White
Born in Spokane, WA; Currently resides in San Diego, CA & Tijuana, Mexico