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‘Top Chef Just Desserts’ starts tomorrow and more ‘Top Chef’ news

TopChef logoCalling all “Top Chef Just Desserts” fans! Get set for the first episode of Season 2 tomorrow night on Bravo TV.

Gail Simmons returns as host this season, which pits 14 pastry chefs against one another to compete for the $100,000 prize. Johnny Iuzzini, Hubert Keller and Dannielle Kyrillos will serve as judges. Previews also include a shot of Atlanta’s own Hugh Acheson as a guest judge.

This season’s challenges will have contestants cooking for Beastie Boys’ Adam Horovitz, pastry chef Francois Payard and chef Cat Cora.

Sadly there won’t be any hometown favorites like Cherokee Town and Country Club’s Heather Hurlbert to root for like last season. But, I’ll be watching nonetheless.

Who’ll be watching with me?

In other top chef news…

  • It looks like Hugh Acheson did more than just make a guest judge appearance on “Top Chef Just Desserts.” Bravo TV announced that he will join Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi as a regular judge on the upcoming season of “Top Chef,” which was filmed in Texas. After the announcement, Hugh tweeted, “Prepare for lots of smart*** comments!” and “Just figured out why I was in Texas… I was wondering. They just kept giving me food to try. I:)” Just one more reason to watch!
  • “Top Chef All-Stars” winner Richard Blais told Eater Atlanta recently that his new restaurant being developed in partnership with Concentrics Restaurants will be called The Spence. He explained that “spence” is a synonym for larder and refers to a place where families gather to eat together. The restaurant is slated to open this coming winter.
  • And, in case you missed it, John Kessler reported last week that Art Smith, former “Top Chef Masters” contestant, will be opening a restaurant in late September called Southern Art at the Intercontinental Hotel.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food & More blog

– Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and Neighborhood Fare for the AJC Dining Team.

14 comments Add your comment

carla roqs

August 23rd, 2011
9:27 am

i soooo dislike acheson.

FoodFan

August 23rd, 2011
11:09 am

Carla – don’t love the ego he has developed now (and, having met him a couple of times, he is so awkward & uncomfortable around regular people like his customers, which makes the whole thing even wierder…) – but I have been a huge fan of his food for many years now. He is the definition of a great back-of-the-house chef that is most comfortable in the kitchen. He is uncomfortable with celebrity, which is just stange that he would continue to seek it out with his recurring roles. And his “trademark” unibrow is just freaky.

Jenny Turknett

August 23rd, 2011
1:24 pm

I’m surprised by the comments about Hugh. When I’ve been around him, he’s seemed like a very normal and down-to-earth guy.

Amber

August 23rd, 2011
2:01 pm

I’ve met Hugh on three separate occasions, and every time, I’ve made an effort to speak to him. He’s taken the time to talk to me every time – and I’m not a member of the media or anything, just a general consumer. I saw him first at Taste of Atlanta, then at a Junior League charity event, then at Slow Food’s ice cream social – he’s definitely very involved in the community despite his increasing celebrity status, which is really commendable. He’s a great, quirky chef and I for one appreciate his individuality.

Kristen

August 23rd, 2011
2:11 pm

Me too, Carla! I thought I was the only, lonely one! Food Fan, you’ve pegged it – he’s just not a people person, but it seems weird to me that he seeks out public roles. When I see him on TV, I just don’t care for him. To be honest, I’ve had his food, and I don’t get it. It’s never been terrible, but it certainly wasn’t Beard award deserving, either.

Carla

August 23rd, 2011
2:21 pm

Did anyone catch Cliff from Top Chef on Hell’s Kitchen Last night? I was so excited to see that Gordon Ramsey hired him on.
Meanwhile…can’t wait for TC Desserts…and gonna wait until I see Hugh on TC before I comment….except that I really wish he would wax that thing already. VERY distracting!

James

August 23rd, 2011
4:31 pm

What’s not to like about Hugh? He was the highlight of Top Chef Masters when he was on – would’ve been a snooze fest without him. Apparently the Top Chef producers appreciated his quick wit, ala his new role as judge. I guess you can’t please everyone…

sansho1

August 24th, 2011
12:40 am

I get the feeling Hugh presents more awkwardly than he actually feels. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with a judge role, but if it’s at the expense of screen time for Gail Simmons, it’s gonna be tough to get fully on board….

Edward

August 24th, 2011
9:11 am

I think Hugh Acheson is a great chef and an interesting person. While I am not a fan of the unibrow, I think it is other people’s obsession with it that prompts Hugh to keep it. I look forward to more of his quirky opinions and definitely enjoy visiting his restaurants.

TedInATL

August 24th, 2011
2:16 pm

Hugh Acheson may be an excellent chef, but a little of his personality goes a looooooong way.

CAGS in GA

August 24th, 2011
6:17 pm

Quirky gets attention. We’re talking about him, right? Opinions are pretty strong. It is invaluable for a chef to have his or her name discussed amongst the press and customers. It looks like his plan is working!

1164mgc

August 24th, 2011
9:10 pm

Couldn’t care less about his unibrow, but he rubbed me the wrong way on Top Chef Masters. I’m a fan of TC – I just hope he changes my opinion about HIM or I may not be watching for long.

Enough already!

August 25th, 2011
3:46 pm

Is Blais done opening up new restaurants every other week? What ever happened with the burger place he was opening?

Krystle Meyer

August 27th, 2011
10:43 am

Hugh Acheson was douchy on TC Masters.