Top Chef Is Bringing Back So Many Fan-Favorite Contestants for Season 17

Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio return to host Top Chef season 17—meet the contestants!

By Chris Harnick Dec 12, 2019 8:26 PMTags
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Sharpen those knives and reboot the salivary glands, because Top Chef is back, and so are so many of your fan-favorite cheftestants!

For season 17, Top Chef is heading to Los Angeles for another All Stars season. The show previously assembled past contestants for an All Stars season back in 2010. While other seasons have featured returning contestants in some capacity, season 17 is just the second true All Stars season. Set in Los Angeles, the new season of course features Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio as hosts. Gail Simmons is back to judge the competition as well.

The new season begins with a super-sized episode on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 10 p.m. and wraps up at 11:15. To go along with the premiere, Bravo is teaming with Universal Studios Hollywood for the first-ever Bravo's Top Chef Food & Wine festival on March 19-20. 

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In addition to the festival, Bravo and Spectra are opening a new quick service restaurant, Top Chef Quickfire, in Philadelphia in January 2020.

Meet the returning contestants below!

Joe Sasto

ELIMINATED WEEK 1: Joe was eliminated for his overly complicated, soggy flatbread that none of the judges liked.

Joe competed in the Colorado season, season 15.

Angelo Sosa

ELIMINATED WEEK 2: Angelo was eliminated for his overly sweet soup, whose flavors never really came together.

Angelo was in season seven and the All Stars season eight.

Jamie Lynch

ELIMINATED WEEK 3: Jamie was sent home for technique that did not make the cut after he forgot to add his au jus to his dish.

Jamie competed in the Charleston-set season 14.

Lisa Fernandes

ELIMINATED WEEK 4: Lisa's "clunky," poorly cooked Brussels sprouts got her sent home.

Lisa was a contestant on season four, the Chicago-set season

Jennifer Carroll

ELIMINATED WEEK 5: Jen's lemon ginger sauce was not bright and sunny and was a weird texture, per Tom.

Jennifer Caroll was originally on season six, returned for the season eight All Stars season and in Last Chance Kitchen season seven.

Nini Nguyen

ELIMINATED WEEK 6: Nini and Karen were eliminated in the team challenge as their flavors didn't sing (but Karen later returned after winning Last Chance Kitchen).

Nini is a veteran of season 16.

Kevin Gillespie

ELIMINATED WEEK 7: As the leader of failed restaurant wars team, Kevin refused to throw any of this teammates under the bus, too responsibility and went home.

Kevin is a veteran of season six in Las Vegas.

Eric Adjepong

ELIMINATED WEEK 8: Eric's salty fish sent him packing.

Eric competed in season 16 when the show was in Kentucky.

Lee Anne Wong

ELIMINATED WEEK 9: Lee Anne's soggy donut and badly baked clafoutis sent her packing.

Lee Anne was a contestant on season one and came back in Last Chance Kitchen season seven.

Karen Akunowicz

ELIMINATED WEEK 10: Karen was sent home for her poorly cooked duck.

Karen was on season 13 of Top Chef.

Brian Malarkey

ELIMINATED WEEK 11: Brian was eliminated for his mis-matched dual veal dish.

Brian was an early competitor on the show from season three.

Gregory Gourdet

ELIMINATED WEEK 12: The judges didn't think truffles worked with Gregory's heavy stew, so he was sent packing.

Viewers will recognize Gregory from season 12, the Boston-set season.

Kevin Gillespie

ELIMINATED WEEK 13: Kevin's pork was off and his raviolo was smothered in parmesan, so he was sent home.

Kevin won Last Chance Kitchen and returned to the competition week 11! He also made it through to the finale in Italy.

Bryan Voltaggio

Bryan was a runner-up to Melissa, who won!

Bryan competed in season six of the show.

Stephanie Cmar

Stephanie was a runner-up to Melissa, who won!

Stephanie was in New Orleans for season 11.

Melissa King

WINNER: Melissa won Top Chef All Stars: L.A.

Melissa was on season 12 in Boston.

Top Chef returns Thursday, March 19 at 10 p.m. on Bravo, and for more Top Chef fun, you can get tickets to Bravo's Top Chef Food & Wine Festival at Universal Studios, happening March 19 and 20. 

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)