Top Chef Masters 2 competitors, guest stars announced

Bravo announced the competitors and judges for the second season of Top Chef Masters, and Gail Simmons will be joining the show as an apparent permanent judge before she goes on to host the spin-off Top Chef Just Desserts. Let’s just hope all this time around Kelly Choi doesn’t let her hosting awfulness rub off.

The new season debuts April 7, and will feature 22 chefs, including six who were on the first season. Celebrities who will appear range from the cast of Modern Family to Simpsons creator Matt Groening and actor Hank Azari to Real Housewives Tamra Barney, Alexis Bellino, and Lynne Curtin.

As to the judges, Gael Greene, James Oseland, and Jay Rayner all return, and Bravo says “Gail Simmons will also serve as a judge this season,” suggesting she’ll be on every episode instead of just a few.

Here are the chefs who will compete this season, according to Bravo:

Jody Adams, Rialto Restaurant, Cambridge, Mass.
Govind Armstrong, 8 oz Burger Bar, Los Angeles, Calif.
Graham Elliot Bowles, Graham Elliot Restaurant, Chicago, Ill.
Jimmy Bradley, The Red Cat, New York, N.Y.
David Burke, David Burke Townhouse, New York, N.Y.
Wylie Dufresne, wd~50, New York, N.Y.
Susan Feniger, Street, Los Angeles, Calif.
Debbie Gold, The American Restaurant, Kansas City, Mo.
Carmen Gonzalez, Chef Consultant, New York, N.Y.
Maria Hines, Tilth, Seattle, Wash.
Susur Lee, Madeline’s, Toronto, Canada
Ludo Lefebvre, Ludo Bites, Los Angeles, Calif.
Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia, Chicago, Ill.
Rick Moonen, Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nev.
Mark Peel, Campanile, Los Angeles, Calif.
Monica Pope, t’afla, Houston, Texas
Thierry Rautureau, Rover’s, Seattle, Wash.
Marcus Samuelsson, The Red Rooster, New York, N.Y.
Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge, Mass.
Rick Tramonto, TRU, Chicago, Ill.
Jerry Traunfeld, Poppy, Seattle, Wash.
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto, New York, N.Y.

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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.