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Padma Lakshmi


Previously on Top Chef: salty grits, Padma eats ribs, and cookware gets thrown!

The chefs walk into a completely empty space, followed by Padma Lakshmi and Hugh Acheson who tell them that their elimination challenge this week will be to open and manage an Olive Garden location. Whoever can make the Tour of Italy the fastest will win access to the coveted breadsticks recipe. Finally, a challenge for us normal folks!

Actually, that never happened, but it was kinda close. Padma tells us it’s that time of the season again — for the restaurant wars challenge. Yay! This time, they will be separated by gender, which means we are in for some wonderful talking head commentary on girls ruling and boys drooling. Or, the opposite as Edward kicks off the trash talking by saying that the men are stronger chefs. You’ll want to remember that statement, folks.

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Top Chef Season 9

Top Chef returns for the ninth season of Bravo’s competition cooking show! This time they are taking the “cheftestants” on a tour of Texas culinary hotspots: San Antonio, Dallas and Austin in Top Chef: Texas!

Returning judges Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons will be joined by Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson along with special guests Charlize Theron, Pee-wee Herman, Cat Cora, John Besh, Tim Love and Patti LaBelle.

And proving that all things are bigger in Texas, this season the competition starts out with a record 29 cheftestants whittled down to the usual 16 during the premiere!

Those 16 chefs will then embark on a three-city culinary tour of Texas to compete for $100,000 and a feature in Food & Wine Magazine. The catch? None of the 29 chefs starting out the competition know that 13 of them will be going home almost immediately. Oops! “This season’s raising the level of intensity pretty fast,” reveals contestant Chaz Brown in the preview clip. Fittingly, some of the other contestants don’t take the news so well.

A clip of the season premiere is below! Top Chef: Texas airs tonight on Bravo (10/9c). Are you ready to get your grub on?

ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW SEASON OF TOP CHEF? WILL YOU BE WATCHING?

Go big or go home is the motto for Top Chef season 9 as Bravo has just announced the show will be heading to Texas!

Even more surprising is the addition of two new judges. Famed chef, restaurateur and former Food network star Emeril Lagasse and acclaimed chef Hugh Acheson have been added to the judging panel for the all new season.

Returning to join Emeril and Hugh at the judge’s table are host Padma Lakshmi and head judge, chef Tom Colicchio, alongside judge Gail Simmons.

The new season will embrace the Lone Star State’s adage that all things are bigger as in a series first, the production will head to three cities within the season – Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.

Season nine also promises to showcase many surprising twists and turns and never-before-seen challenges and events. Bravo has yet to announce the premiere date but “Top Chef: Texas” will air later this fall.

In the meantime, the second season of “Top Chef Just Desserts” will premiere Aug. 24 at 9/8c on Bravo with 14 pastry chefs competing to out-bake their competition. The winning chef will receive $100,000, a feature in Food & Wine magazine and a showcase at the Annual Food & Wine Cayman Cookout.

Photo by: David Giesbrecht /Bravo

TELL US – EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW SEASON OF TOP CHEF? WILL YOU BE WATCHING TOP CHEF JUST DESSERTS?

The NY Post is reporting that during a recent “Summer by Bravo” commercial shoot this week, some of the Bravo housewives felt snubbed by Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi.

According to the post, other Bravolebrities Kyle Richards, Nene Leakes, Patti Stanger, Jill Zarin, and Lisa Vanderpump arrived at 8 a.m. in Brooklyn to film the promo. Padma then arrived three hours later as scheduled with an entourage of six to a private room, brushing past the others without a greeting.

This apparently led to some whispers and gossip by some of the Bravo housewives. A source overheard one star hiss, “It takes a village to raise a child,” citing the entourage around Padma’s dressing area playing with her 14-month-old daughter, Krishna.

A witness said, “They took all of the women’s bags that had been left in a dressing room and threw them into a hallway so Padma could sit separately with her baby in between shoots.”

Top Chef judge Gail Simmons however comes to Padma’s defense. “We didn’t know a lot of the women [who were there]. It’s not like we work together on a regular basis. I met a lot of people on the set for the first time,” said Gail. “It’s not like we’re holding hands and singing ‘Kumbaya.’”

Gail added, “I don’t think I spoke to most people, either. You are there to do a job. She [Padma] was with her child. I would think that anyone could understand that, and she’s still nursing, which is also not a public thing to do. What’s there to complain about? It’s not high school. We’re all professionals.” Millionaire Matchmaker star Patti added, “We all thought her baby was beautiful.”

A rep for Bravo tells the Post there were no designated dressing rooms. And Padma’s rep sniped, “I think this is a nonsensical item from a ‘Housewife’ who is jealous. It’s going to make Padma look bad, and it’s just not true . . . she didn’t get any special treatment.” Meow!

No word yet on how this article made it’s way to the Post though oddly enough one of the above names has a show debuting tonight on Bravo.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THIS STORY?

Ai ya ya! Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi is proving you can be sexy at any age!

The 40-year-old mother of one, who gave birth to daughter Krishna just one year ago, showed off her amazing bikini body as she took a dip in the ocean on Sunday in Nassau in the Bahamas.

As for how she snapped back so quickly after giving birth, Padma credits water. “I drink a ton of water,” she told UsWeekly last December. “Water really flushes everything out.”

Padma is currently in the middle on a nasty custody battle with her daughter’s father Adam Dell, brother to billionaire Michael Dell of Dell Inc. Adam filed a suit for full custody on Jan. 25, with his lawyer, Bill Zabel, stating Adam is upset with the amount of time Padma allows him to have with his daughter.

Sources reveal Adam is also upset with the name Padma chose for his daughter and is unhappy he is not even listed on her birth certificate. According to the filing, he’s asking for his name to be officially listed as the father and for Krishna to take his last name along with Padma’s.

Moving on to tonight’s episode of Top Chef’s All Stars. On the all new episode titled ‘For The Gulf,’ the remaining meal mavens employ a deep fryer in an attempt to please culinary star Paula Deen’s precise palate. Later, the chefs serve up seafood at an event that benefits fishermen of the Gulf region. Paula and chef John Besh are guest judges.

Thoughts On The Season – I finally caught all the episodes of this season thanks to Monday’s marathon and whoa! I have been missing out. What a great season with the all stars! I was a bit disappointed to see the hotness Angelo go home on the last episode as I honestly thought Tiffany should have been the one to go. My favorites are Carla, Antonia, and Dale. I think Carla and Dale are both neck in neck to win it all. It’s been a while since I’ve watched Top Chef but I’m definitely hooked on this season. Plus I had missed Padma’s extreme enthusiasm for her job. With that said, can’t wait to watch tonight! I plan to start writing more about it.

More bikini photos of Padma below!

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON TONIGHT’S EPISODE OF TOP CHEF ALL STARS PLUS THIS SEASON SO FAR? WHO SHOULD WIN IT ALL?

Another milestone for Bravo’s biggest Housewives’ success story as Bethenny Frankel graces the January cover of Redbook magazine. Who shot the cover you asked? None other than Gilles Bensimon, ex-husband of Bethenny’s former costar Kelly Bensimon.

UsWeekly published excerpts from Bethenny’s interview with the mag, in which she admits her past bad habits. “I used to get drunk and binge on everything in the deli, and then do a juice fast or starve, then do it all over again,” the 40-year-old Bethenny Getting Married star shares.

And when it comes to staying in shape during and after her pregnancy with 6-month old daughter Bryn Hoppy, Bethenny reveals she was determined to not overeat “out of emotion.” She explains, “Most people treat pregnancy like the big binge, and then they can’t take the excess weight off so they go on a crash diet.”

So is baby #2 in the works for Bethenny? “I would love to have a second child, and it’s not something I have time to wait for,” she says. “You really experience your biological clock if you’re my age.”

With the second season of her Bravo spin-off show (now titled Bethenny Ever After) in the works, Bethenny is glad her Real Housewives of NYC days are long behind her.

“I’m completely done with women being rewarded for bad behavior,” she says of her former castmates. “I don’t bite the hand that feeds me, and I’m very grateful to Bravo, but thank God I got out of that alive. It was fun the first season. Then it got not fun, and then it got scary and unhealthy and disgusting.”

In other Bethenny news, her mom Bernadette Birk is once again slamming her in the press. In a new interview with the HollywoodLife, Bernadette accuses Bethenny of purposely doing badly on Skating With The Stars. “Bethenny has always had an agenda,” Bernadette says adding that Bethenny has been skating almost all of her life. “She couldn’t be that clumsy if she tried! And this is a person that lived on skates as a child.”

Bethenny is one of the three reality stars gracing January’s cover of Redbook ((on newsstands December 21). The other two reality stars are Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi and Biggest Loser’s Alison Sweeney. More photos of Bethenny in the mag below, including a photo with baby Bryn.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON BETHENNY’S INTERVIEW & HER MOM’S COMMENTS?

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