Bravo cooking shows and lesbian contestants go together like, well, name your food analogy: bacon and eggs, biscuits and gravy, peanut butter and jelly. OK, you get the picture, and might be a little hungry now. So it should come as no surprise that Bravo’s new Top Chef spin-off, Top Chef Masters, will at least two out lesbian contestants: Elizabeth Falkner and Anita Lo.
Elizabeth Falkner and Anita Lo
Falkner and Lo are among four female contestants on the new reality series. [Hat tip, AfterEllen.com reader K!] The show, which starts June 10, will pit 24 “world-renowned chefs against each other and see how well they fare in the tried and true format of Top Chef.”
The other two female contestants are Los Angeles chef Suzanne Tracht and Napa Valley chef Cindy Pawlcyn. Bravo could not confirm whether Tracht, the chef and owner of the steakhouse Jar in LA, was out, though a 2008 mention in BlackBook calls her a “lesbian chef.”
Suzanne Tracht and Cindy Pawlcyn
While it’s disappointing, but not surprising, to have such a small number of female competitors overall on the show, it’s exciting to see that at least half of them are chefbians. The representation also continues Bravo’s stellar track record of including gay and lesbian contestants on its reality shows.
Other contestants comprise a veritable who’s who of the culinary including Rick Bayless, Wylie Dufresne, Christopher Lee, John Besh, Michael Chiarello, Art Smith and Jonathan Waxman. The chefs will compete in groups of four for the first six episodes, with the winners of each group facing off for the final four episodes until one is crowned the Top Chef Master. The winning chef will receive $100,000 for the charity of their choice.
This year’s guest judges will include such famous guest stars as Neil Patrick Harris, Zooey Deschanel, Super Size Me documentarian Morgan Spurlock among others.
Hosting the show will be New York food journalist Kelly Choi. The former model and Columbia University graduate is the creator, producer and host of NYC TV’s weekly restaurant show, Eat Out NY.
I don’t know much more about Kelly, though I’d be curious to know if she can dismantle a hamburger like her Top Chef counterpart Padma Lakshmi.
So, are you excited to see so many chefbians on Top Chef Masters? Are you excited to see all the celebrity chefs pack their knives and go?