TV Alert: “Top Chef” takes a bite out of the Big Apple


Foodies and lesbophiles unite. Top Chef returns tonight with out lesbian chef Jamie Lauren among the 17 contestants competing for culinary supremacy.

The fifth season of the hit Bravo reality series has the cheftestants packing their knives and heading to New York City. Chefbian Jamie is the executive chef at San Francisco’s Absinthe Brasserie & Bar. According to her Bravo profile, the 31-year-old New York native has a thing for tattoos, Madonna, Indian food and — I’m not making this up — onions.

And if the shots in Jamie’s Top Chef photo diary are any indication, we’re in for a fun season.

This season’s total of 17 cheftestants is the most ever. The field includes eight female chefs. They include Baltimore chef Jill, Boulder, Colo., chef Melissa, Georgia-stationed chef Lauren, D.C. chef Carla, New Jersey chef Ariane, New York chef Leah and Chicago chef Radhika.

Jill, Melissa and Lauren

Carla, Ariane, Leah and Radhika

Heck, and we haven’t even talked about host Padma Lakshmi yet. Though in all honesty that’s probably a good thing, because as soon as I see her all higher brain function ceases. Mmm, Padma, mmm.

So, who do you like this season? And a word of advice to handicappers: Never bet against the lesbian. Just ask Lisa.

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