Appetizing Top Chef updates: Second helpings of Top Chef Masters and new spinoff will be 'Just Desserts' (videos)

Remember that crazy spin-off last summer called Top Chef Masters? I know most of us were a little hesitant at first to indulge in this Top Chef offshoot that starred some heavy-hitters from the culinary world like Rick Bayless, Roy Yamaguchi, and Michael Chiarello. But by the end of the season we warmed up to it and made it highest-rated first season of a competition series yet for Bravo. And guess what? They're serving us second helpings and renewing the series next year! Much to your delight (or dismay), Gael Greene, Jay Rayner, and James Oseland are set to reprise their positions as judge, jury and executioners, and Kelly Choi will be resuming the [image-1]role as show host (and resident broomstick stand-in). This leaves me wondering as to whom they'll have on as cheftestants and what other ridiculous challenges they'll throw at them. As long as Bayless makes an appearance, I'll be a happy girl.

It seems that preparing the dessert course has been a death knell for some former cheftestants in past episodes - but what if the contestants had to make only desserts for every episode? Like many other dessert-themed shows that have recently become so popular (Ace of Cakes, Cake Boss, etc.), Bravo is jumping on this sweet bandwagon and giving pastry chefs a level playing field and the chance to showcase their skills in the upcoming show Top Chef: Just Desserts. Casting for this new competitive pastry show is now going on and it's set to air some time in 2010. There's no word yet as to who they're casting for the host and judges. Any thoughts as to who you'd like to see on the show? Add your input below.

[image-2]Last season we met Finland-born, German-bred, all-around egomaniac Stefan Richter who ended up being a runner-up on the finale episode. Apparently, Stefan isn't getting as much play as he'd like so he agreed to be one of the bachelors on Time Out New York's "Date These (NY) Food Pros" list. Listen up ladies: Do you have obsessive compulsive tendencies? Are you willing to stroke your man's, er...ego, whenever called upon? Do you like to booze it up often and a lot? If you answered 'yes' to all three questions, then you'd be perfect for Stefan! (Sorry, dudes, you'll have to peruse the list further.) Check out the article and shoot him an email, making sure to add how you think he should've won Top Chef (because I know he does).

That's all the hot Top Chef gossip I've got for you now - check back soon for more updates and don't forget to listen to our Top Chef Podcast every Thursday, right here!

And now I leave you with some "Top Chef" eye candy:

Snake in the House- The chefs finally use that Gladware for something useful - like catching a snake.

Puff Piece- Bryan burns the last bag of cheese puffs in the house.

Like me, most of you Top Chef fans probably get a little anxious by this time of the week - it's been how many days since the last episode?! Well, I'm here to give you a Top Chef fix to help you get through the next few days. Since the Restaurant Wars episode aired last Wednesday, I have come across some very exciting news about  future seasons and a few stupidly entertaining videos from the current season.


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