Top Chef Season 6 Begins Tonight

top_chef_tvBravo’s Top Chef: Las Vegas begins tonight at 9pm and since there is not one but two contestants from Philadelphia, Foobooz will be covering each episode. In fact we’ve even brought in a TV correspondent. We’re proud to introduce you to Anthony Sica, a native South Philadelphian and student at Temple University. He also has some serious barbecue street cred as his barbecue team, Rhapsody in Blue Smoke was runner-up in this year’s Stephen Starr-Gary Maddox Barbecue Challenge. He will guide you through each episode and kicks it off with a preview of the seasn, complete with Vegas odds and other bold predictions.

Today is the foodie equivalent of Opening Day in baseball, the premier of the sixth season of Top Chef : Las Vegas. This season also brings us two, count em’ TWO, Philly contestants. Both female, both named Jennifer. Jennifer Carroll and Jennifer Zavala. Also, Michael and Bryan Voltaggio are the first brothers to be selected to the cast.

In preparation of this season, I’ve put together a little rundown of the contestants, leading off with the local girls, complete with totally unscientific odds on winning the big prize of cash, Glad bags, and a t-shirt.

Jennifer Zavala– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Style- Southwest/Mexican

Zavala got mixed reviews doing “border food” at El Camino Real and has since moved on to become Sous Chef at Mexi-Palace Xochitl. Zavala has the right amount of soul and intrigue to carry herself far in this competition, but like all Top Chef contestants who cook in a very distinct ethnic style, she can not pigeon-hole herself or she might find herself gone by week 6. She definitely has enough ammo to keep the judges guessing and may have the best odds out of the bold flavor group of contestants.

Most Likely Dish to Make It on the Show – Pig Wings

Odds: 10-1

Jennifer Carroll– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Style- New American

Jenn Carroll is a real Philly girl. She went to the Restaurant School, worked at Sonoma and Arroyo Grill before heading off to Le Bernardin to be Sous Chef. She’s got the chops and the resume to really make some noise. She also has Eric Ripert on her side.

Most Likely Dish to Make It on the Show – Chesapeake Bay Crab with Wild Boar Prosciutto ( although I question the availability of Wild Boar to the chef-testants)

Odds: 4-1

Eve Aronoff – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Style- French with Northern African, Afro-Cuban, and Vietnamese flair.
Odds : 12-1

Ron Duprat– Hollywood and Naples, Florida
Style- Haitian-Creole- French-Asian Fusion
Odds : 25-1

Ash Fulk– New York, NY
Style- Loca-ivore New American
Odds : 6-1

Kevin Gillespie– Atlanta , Ga.
Style- Contemporary American, Slow Food
Odds : 8-1

Michael Isabella– Washington DC
* formerly of El Vez, Washington Square and Alma de Cuba
Style- Greek/Mediterranean
Odds: 10-1

Eli Kirshtein
Style- Techno Organic
Odds: 5-1

Robin Leventhal– Seattle , Wash.
Style- Worldly Pacific Northwestern
Odds : 18-1

Preeti Mistry– San Francisco, CA
Style- Cali-Indian Global Fusion
Odds : 12-1

Ashley Merriman– Seattle, Wash.|
Style- Northwestern US Italian Seafood
Odds; 10-1

Mattin Noblia– San Francisco – Biarritz, France
Style- French with Basque influence
Odds: 6-1

Jesse Sandlin– Baltimore, Md
Style- Nuevo European
Odds : 15-1

Hector Santiago– Atlanta , GA- San Juan , PR.
Style- Avante Garde Latin American
Odds: 20-1

Michael Voltaggio– Los Angeles, CA.
Style- Modern American
Odds: 4-1

Bryan Voltaggio– Urbana, MD.
Style- Modern American
Odds : 5-1

Laurine Wickett– San Francisco , CA
Style- Modern Global Seasonal
Odds: 10-1

More Predictions

Most Likely to be thwarted by a scallop : Preeti Mistry

Most Likely to be hated by America- Michael Voltaggio

Gay guy women wish weren’t a gay guy- Ash Fulk

Final Prediction

Jennifer Carroll brings the title home to Philly beating out Ash Fulk, Bryan Voltaggio, and Eve Aronoff.