'Top Chef''s Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi talk Texas

"Top Chef" returns (Wed. Nov. 2 at 10 p.m.), and this season promises to be bigger than ever -- literally. Boasting a record 29 chefs (though all but 16 will be eliminated in the first episode), the show will travel across the entire state of Texas, touching down in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio for challenges. To further spice things up, this supersized "Top Chef" will be tossing in a new webisode feature, which will allow eliminated chefs to seek redemption. In a phone conference call, host Padma Lakshmi and head judge Tom Colicchio discussed the changes to the show and revealed the answer to a truly mystifying secret -- how they stay in (reasonably good) shape.

Though the mass elimination kicking off the show may be unsettling to fans, Lakshmi and Colicchio think this change is an improvement on past seasons. "The idea is that you have to cook yourself into the competition," says Colicchip. "Which is great, because in the past you'd get these great resumes but you'd sometimes get a clunker. And there were people we were led to believe would be great cooks on paper, and they really weren't. This makes a lot of sense." Read More...



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