First rule of "Top Chef Masters": don't watch on an empty stomach. We're down to five extremely versatile heavy hitters, who swung from beef to vegan without blinking an eye. (Well, they complained a little, but whatever.) And I dare you not to have gotten hungry.
Rick Bayless, former anthropology student with a mastery of high-end Mexican food, who appears to be an adorably very nice guy.
Michael Chiarello, whose Italian pronunciations I don't find even a little bit annoying and whose Napa compound I want to visit.
Hubert Keller, French chef with godlike powers in the kitchen and an equal flair for burgers (including one that costs nearly three months' rent) and vegetables.
Anita Lo, who works with Asian ingredients and likes to stir things up a little (get it?) -- sometimes to mixed effect.
Art Smith, who I've seen judge a bunch of Food Network challenges, and whose skills with Southern food simply cannot be questioned.
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