Participating contestants are larger in number compared to the first season that started with 12 only.
One by one these 17 chefs will be wilted down until one is crowned the champ. They are competing for the prestigious title, $100,000 from Glad, $100,000 of merchandise from Macy's, a feature in Food & Wine magazine and a showcase at the Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colo.
Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Toby Young will once again serve as judges. Meanwhile guest staring appearances come from Natalie Portman, Penn & Teller, Wolfgang Puck, Todd English, Daniel Boulud, Tyler Florence, Laurent Tourondel and Nigella Lawson.
* Ash Fulk, 29; hometown: Pleasant Hill, Calif.
* Ashley Merriman, 32; hometown: Center Sandwich, N.H.
* Bryan Voltaggio, 33; hometown: Frederick, Md.
* Eli Kirshtein, 25; hometown: Atlanta
* Eve Aronoff, 40; hometown: Ann Arbor, Mich.
* Hector Santiago, 41; hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
* Jennifer Carroll, 33; hometown: Philadelphia
* Jennifer Zavala, 31; hometown: Cromwell, Conn.
* Jesse Sandlin, 30; hometown: Baltimore
* Kevin Gillespie, 26; hometown: Atlanta
* Laurine Wickett, 38; hometown: Rochester, N.Y.
* Mattin Noblia, 29; hometown: Biarritz, France
* Michael Isabella, 34; hometown: Little Ferry, N.J.
* Michael Voltaggio, 30; hometown: Frederick, Md.
* Preeti Mistry, 33; hometown: San Francisco
* Robin Leventhal, 43; hometown: Sun Valley, Idaho
* Ron Duprat, 40; hometown: Mare Rouge, Haiti