The role of Padma Lakshmi will now be play by Gail Simmons of Food & Wine Magazine ... but only on 'Top Chef: Just Desserts.' Yes, Gail Simmons , permanent judge on 'Top Chef,' now has her own sweet spin-off show.
The prizes? A feature in Food & Wine Magazine, a showcase at the annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, a Buick Regal (it's German engineered!), and a check for $100,000.
This all sounds pretty standard for the 'Top Chef' franchise, but don't go thinking it's a walk in the park because this show isn't just about pastel colors, silky fondant, and sugary confections, it's about science ... and drama!
Enter our contestants: a veritable mish-mash of pastry chefs, bakers, and caterers.
Gail greeted them aboard the double-decker 'Top Chef' bus along with Johnny Iuzzini (playing the role of Tom Colicchio), executive chef at Jean-Georges and second permanent judge for this season. Gail informed the chefs that for their first quick fire challenge they were to create a signature dessert showcasing their talent, with the winner getting immunity.
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