The next edition of ‘Top Chef’ is reportedly filming in Southern California right now and will likely feature several chefs who call San Diego home including Brian Malarkey of Herb & Wood, Death by Tequila’s Angelo Sosa, and Juniper & Ivy’s Richard Blais. As the long-running food competition show enters its seventeenth go-round, Reality Blurred gathered up some production rumors and sightings. The site speculates that this season could be an all-stars edition, made up of former cheftestants, or it could mix new and returning competitors; a Reddit thread that catalogs a potential cast list includes fan favorites like Lee Anne Wong from Top Chef season 1 and season 14, Gregory Gourdet from season 12 and Nini Nguyen from season 16. Sources also confirmed that production has been spotted in locations around Los Angeles.
Angelo Sosa narrowly missed ultimate victory during his season in Washington, D. C.; based on his performance in season 7, the chef — an alum of several Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurants — was invited back in season 8 to compete in ‘Top Chef: All-Stars’. After relocating to San Diego, the chef launched Baja-style restaurant and bar Death by Tequila in Encinitas last summer.
While longtime local chef and Top Chef: Miami alum Brian Malarkey has been consumed with opening his new Asian restaurant Animae, according to a spoiler thread on Reddit he found the time to participate in some way, possibly as a guest judge along with fellow alum Bryan Voltaggio. The two are pictured together — with Malarkey in the purple hat — next to Wong in a photo allegedly taken on set.
Juniper & Ivy’s Richard Blais is a fixture on the show, debuting on the fourth season and then winning ‘Top Chef: All-Stars’ in 2010 before becoming a recurring judge. He’ll almost certainly be a member of the judging panel for season 17. Meanwhile, reps for Sosa and Malarkey both declined to confirm the rumors.