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Get Ready for “Top Chef” — New York

Tune in starting 10 p.m. Nov. 12 for the fifth season of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef: New York.” The lone Bay Area contestant this time around is Jamie Lauren, 30, executive chef of San Francisco’s Absinthe Brasserie and Bar. Let’s hope she fares better than her Bay Area chef colleagues from last season.

She is one of 16 chefs competing this year for $100,000, a feature in Food & Wine magazine, and a showcase at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.

Among the guest stars this year will be: Martha Stewart, Foo Fighters, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Eric Ripert, Rocco DiSpirito, Wylie Dufresne, Jean-Christophe Novelli, and Natasha Richardson. A new judge will be introduced, as well, to spice up the mix. He is Toby Young, food critic and author of the book, “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” (Da Capo Press), which is the basis for an upcoming film.

Here is a complete list of this season’s “Top Chef” competitors:

* Alex, 33 — Hometown: New York, N.Y.; Resides in Los Angeles; Executive chef of Restaurant 15.
*Ariane, 41 — Hometown/Resides in: Verona, NJ;  Chef/owner of CulinAriane.
* Carla, 44 — Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.; Resides in Washington, DC.; Owner/chef of Alchemy Caterers
Danny, 26 — Hometown/ resides in: New Hyde Park, NY; Chef de cuisine of Babylon Carriage House.
Fabio, 30 — Hometown: Florence, Italy; Resides in Moorpark, Calif.;  Owner of Cafe Firenze Italian Restaurant Martini Bar.
* Gene, 33 — Hometown: Whitmore Village, Hawaii; Resides in Las Vegas;  Executive chef, Executive sushi chef & chef consultant.
* Hosea, 34 — Hometown: Taos, N.M.; Resides in Boulder, Colo.; Executive chef of Jax Fish House.
* Jamie, 30 — Hometown: New York, N.Y.; Resides in San Francisco; Executive chef of Absinthe Brasserie and Bar.
* Jeff, 30 — Hometown: Niceville, Fla.; Resides in: Miami, Fla.; Chef de cuisine of the DiLido Beach Club.
* Jill, 28 — Hometown: Latrobe, Pa.; Resides in Baltimore, Md.; Executive chef of Red Maple.
* Lauren, 24 — Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio; currently stationed at Fort Stewart; Chef tournant of Jag’s Steak and Seafood. (By the way, a chef tournant is a cook who can work any station, acting as a relief cook.)
Leah, 27 — Hometown: Scarsdale, N.Y.; Resides in New York City; Sous chef of Centro Vinoteca.
* Melissa, 28  — Hometown: Md.; Resides in Boulder, Colo.; Sous chef of Centro Latin Kitchen and Refreshment Palace.
* Patrick, 21 — Hometown: Quincy, Mass.; Resides in Hyde Park, NY;  currently a student at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.
* Radhika, 28 — Hometown/Resides in: Chicago;  Executive chef of Between Boutique Café & Lounge.
* Richard, 27 — Hometown: Long Island, N.Y.; Resides in San Diego; Executive sous chef of Confidential Restaurant & Loft.
* Stefan, 35 — Hometown: Tampere, Finland; Resides in Santa Monica; Chef, StefansCatering.com.

Get a very short sneak peek of what’s to come here.

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