Meet The Top Chef Season 16 Contestants Battling It Out In Kentucky

Top Chef is heading to Kentucky for its season 16. Back for the food and fun are host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, and judges Graham Elliot, Nilou Motamed and Gail Simmons.

This season, 15 chefs from across the United States compete for the title across Kentucky, touching down in Louisville, Lexington and Lake Cumberland. For the finale showdown, the Bravo reality series is heading to Macau, China. Because it’s season 16 of a reality show, expect some twists, like double eliminations and the earliest and first-ever three-team Restaurant Wars battle. The cheftestants will also head to Kentucky’s face racetracks, Churchill Downs and Keeneland, cook for Lalia Ali at the Muhammad Ali Center, celebrate classic dishes at the Maker’s Mark bourbon distillery and more.

Guests this season include Lena Waithe, Below Deck‘s Captain Lee Rosbach and Captain Sandy Yawn, Emeril Lagassé, Eric Ripert, Jonathan Waxman, Art Smith, Nancy Silverton, Richard Blais, Brooke Williamson, Nina Compton, Karen Akunowicz, Annie Pettry, Caroline Styne, Sean Brock, Tandy Wilson, Dario Cecchini, Ken Oringer and Abraham Conlon.

Meet the contestants below.

Top Chef premieres Thursday, Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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