It was only two seasons ago that Top Chef took place here in New York, so it was a bit of a head-scratcher when we heard the news that the show would be returning to Manhattan for Season 8. Enter a highly plausible explanation for the geographic repeat: An Eater tipster reports that the cast isn't a random collection of unknowns; it's a set of all-stars. Specific names include Angelo Sosa, Tiffany Derry, Spike Mendelsohn, Michael Isabella, Dale Talde, and Tiffani Faison (Update: and Stephen Asprinio and Carla Hall), and we expect more to surface as sightings trickle in — the show is filming in the city right now. If you see any familiar faces, do let us know. [Eater]
Update: A tipster writes in to note that the Top Chef team shot an episode last Tuesday at Marea: "Tiffani was there, so was Angelo and Spike and the annoying top sommelier guy - forget his name — Steven?" Sounds like Stephen Asprinio, who made it all the way to episode 8 in Season 1.
Another tipster found the crew at Whole Foods:"I was at Whole Foods on Bowery at 9pm two Mondays ago. I saw some camera crews outside, and I said to my friend, 'how cool would it be if they were filming Top Chef here?' 30 minutes into our shopping, this guy almost runs me over with his cart on the condiments aisle. It was Spike! And then I saw Carla Hall by the seafood counter. When I saw Carla, I went up to one of the crew people (a producer prob) and I asked, "Are you filming the new season of Top Chef in New York?" and she responded: "This isn't Top Chef" and turned around. She lied right to my face."