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?’$2 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.”