Philadelphia has not one but two competitors on Season 11 of Bravo's Top Chef, premiering at 10 p.m. Oct. 2.
Jason Cichonski, who co-owns Ela in Queen Village (and was exec chef at the Rittenhouse Hotel at age 24), and Nicholas Elmi, erstwhile chef at Rittenhouse Tavern (and previously Le Bec Fin) shot the show in New Orleans. Bravo released the info to hometown Nola.com this morning. The news was rumored on Eater in May.
The Churchville, Bucks County-bred Cichonski, who just turned 29, and West Newbury, Mass., native Elmi, who turns 33 later this month, have been operating on radio silence about the experience, which required a stay in a mansion in the Big Easy from May through mid-July.
Padma Lakshmi will host “Padma’s Picks,” a competition at BravoTV.com in which 10 New Orleans chefs will compete to join the lineup.
Judges will include Jon Favreau, Lea Michele, Anthony Mackie, Questlove, Jacques Pepin, David Chang and Eddie Huang.
Willingboro native Kevin Sbraga (who owns Sbraga at Broad and Pine Streets) won Season 7 of Top Chef.