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‘Top Chef’ Is Back With All-Stars LA

Plus, KFC and Crocs made some truly heinous shoes, and more news to start your day

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Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons pose in front of crates of produce and wine for a Top Chef promo photo. Bravo

Season 17 will feature chefs like Bryan Voltaggio and Melissa King

Want to feel old? It’s been 14 years since Top Chef premiered on Bravo. At this point, you’d be hard pressed to find a chef who hasn’t at least auditioned for the show. And for its 17th season, Top Chef is giving a bunch of chefs a second chance (and then, I guess, a third in Last Chance Kitchen). On March 19, the show is back with All Stars LA, featuring 15 contestants from previous seasons.

In a press release, Bravo separates the contestants into “10 Finalists and 5 Front Runners,” and they will compete across LA before heading to Italy for the finale. Judges include Ruth Reichl, Marcus Samuelsson, Ali Wong, and Danny Trejo; the winner will receive $250,000, the largest prize ever awarded to a Top Chef. Things look as stressful and sponsored as ever, or perhaps even more so, as for the first time Bravo will be hosting a Top Chef Food & Wine Festival to coincide with the premiere. But at the end we’ll have a 17-way tie for Top Chef. So special!

And in other news...

  • What are those??? (KFX x Crocs clogs featuring chicken scented charms is what). [PR Newswire]
  • Pepper pot is an integral part of Black Philadelphian cuisine, and chefs are reviving the tradition. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
  • Mènage à Trois wine: We’re going to name our wine after a threesome! UK advisory board: Can you not? [Vice]
  • Pepperoni is still America’s favorite pizza topping. [The Daily Meal]
  • Ok, fine, the fancy beans are better than the ones you get in a can. [The Takeout]
  • A new labeling law in Chile has drastically lowered the purchase of sugary drinks. [NY Times]
  • Traders in the state of Tamil Nadu in India have banned the sale of Coca-Cola and Pepsi, saying the companies take too much water from rivers, and too much business from local beverage producers. [BBC]
  • Chef Sean Brock is launching a website to help restaurants fill employment gaps, like Tinder for restaurant jobs. [Eater Charleston]
  • The lunch that minor league baseball players are served looks woefully inadequate. [Twitter]
  • New York will be hosting a hard seltzer festival. [WSJ]
  • Ham...biscuit?

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