[embed-1] Tom Colicchio has spoken, Top Chef Charleston will premiere on Dec. 1 at 10 p.m. EST. And, after keeping mum for months, we can reveal that Warehouse’s Chef Emily Hahn is a contestant this season.
“In an unparalleled twist, eight acclaimed chefs from across the country will unpack their knives alongside eight chefs from seasons past, who have never won the prestigious title and are back for redemption,” a press release from Bravo Media says.
Joining Hahn is Jamie Lynch who briefly lived in Charleston while getting 5Church up and running. He’s now in Charlotte and joins six other new chefs including Silvia Barban of Brooklyn, N.Y., Annie Pettry of Louisville, Ky., Sylva Senat of Philadelphia, Pa., Gerald Sombright of Marco Island, Fl., BJ Smith of Portland, Ore., and Jim Smith of Montgomery, Ala.
[embed-2] “This season is the ultimate challenge of old blood versus new when 16 talented cheftestants descend upon the city of Charleston to battle it out for $125,000 furnished by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine, a showcase at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen and the coveted title of Top Chef,” the press release says.
As we predicted, Rodney Scott, Sean Brock, BJ Dennis, and Mike Lata will all make appearances. And Charleston’s Darius Rucker will provide the soundtrack for Scott’s Sudden Death Quickfire.
To name drop some more, you’ll also see Eleven Madison Park Chef Daniel Humm, cronut king Dominique Ansel, SNOB’s own Frank Lee, Top Chef all-star Richard Blais, Top Chef Masters winner Chris Cosentino, Five & Ten’s Hugh Acheson, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit’s Carrie Morey, City Grocery’s John Currence, and more.
[image-1] We got in touch with Hahn and she says since the announcement her phone has been blowing up. “I don’t have my glasses at work. I can’t read anything, and my shit is going wild,” she says.
Hahn had an inkling that the release might be today, but wasn’t entirely sure. Luckily, Top Chef just finished her interview training, so Hahn was at liberty to speak with us. “It was an insane experience. Angel Powell of South City PR was approached by Top Chef and put it out there to me,” she says. “I was like, ‘Uhh OK.’ I had no intention of ever competing after Chopped because it’s terrifying. But it was like trying to go swimming in an icy cold lake, I went knee deep and then flew to LA for another interview and next thing I know I’m shaking in my Danscos meeting seven other contestants panicking.”
Hahn says her Top Chef experience was 100 percent worthwhile. “I kept telling myself, the reward is greater than the risk.” And while she can’t reveal the outcome of the competition, she did confirm that Warehouse will be airing the show throughout the season.
“Here’s the thing, we have some rules on that — pages of rules that I have to reread,” she says in regards to Top Chef’s regulations on self promotion. But she adds, “We have that awesome projection screen at Warehouse.There’s a rule that I have to be cooking in the kitchen, I can’t be promoting my own party, but they certainly can’t tell us to turn the TV off.”
So how’s she feel about everyone watching her on one of the most popular cooking shows in the nation?
“I’ve never put myself our there as a female chef,” she says. “But I’m a little bit stoked that I get to be chef with tits representing Charleston.”