The ninth installment of Bravo’s hugely popular kitchen competition Top Chef premiered earlier this month, with Texas as the setting for the new season. As the 29 hopefuls battle it out for the culinary crown, we check in with some of our favorite contestants from seasons past
to see what they’ve got cooking.

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Sprout Studio

Dale Levitski
Top Chef: Miami,
Top Chef: All-Stars
Executive Chef at Sprout Restaurant
Chicago-born-and-bred Levitski bounced around kitchens in the Windy City before joining the cast of Top Chef: Miami, where he and Casey Thompson shared runner-up honors. After his first solo venture fell victim to the bad economy, he landed at Sprout, serving upscale French-American fare.

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Our Labor of Love

Richard Blais
Top Chef: Chicago,
Top Chef: All-Stars
Executive Chef at Flip Burger Boutique
Locations in Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala.
Many felt Blais was robbed when he lost Top Chef: Chicago to Stephanie Izard, but he got redemption when he took the title on Top Chef: All-Stars. Not surprisingly, the chef known for his unconventional techniques (liquid nitrogen, anyone?) serves burgers with a twist at his boutique eatery, Flip.

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Fabio Viviani
Top Chef: New York,
Top Chef: All-Stars
Executive Chef/Owner of Café Firenze and Firenze Osteria
Los Angeles and Moorpark, Calif.
Viviani’s inability to cook a burger got him axed from All-Stars, but his inability to pronounce the word (“ham-boor-ger”) might’ve contributed to his fan-favorite status, charming audiences with his Italian accent. He now runs two successful L.A.-area eateries serving Italian delicacies.

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Angelo Sosa
Top Chef: D.C.,
Top Chef: All-Stars
Chef/Co-Owner of Social Eatz
New York
Sosa had to settle for runner-up in his original outing, whereas oversalted soup led to an early exit on the all-star edition. You can bet all sodium levels are in check at his new casual-dining venture, Social Eatz, which opened in Midtown Manhattan earlier this year.