When the new season of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef Masters” kicks off tonight, it promises to make mega-chef and contestant Richard Sandoval sweat like a rookie. After all, when you’ve got chefs as talented as David Burke, Bryan Voltaggio and Jennifer Jasinski, you’ve got fierce competition and several good reasons to sweat.
But Sandoval, whose 37-restaurant empire includes two popular Miami eateries — Toro Toro and Kokoriko — comes to the competition well-armed. He’ll have his top sous chef, Greg Howe, riding shotgun. (In a new plot twist, this fifth season allows the 13 master chefs to enter a sous chef in an online battle that directly impacts the course of the series.)
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TOP CHEF MASTERS
- The fifth season of ‘Top Chef Masters’ kicks off tonight with an episode titled ‘Sous Chefs and Skydives.’ The reality series airs at 10 p.m. on Bravo.
- At the end of the season, the winning chef is named “Top Chef Master” and awarded a grand prize of $100,000 for his or her charity.
- Chef Richard Sandoval is competing to benefit C-CAP, the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, which offers training and career opportunities to underserved youth.
A TOP CHEF’S ADVICE
What advice does chef Richard Sandoval offer budding chefs and those who aspire to a culinary career?
“The most important thing is that they have passion for the industry. They have to really love it. It’s labor-intensive,” says the only Season 5 ‘chef-testant’ with restaurants in South Florida. “Gotta have that passion.”