Monica Pope, chef/owner of t'afia, James Beard Award nominee and local food maven, announced via her Twitter last fall that she'd be heading to Los Angeles to compete in season two of Bravo's popular Top Chef: Masters series. Now Bravo has released more details about the chef and judging line-ups to whet our appetite before the season premiere on April 7.
Among her competition are six vets from season one out to reclaim their glory: Wylie Dufresne, Rick Moonen, Jonathan Waxman, Graham Elliot Bowles, Ludo Lefebvre, and Mark Peel. Other newbies for season two include Rick Tramonto, Marcus Samuelsson, Thierry Rautureau, Susan Feniger, David Burke, and Tony Mantuano.
The judging line-up of Gael Greene, James Oseland, and Jay Raynor will be joined by Top Chef's Gail Simmons. Guest judges this season will include the cast of Modern Family, The Simpson's creator Matt Groening and actor Hank Azaria, Mekhi Phifer, Andrew Zimmern, Real Housewives of OC Lynne Curtin, Tamra Barney and Alexis Bellino (hello, network cross-promotion!) and US Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak.
Here's hoping Pope, as the only contestant from Texas, can go far. She's got a whole state rooting for her.