Two New Judges Join ‘Top Chef’ Season 9

Celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Giddy up!

Bravos’ cooking up a chef’s surprise: Two new judges have been added to the mix for Season 9 of “Top Chef,” which will have a southwestern flair.

Host Padma Lakshmi and judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons will be joined by two new faces at judges’ table: restaurateur Emeril Lagasse and critically acclaimed chef Hugh Acheson, according to Bravo’s web site. Lagasse has previously appeared as a guest judge on “Top Chef” and Acheson has served up some drama on “Top Chef Masters.”

Looks like celeb chefs Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain have packed their knives and gone…

Also spicing things up: This season’s locale will actually find the chefs competing in three cities – Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. [Rumor has it Pee-Wee Herman will make a guest appearance in one episode from the Alamo.]

And as everyone knows, everything is bigger and badder in Texas, so here’s hoping for one sizzling season.

Season 9 of “Top Chef,” which promises “many surprising twists and turns and never-before-seen challenges and events,” returns this fall on Bravo.

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