Heyo—what's this? Top Chef announced its next season today, including its contestants. That list includes one Jason Stratton, the executive chef at Mamnoon, and previously chef of Spinasse, Artusi, and Aragona/Vespolina.
Which explains Stratton's mysterious "trip to Spain" earlier this year. "Be suspicious of all Seattle chefs who 'go to Spain,'" he joked via text this morning. It's a reference to his pastry chef Carrie Mashaney, who also mysteriously disappeared to Spain for "research" back in 2013, only to surface as a Top Chef contestant in the New Orleans season.
Stratton's a longtime fan of the show, so it's only fitting he be on it. I have to think he makes for good TV, though not in a hair-pulling, pea puree–stealing sort of way.
Apparently this season of Top Chef will take a road trip format. Eater has the full list of contestants and says the two-night premiere airs December 3 and 4.