Many in the food world have been wondering what was coming next for former Cyrus chef Douglas Keane, who's been lying low since his Michelin two-star restaurant in Healdsburg shuttered last fall due to a landlord issue. Well, now the Inside Scoop brings word that he's part of the cast of the upcoming fifth season of Top Chef Masters. Keane says that he'd been thinking about doing the TV thing for a while, but the timing wasn't right until now.
Last season, a San Francisco chef took home the gold for the first time, and that was Incanto's Chris Cosentino. Other previous S.F. Masters contestants: Michael Chiarello and Hubert Keller, who made it to the final three in Season 1 alongside winner Rick Bayless; and Traci Des Jardins, who competed in Season 3 and who was an early mentor of Keane's.
The twist for this season, kind of like the online "Last Chance Kitchen" thing they did on Top Chef, is that each chef's sous chef will be competing in a web-only "Battle of the Sous Chefs," with the ability to earn immunity for their chef on the actual show.
Joining Keane in the new cast is former Top Chef runner-up Bryan Voltaggio, Sang Yoon, New York chef David Burke, and Portland's Jenn Louis, who was just named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs in 2012 since Season 2, the casts of Top Chef Masters have tended to include some younger chefs who are not yet, arguably, "masters," but there are only so many master chefs in the U.S. to choose from.
The show returns on July 24, and there's a preview video below, which includes Keane getting all hot and bothered over meeting guest judge Ali Larter. Other guest judges include Kathie Lee Gifford, Mindy Kaling, and Busy Phillips.