Per a press release that went out this morning, this season all happens in Boston, and returning judges Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and Hugh Acheson will be joined by Top Chef All Stars winner Richard Blais, who'll make his first appearances this season as a recurring judge. (Blais, some may recall, was rumored last year to be contemplating a move to the Bay Area, but that hasn't materialized yet.)
King's full resume is over at chef-for-hire site Kitchit, where she also gives a brief Q&A and says she could happily eat a burger every day, and loves "bringing people together through delicious food!" She's also been a line cook at Delfina and Campton Place, and was sous chef at the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton before it closed. Read more of her bio here.
The latest season in Bravo's longest-running reality-competition franchise will be sticking to the tried-and-true formulas of its past, but with the added addition of "sudden death Quickfire challenges" that will apparently occur whenever and wherever. Among the celebrity guest judges will be George Wendt a.k.a. Norm from Cheers (!), as well as Boston-based chefs Barbara Lynch, Ming Tsai, Todd English, Jasper White, and Jacques Pepin.
Also, there'll be plenty of Boston-y stuff involved, including trips to Cheers (a.k.a. the Bull and Finch Pub), a meal served underneath the famed Green Monster at Fenway Park, and a meal cooked and served at Plimoth Plantation. That will be on the Thanksgiving episode, and cheftestants will be challenged to use "only ingredients that would have been on hand at the first Thanksgiving meal." Sounds appropriately ridiculous.
Below, the season teaser.