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April 24, 2014

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'Top Chef: Las Vegas' Judge Bios

Tom Colicchio
Tom Colicchio
One of the culinary world's most celebrated figures, Tom Colicchio returns once again as lead judge for Bravo's sixth season of the Emmy and James Beard Award-winning culinary series Top Chef: Las Vegas, and also serves as mentor to the competing chefs on the series, guiding them through their various challenges.

Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Colicchio spent his childhood immersed in food, cooking with his mother and grandmother. It was his father, however, who suggested that he make a career of it. Colicchio taught himself to cook with the help of Jacques Pépin's legendary illustrated manuals on French cooking, La Technique and La Méthode. At the age of 17, he made his kitchen debut in his native town of Elizabeth at Evelyn's Seafood Restaurant.

Along with a number of restaurants in New York City and across the country, Colicchio has established Craftsteak and 'wichcraft at the MGM Grand here in Las Vegas.
Official Bio
Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi returns as host of Bravo's Top Chef: Las Vegas, introducing the challenges to the contestants each week and presiding over the judge's table alongside Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Toby Young.

Lakshmi established herself as a food expert early on in her career, having hosted two successful cooking shows and writing a best-selling cookbook Easy Exotic, for which she won the International Versailles Event for best cookbook by a first time writer. Lakshmi followed this success with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet, released by Weinstein Books which is a larger endeavor filled with over 150 recipes from around the world and intriguing personal memoirs.

Previously, Lakshmi hosted Padma's Passport where she cooked diverse cuisine from around the world. Lakshmi also hosted Planet Food, a documentary series broadcast on The Food Network and worldwide on the Discovery Channel, in which she journeyed to countries including Spain and India.
Official Bio
Gail Simmons
Gail Simmons
Gail Simmons lends her strong culinary expertise as a judge and critic for Bravo's Top Chef: Las Vegas, tasting and critiquing the competing chefs' creations each week. Simmons has been with Food & Wine since 2004 in charge of special projects for the epicurean magazine, acting as liaison between the marketing and editorial teams on events and chef-related initiatives. In this role, she oversees the brand's signature event, the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, the country's premier culinary event.

Simmons began her culinary career writing food articles for Toronto Life magazine and the National Post, Canada's national newspaper. In addition, she served as the Research and Recipe Assistant to food critic Jeffrey Steingarten at Vogue magazine and apprenticed at both Le Cirque 2000 and Vong restaurants. She graduated summa cum laude from McGill University in Montreal and received her formal culinary training at what is now the Institute of Culinary Education in New York.
Official Bio
Toby Young
Toby Young
Toby Young is back for the sixth season of Top Chef to lend his culinary expertise to the judges table. Young is a British journalist and the author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and The Sound of No Hands Clapping. In 1991, Young founded and edited the Modern Review with Julie Burchill and her then-husband Cosmo Landesman. Young moved to New York in 1995 to work for Vanity Fair, where he was a contributing editor until 1998. Now back in London, Young is an associate editor of The Spectator and a special correspondent for GQ. For five years, he served as the restaurant critic of the Evening Standard magazine.

Young has appeared as a judge on a variety of food reality programs, including Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Criminals and most recently, a 20-part BBC series called Eating With The Enemy. In addition, he was a contestant on Come Dine With Me, a popular Channel 4 reality show, which he won.
Official Bio

• Bio information courtesy of Bravo TV

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