Lauren, 'Top Chef: New York'

Lauren, 'Top Chef: New York'

The latest contestants of the "Top Chef" franchise will have some surprises in store for them, including Martha Stewart, the Foo Fighters and a new judge.

Bravo announced Wednesday (Oct. 1) the lucky 17 new chef'testants to vie for the the title of "Top Chef: New York," the fifth season of the cable network's tastiest reality competition show.

"Being in New York this season, we've upped the ante –- because this is our home turf -– so the pressure's on for the chefs to impress us," says head judge and Craft Restaurant chef/owner Tom Colicchio.

As usual, the competitors will test their culinary mastery against each other, in hopes of winning $100,00 in seed money, a feature in Food & Wine magazine, a showcase at the Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and the title of Top Chef.

But they'll be in for a few surprises as well, including a brand new judge. Toby Young is a British journalist, food critic and author of "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People," a memoir that has been adapted into a movie starring Simon Pegg that will open on Friday, Oct. 3. Young will join the returning Colicchio, Gail Simmons and host Padma Lakshmi.

In addition, the chefs will meet a range of celebrities this season including lifestyle mogul Martha Stuart, the Foo Fighters, actress Natasha Richardson, Jean-Georges, Eric Ripert, Rocco DiSpirito, Wylie Dufresne and Jean-Christophe Novelli.

"Top Chef: New York" will premiere on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.

Following are the 17 new "Top Chef: New York" chef'testants:

Name: Alex
Age: 33
Hometown: New York, NY
Resides in: Los Angeles, CA

Name: Ariane
Age: 41
Resides in: Verona, NJ

Name: Carla
Age: 44
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Resides in: Washington, DC