Top Chef DC: Bios Beyond What Bravo Tells You

We did some digging to find dirt on the 17 cheftestants. Here's what you should know about Tamesha Warren and Stephen Hopcraft before tuning into Top Chef DC.

Tamesha Warren

Age: 24, the youngest on the show.

Lives in: DC! She grew up in Barbados.

Job: Sous-chef at the Oval Room, number 7 on our list of the 100 Very Best Restaurants.

Learned to cook: First from her grandmother, starting at age 9, then she got a degree from the Art Institute of New York City.

What she and Angelo have in common: She trained at Jean Georges in New York.

Her Zen place is: The kitchen. “For me, [cooking] is a way of escaping.”

Sign she’s not intimidated by her young age: “I know my food will always be on point,” she says.

Reminds us of: Radhika Desai from season five.

Scorecard: 4 points for her résumé, 1 for confidence, 1 for being the sole DC-based contestant. Total: 6 points.

Stephen Hopcraft

Age: 40.

Lives in: Vegas, baby. Born and bred in Cleveland.

Job:
Executive chef at Seablue at the MGM Grand, a Michael Mina restaurant. Hopcraft has been opening restaurants for Mina for the last 12 years, including Bourbon Steak in the Georgetown Four Seasons Hotel.

At Seablue, we recognize:
Lobster corn dogs from Bourbon Steak’s bar menu.

We smell drama:
His Bravo bio describes him as “over the top and without a filter.”

But then again?
“Another of Hopcraft’s assets is his uniquely humble approach. Unlike many of today’s culinary superstars, Chef Hopcraft truly appreciates input from other kitchen staff members,” says LasVegasRestaurants.com.

Work experience: Very impressive. Not only has he been with Mina for more than a decade, he’s worked with Charlie Trotter in Chicago and Thomas Keller in California.

Creative side:
He left Cleveland for California at 17 to be an artist. “Painting and sculpture and all that.”

Who’s better? “There’s only one person who can beat me, and that’s me.”

Reminds us of: Napoleon.

Scorecard: 8 points for kitchen experience, 2 for drama potential, 1 for confidence, 1 for having cooked in DC before. Total: 12 points.

>> For more Top Chef DC coverage, click here.

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