Two chefs will be repping Portland, Oregon when Top Chef returns on Thursday (April 1), according to Portland Tribune.
This season will be taking place in the City of Roses and focus on Oregon cuisine with returning competitors. Padma Lakshmi will be hosting again while finalists, favorites and former winners will be back as judges, including Portland chef Gregory Gourdet.
These are the two local competitors that will appear on the show: Sara Hauman and Gabriel Pascuzzi.
Hauman, who describes herself as a "shy person," said being on the show is outside her comfort zone.
"That's a big part of my love for being in the kitchen," she told reporters. I don't want to say I'm hiding, but I can keep my head down, I don't have to put makeup on, I can throw myself together and go to work and focus on a task," said Hauman. She serves as a chef at Sotero Vineyards in Carlton.
"In fact, I never even wanted to be a chef, I was happy being a sous-chef, being the one who got to work at 7 a.m., busted out the prep and went home, and didn't get any glory," she said.
Then there's Pascuzzi, a chef born who's no stranger to cameras and competition. He's competed on Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay, where he takes on the New York-based celebrity chef in a cooking battle. While he didn't win against Flay, he said he enjoyed the experience nonetheless.
"I've grown up playing sports and I feel like, even with fine dining, you have to have a competitive nature," Pascuzzi said. "You better perform or they'll find somebody else. It's part of why I want to go on the show, it's competition." He's also been making a list of challenges the judges would throw at him while on the show.
The Portland native opened three restaurants throughout his career: Stacked Sandwich Shop, Mama Bird and Feel Good. He also worked under series mainstay Tom Colicchio at Colicchio & Sons in New York City.
Pascuzzi reportedly made also been making a list of challenges the judges would throw at him while on the show.
"I kind of had a list, and thought about what challenges 'Top Chef' would throw my way," Pascuzzi told Portland Tribune. I was pretty darn close on them all."
op Chef: Portland will air on Thursday, April 1, at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo.
Photo: Getty Images