Omnivore - 'Top Chef D.C.' preview

Top Chef D.C. premieres soon: learn more about the Atlanta chef, the new judge and the rest of the cast.

The new administration: the cast of Top Chef D.C.

On "Top Chef D.C"., premiering Weds., June 16 at 9 p.m. on Bravo, 17 "cheftestants" compete for culinary power in D.C., which has become a food destination in and of itself. The President and First Lady often go to local restaurants for date nightsthese restaurants then get a bump in popularityand the president's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, dines out so often that Politico refers to him as "the professional eater-outer."

This season, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons are joined by new judge Eric Ripert, chef of New York's Le Bernadin. Born in France and raised in Andorra, his culinary resume is long, including a stint at Paris' La Tour d'Argent when he was just 17 and time spent as sous chef at the Watergate Hotel. He has two cookbooks and will start his own PBS show, Avec Eric, in September. If he looks familiar, he's been a guest judge on Top Chef for four seasons and is a fan favorite.