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Cooking in June: Top Chef 3 vs. Hell's Kitchen 3

Remember all that fun we had with Top Chef earlier this year? Well, fire up the TiVo: "Top Chef 3 Miami" premieres Wednesday June 13 (10pm PT) on Bravo, with some "special" must-see episode on June 6. This season, less Los Angeles, more "Queer Eye" Ted Allen, who signed on as a regular judge. Tom, Padma, and Gail still in the house. SoCal is sporadically represented: There's one Angeleno on the list, one from San Diego, and another from Santa Barbara. There's also a NYer who hails from Santa Monica, but Eater NY has claimed her as their own.

For more culinary craziness, according to the "Hell's Kitchen" website, Gordon Ramsay and his brood of competing chefs premieres Monday June 4 (9pm on FOX). HK3, unlike TC3, hasn't announced the contestants yet, but we know season 1 winner, local boy Michael Wray (currently chef at Tatou), makes an appearance, perhaps as a judge.

CHRIS
AGE: 31
HOMETOWN: El Toro, Calif. – currently resides in Venice, Calif.
PROFESSION: Private Chef
CULINARY EDUCATION: Associated Culinary Arts (CSCA)
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Marinated Tomatoes with Beef and Cheese

A true Californian at heart, Chris is a private chef who has worked for the likes of author and columnist Arianna Huffington and the Marciano Family of the Guess Corporation. An ex-volleyball player standing at 6’8” – it seems everyone looks up to him. Chris is motivated to live life to the fullest having overcome testicular cancer. He has a competitive spirit and the utmost confidence in his culinary skills.

BRIAN
AGE: 34
HOMETOWN: Bend, Ore. – currently resides in San Diego, Calif.
PROFESSION: Executive Chef, The Oceanaire Seafood Room
CULINARY EDUCATION: Western Culinary Institute
FAVORITE SIMPLE SUMMER RECIPE: Cold Beer, Cold Wine & Cold Seafood

A native of Oregon, Brian grew up inspired by his grandmother’s cooking and by all the fresh seafood and produce the area offered. He soon set his sights on California, where he was recently voted 2007 Best Chef in San Diego for his work as Executive Chef at the Oceanaire Seafood Room. He’s in constant competition with everyone in San Diego and makes it a point to do everything bigger and better in his restaurant. At the top of his game, Brian’s high-energy makes him a whirlwind in the kitchen. Stay-tuned to see just how long he can live by his motto, “Love, peace and happiness.”

CLAY
AGE: 28
HOMETOWN: Northern Mississippi – currently resides in Santa Barbara, Calif.
PROFESSION: Sous Chef, Santa Barbara University Club
CULINARY EDUCATION: Self-Taught

Clay says he is just a good ole’ boy from Mississippi. Self-taught, Clay developed his skills from working his way up the ladder in various kitchens and truly feels he has an innate talent. Now living in Santa Barbara, he is a sous chef at the renowned Santa Barbara University Club. Clay has enjoyed bringing his southern style cooking to California and will definitely bring some different flavors and styles to the judge’s table this third season.

Click here to see the Bravo press release and full list of Top Chef contestants.

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