Emeril Lagasse, Hugh Acheson Join Season 9 of ‘Top Chef’

Bam! It’s official. Bravo has announced that celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse has signed up to serve as a judge for next season’s “Top Chef,” a popular television show which features a number of chefs competing against each other in various culinary challenges.

Also joining the reality food-based competition is Hugh Acheson, Food and Wine’s 2002 “Best New Chef” award winner who recently competed in season 3 of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.”

In addition to adding the two super-chefs , Bravo also announced that in a series first, Top Chef would switch things up for the new season by originating from three Texas cities – San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin – as opposed to just staying in one.

Read on for Bravo’s full press release:

Go big or go home – that’s the motto for season nine of the Emmy and James Beard Award-winning No.1 food show on cable, “Top Chef,” as it heads to the state that does everything bigger – Texas. Possibly the worst kept locale secret in this moment’s culinary universe, the new season of “Top Chef” will heartily embrace the Lone Star State’s adage that all things are bigger as, in a series first, the production will head to three cities within the season – Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. Season nine will also showcase many surprising twists and turns and never-before-seen challenges and events. Returning to the judges table is host Padma Lakshmi and head judge, chef Tom Colicchio, alongside judges Gail Simmons and new this season, famed chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse and critically acclaimed chef Hugh Acheson. “Top Chef: Texas” will air later this fall.

“Top Chef” offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. The series features aspiring chefs who compete for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the prestigious title of “Top Chef.” “Top Chef All-Stars,” the eighth season of the series, averaged over 3.2 million total viewers, 2.2 million adults 18-49 and was the No. 1 food show on cable among adults 18-49. The franchise is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Magical Elves with Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serving as executive producers.

Season 9 of Top Chef will premiere later this fall, following the sophomore season of “Top Chef: Just Desserts,” which premieres later this month.