Top Chef Season 14 – what to know for the show!
Top Chef Season 14 kicks off on March 1st and we are excited to see what the 16 new, eager candidates have to offer!
Before discovering their culinary skills on M6 here is what we can tell you ahead of the show!
In short, for the 2023 edition we are expecting a total of 16 candidates (4 female and 12 male). Within this breakdown 10 candidates are currently based in France whilst 6 participants join us or return from other locations to fight it out for Top Chef 2023.
The average age of the candidates is 25 – 28 (11 of which are in their 20’s, 4 in their 30’s and just 1 candidate in their 40’s).
With this younger than ever line up it is not surprising to hear that their expertise and experience is not as rich as what we have witnessed in previous years! The profiles seem varied with fewer accolades than preceding contestants and quite honestly this might just make for a fresh and fiery challenge in the 14th season.
So here are the Top Chef 2023 candidates at a glance:
ALBANE AUVRAY, 23, France (Ile de France)
For one of the youngest contestants in the lineup Albane has starred experience at both Le Clarence (with Chef Alan Geaam) and Le Bristol (with Chef Guy Savoy). Having experienced this and some of the world she decided the route of well-being through food was her passion and now describes herself style as ‘’Holistic Cuisine’’. Albane is known to be a ball of energy and one to make colleagues and chef’s laugh alike!
VICTOR BLANCHET, 24, France (Paris) – ELIMINATED WEEK 5.
Trained in the vocational high school Haute-Follis in Laval where he was mentored by teacher Christophe Diquero. Victor went on to gain experience NE/SO with Chef Guillaume Sanchez learning molecular cuisine. From there he obtained starred experience Castel Clara and progressed to the 3* establishment L’Arpège (run by chef Alain Passard). He takes his inspiration from his childhood spent in Mayenne and the culture of using fresh, homemade products.
JEAN COVILLAULT, 25, France (Paris)
Jean began his culinary training at one of the most prestigious schools, the Institut Paul Bocuse. Jean then travelled the globe and learnt a multitude of cuisines from Malta, the Netherlands, Amsterdam and Portugal. He returned, along with these skills, as junior sous-chef of the Crowne Plaza restaurant and then as executive chef in the bistronomic restaurant of the Hôtel Belleval. Jean explains his style as ‘’No frills in my kitchen, I want it colorful, simple and with a lot of pep’’.
BÉRANGÈRE FAGART, 33, France (Ile de France) – ELIMINATED WEEK 1
Our first self-taught chef of the season Bérangère has a very different background to most! Having tampered in a different profession she returned to her first passion of cooking and obtained her CAP Cuisine in 2015. She gained experience in collective catering and gourmet events and is now owner of her own restaurant, Selune in Paris. She is committed to anti-waste in the kitchen and stives to cook with character!
JÉRÉMIE FALISSARD, 40, Canada (Montreal)
As the oldest of this year’s candidates, Jérémie is well established in the culinary world and displays more experience. He first learnt his trade as a kitchen apprentice and went on to work in some of the most beautiful restaurants in the South of France. In 2005, after a short stint in the UK, he relocated to Montreal and has opened several restaurants and bars under the name Barroco Group. At 40, he is still eager to learn knows that in this job you are never too good.
CARLA FERRARI, 25, Italy (Naples)
This young cook is no virgin to TV or cooking competitions having presented TFou de Cuisine and reaching the final of the Cuisine Cup, a competition created by L’Atelier des Chefs, in her teens. Carla tippled in some other industries but returned to cookery and pastry by securing her CAP and graduated to École Ferrandi in Paris. She completed her apprenticeship in starred establishments La Maison Bras** and L’Astrance** before returning to her origins (Italian/Spanish parents) and opening her own pizzeria in Turin, Italy. She recently moved to Naples but is joining the Top Chef kitchen to prove that young women have their place on this show!
MIGUEL GARCIA-HERRERA, 27, France (Lyon) – ELIMINATED WEEK 1 to the secret brigade of Helene de Rose. ELIMINATED WEEK 2.
Of Mexican descent this new chef started his culinary career in Spain before settling in France and joining the Foreign Legion to obtain his papers. A true soldier that was forced to stop due to an accident but fought to return to his true passion of cooking! He gained experience in many of Lyons bistros & brasseries and climbed the ranks of clerk, demi-chef de partie , party leader, rotating party leader. With a push from starred chef, Bastien Depietri, he decided to apply for Top Chef 2023 and promises to showcase that even when you have nothing, you can manage to do great things!
DANNY KHEZZAR, 26, France (Ambilly) – ELIMINATED WEEK 2 to the secret brigade of Helene Darroze and Still in the game !
At just 26 years old, Danny has led an already rich career in the culinary world! An internship in the kitchens of The Ritz, a graduation from Jean Drouant, an apprentice to the esteemed chef (and guest judge) Pierre Gagnaire and now sous-chef at the Bayview in Geneva (run by chef Michel Roth). He showcases great creativity with clean, picturesque plates that have a wealth of flavors and textures! Outside of the kitchen he demonstrates another skill, a celebrated wrapper with Bizzy Brothers and already boasts over 115k Instagram followers!
JACQUES LAGARDE, 27, Spain (Marbella) – ELIMINATED WEEK 4.
Jacques is a well-travelled chef with experience in Paris, Australia, New Zealand and Spain! Notably he worked for four years in the Amisfield which known as the best restaurant in New Zealand and moved to 3 Michelin stars in 2022. The travel bug bit and he returned to Spain where he is now chef and co-owner Cascada Marbella. He describes himself as the underdog for Top Chef 2023 but is determined to challenge everyone and succeed, especially his brother, fellow contestant Mathieu Lagarde! He wants to take risks and create masterpieces using the parts of food that are usually not used (bones, vegetable skins, etc.)
MATHIEU LAGARDE, 30, New Zealand (Queenstown)
Mathieu started his culinary career at just 15 and since then has been gaining experience and expertise travelling the world (like brother and fellow contestant Jacques Lagarde!) Now settled permanently in New Zealand he is the executive chef at the 3* Amisfield restaurant. Mathieu works with raw products pushing them to new heights to extract the maximum tastes. May the best brother win!
CÉSAR LEWANDOWSKI, 26, Belgium (Brussels) – ELIMINATED WEEK 6.
At just 26, César is reported to have already lived several lives and travelled the world which have shaped his personality and his approach to cooking! First studying at Ferrandi Bordeaux he then passed through several renowned establishments, including L’Arpège by chef Alain Passard (see above). He then moved to Bali and opened a restaurant that fuse traditional flavors of French cuisine with local Indonesian products offered on the island. As a result of the pandemic he returned to Europe and tested his hand at private events with gourmet dishes inspired by his travels. More recently he is reimagining street food dishes with classic concepts.
ALEXANDRE MARCHON, 35, France (Paris) – ELIMINATED WEEK 8.
Alexandre is a self taugh chef who came late to the culinary world! Having studied in business school and exploring the world of advertising, Alexandre quickly realized his passion lay in the kitchen. Having won ‘’Un dîner presque parfait’’ he gave up everything and launched his own home chef service learning as he went along! He then had a stint in restaurant consulting, a position at Polichinelle and has since run his own restaurant Marchon through the pandemic. Alexandre was approached by one of the judges to apply for Top Chef 2023 where he passed all casting phases and why he joins the line up in the 14th season.
LÉO RENUSSON, 27, France (Paris) – ELIMINATED WEEK 7.
Since the age of 21 Leo has been dabbling in the culinary world with most of his time spent in the UK as a pastry chef. It is said he has several strings to his bow that could be of crucial importance against other competitors but he himself is a disbeliever and questions his place in the line up! Known to be bed under stress but a joker of the group we can’t wait to see what he brings to the plate.
HUGO RIBOULET, 23, France, (Annecy-le-Vieux)
At just 24 it seems this young candidate already has experience alongside some big names! Most notably he participated in a work placement with Japanese chef Masashi Ijichi in La Cachette in Valence where he stayed on as chef de partie to complete his training. At 20 he joined chef Laurent Petit at his bistro in Annecy before moving onto Clos des Sens where he is now the second chef. This exciting talent is surely going to impress through season 14 and years to come.
GASTON SAVINA, 28, England (London) – ELIMINATED WEEK 3.
After a classical training and learning alongside great chefs such as Franck Graux and Christophe Langrée, Gaston opted to cook for exclusive events with his VIP customers. From Paris to Dubai to London and beyond he was (and is) a sought-after private chef. His drivers for joining the show are simple – to benchmark himself against others and to receive genuine feedback from expert critics.
SARIKA SOR, 28, France (Lille)
Sakira is first and foremost the winner of this year’s ‘’Objectif Top Chef’’ and new to the chaos of the kitchen with just 2 years’ experience! After completing a 1-year culinary course she is now an apprentice in a starred establishment in Lille. In the kitchen she takes inspiration from her parent’s Cambodian heritage when preparing her plates.
This sure looks like an exciting line up for 2023 with a final twist to the judging panel line up! After 3 consecutive wins Hélène Darroze wanted to give her fellow jurors a chance so will be absent from the start of the season (making a comeback in the quarter finals!). For now its all up to Paul Pairet, Glenn Viel and Philippe Etchebest to claim TOP TOP CHEF OF 2023!
Now that you know them we hope you enjoy the weeks to come and the culinary creations we are lucky enough to observe!
If you like this article and want to revisit Top Chef 2022 visit our previous post!