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'Top Chef All-Stars' to debut Dec. 1 with the chefs we loved -- and a new guest judge

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Image Credit: Michael Lavine/BravoCall it sweet justice for us fans, but after a snooze-worthy seventh season of Top Chef, the cooking competition is returning Dec. 1 (10 p.m.) for an All-Stars edition in New York City with some of our favorite past contestants, including Richard Blais (season 4), Fabio Viviani (season 5), Jennifer Carroll (season 6) and — the one I’m most excited about — Carla Hall (season 5). Judging by the full roster, Bravo went for talent in the kitchen as opposed to talent for drama, so expect a nail-biter of a season. Check out the complete list of 18 cheftestants who’ll duke it out:

– Elia Aboumrad; Season 2, final four

– Stephen Asprinio; Season 1, top five

– Richard Blais; Season 4 finalist

– Jennifer Carroll; Season 6, final four

– Tiffany Derry; Season 7, top five

– Tiffani Faison; Season 1 finalist

– Carla Hall; Season 5 finalist

– Mike Isabella; Season 6, top seven

– Jamie Lauren; Season 5, top seven

– Dale Levitski; Season 3 finalist

– Antonia Lofaso; Season 4, final four

– Spike Mendelsohn; Season 4, top five

– Angelo Sosa; Season 7 finalist

– Dale Talde; Season 4, top six

– Casey Thompson; Season 3 finalist and fan favorite

– Marcel Vigneron; Season 2 finalist

– Fabio Viviani; Season 4 final four and fan favorite

– Tre Wilcox; Season 3, top eight

And just when you thought things couldn’t get better, Anthony Bourdain will join the judges’ table, alongside Padma, Tom and Gail. The author and host of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations recently showed us just how seamlessly he fit into the panel after guesting on an episode of the D.C. season. His biting, sarcastic, no-holds barred attitude is bound to sift through the seemingly glowing crop of chefs. And we love him for it!

What do you guys think of the announcement? Do you like the lineup? And will you be tuning in Dec. 1?

More Top Chef from EW:

Top Chef: Just Desserts recap: There’s no crying in the pastry kitchen!

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