D.C. chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley is among the local chef-testants to compete on the upcoming season of the Bravo reality television cooking competition Top Chef.
In a sneak peek video of the franchise's 13th season posted today, the toque behind Ripple and Roofer's Union can be seen in her chef whites facing host Padma Lakshmi in the kitchen and fretting with concerned looks on her face no less than twice! The season premieres on Thursday, December 3.
Meek-Bradley has emerged as a notable talent in the D.C. restaurant world. After taking the helm at Ripple in 2013, she was recognized as a semifinalist as a rising star chef for the 2014 James Beard Foundation awards. She's also had a couple of rising culinary star Rammy nominations and a 2014 Rammy win for Ripple as upscale casual restaurant of the year. Ripple's owner Roger Marmet bought the old Reef space in Adams Morgan and converted it into a second restaurant, Roofers Union, to give Meek-Bradley another creative outlet for her cooking.
In competing on Top Chef, she follows in the footsteps of several previous contestants from the Washington area who have seen TV success elevate their culinary careers. In fact, she served as chef de cuisine at Graffiato, the first restaurant that Mike Isabella opened after falling just short in the final competition in the Top Chef All Stars season. Since then, he's gone off to become one of the biggest forces in D.C. dining. His chef at his second restaurant, Kapnos, came close to victory after an unexpected twist of fate in the last iteration of the popular series. Bryan Voltaggio's stock skyrocketed after he lost his season to his brother. Carla Hall parlayed almost winning a couple of times—and her vivacious personality—into a television career. Spike Mendelsohn's burger, pizza, and steak frites empire continues to expand.
While Meek-Bradley is the most well-known chef to area diners, she's not the only Washington name. Also competing on this season, which is filmed as a road trip across California, is Kwame Onwuachi. Onwuachi comes to D.C. by way of New York, and he is working on opening a fine dining restaurant called The Shaw Bijou at 9th and Q Street NW.
Garret Fleming, executive chef of the bourbon bar Barrel is also part of the cast. Fleming, a native of Charleston, SC, christened the kitchens of Eatonville, The Lincoln, and The Pig before opening Barrel in 2014.