'Top Chef' Turns Up the Heat in Trailer for New All Stars Season — With Guest Judge Kelly Clarkson

The trailer for the new all-stars season of Top Chef is here, and PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly and Food & Wine Magazine have the joint exclusive premiere

The most seasoned competitors in Top Chef history will be back in the kitchen for the hit Bravo show’s upcoming new all-stars season — but just because they’ve been there before, doesn’t mean they’ll know what to expect.

PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly, and Food & Wine Magazine are exclusively premiering the trailer for the Emmy and James Beard Award-winning reality competition’s upcoming 17th season, which kicks off on March 19. And judging from the clip, the heat has been turned up this go-around on the fight for one of food’s most-coveted title.

“This season will be the most difficult season of Top Chef,” says season 6 runner-up Kevin Gillespie in the trailer.

Gillespie is one of 15 frontrunners, finalists and fan favorite cheftestants from seasons past to return for the Los Angeles-set season.

Nearly all admit they’d never do this again, and most complain in the trailer about the “hard” obstacles are in their path to victory.

“Right now, the mistakes are going to be amplified, the cooking is going to be all really top notch,” says head judge Tom Colicchio, who is here again alongside host Padma Lakshmi and judge Gail Simmons. “You don’t want to be the one walking out of here, second guessing.”

Padma Kelly Clarkson Top Chef

But it’s not just the challenges that have been spiced up.

Producers have also gathered a starry list of celebrity judges to put on the pressure — from the biggest players in food, to Olympic legends, to A-list celebs like Ali Wong, Randall Park, Jon Favreau, and music maestro Gustavo Dudamel.

“I know a lot of these chefs from other seasons, so this is very enjoyable to me,” Favreau says.

Food truck king Roy Choi and LA taco maven Danny Trejo will also swing by, alongside a sea of impress culinary megastars, like Nancy Silverton, Ruth Reichl, Jeremiah Tower, Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Cimarusti, Suzanne Goin, Ludo Lefebvre, Jeremy Fox, Timothy Hollingsworth, Hunter Lewis, Stephanie Izard, Brooke Williamson, Kelsey Barnard Clark, Sherry Yard, Carol & Niki Nakayama, Jonathan Waxman, Mauro Delgreco, Clare Smyth and Dario Cecchini.

Getting one the biggest reactions in the trailer of all the stars? Grammy winning singer and talk show host Kelly Clarkson, as she stops by for a Quickfire challenge themed to her new DreamWorks Animation film, Trolls World Tour.

“I’m going to want whatever that is,” Clarkson jokes, as the competition gets underway.

Top Chef All Stars
The cast of Top Chef Season 17 All-Stars: LA. Bravo
Top Chef All Stars LA
The cast of Top Chef Season 17 All-Stars: LA. Bravo

As if that weren’t enough, Top Chef will also go to Europe for the first time—and the prizes have all gotten bigger and better, too.

The winner of this season will take home the largest cash prize in Top Chef history: $250,000.

Despite the increased level of difficulty, all seem ready to step up to the plate.

“The challenges are harder, the competition is harder, but I think that we’re all better,” season 13’s Karen Akunowicz says.

“Unless I break my leg off, I will be the next Top Chef” — season 3’s Brian Malarkey says.

Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons
Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons. Smallz & Raskind/Bravo

Bravo first announced their plans for another all-star season of Top Chef back in November at BravoCon.

The full cast list includes:

  • Eric Adjepong (Season 16: Kentucky)
  • Karen Akunowicz (Season 13: California)
  • Jennifer Carroll (Season 6: Las Vegas, Season 8: All Stars, and Last Chance Kitchen Season 7)
  • Stephanie Cmar (Season 11: New Orleans)
  • Lisa Fernandes (Season 4: Chicago)
  • Kevin Gillespie (Season 6: Las Vegas)
  • Gregory Gourdet (Season 12: Boston)
  • Melissa King (Season 12: Boston)
  • Jamie Lynch (Season 14: Charleston)
  • Brian Malarkey (Season 3: Miami)
  • Nini Nguyen (Season 16: Kentucky)
  • Joe Sasto (Season 15: Colorado)
  • Angelo Sosa (Season 7: Washington D.C., and Season 8: All Stars)
  • Bryan Voltaggio (Season 6: Las Vegas)
  • Lee Anne Wong (Season 1: San Francisco, and Last Chance Kitchen Season 7)

This is be the second time Top Chef has done an all-star season in the history of its show.

Back in 2010 for season 8, the show brought about it’s first all-star offering, with Richard Blais taking home the title. Since then, former cheftestants have returned in season 14 (in Charleston), season 15 (in Colorado) and season 16 (in Kentucky).

Top Chef Season 17 All-Stars L.A. will premiere on Thursday, March 19 with a supersized episode airing (from 10 – 11:15 p.m. ET) on Bravo.

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