Chicago's "Top Chefs": Where Are They Now?

In honor of the second season of Bravo's "Top Chef Masters," premiering Wednesday, April 7 at 10 p.m., here's a quick update on the show's Chicago-based contestants, past and present. To submit your picks for how our city's chefs will fare on the new season, enter our contest here.

Dale Levitski: Apparently, it took "Top Chef" two full seasons to realize that great chefs could come from the Midwest. Making it to the finale of season three, Levitski returned to Chicago after taping wrapped and started working at Sola (although not in the kitchen) while making plans to open his own restaurant. Finally, in late 2009, he took over the kitchen of Lincoln Park's Sprout and made fellow Top Chef contestant Sara Nguyen his sous chef.

Stephanie Izard: The winner of season four, Izard's highly anticipated restaurant Girl & The Goat is slated to open in June. In the meantime, she has been hosting her monthly Wandering Goat dinners and just won a chili cook-off against Boka's Giuseppe Tentori, Landmark's Kurt Guzowski and Perennial's Ryan Poli.

Radhika Desai: Formerly at Vermilion and Between Boutique Cafe and Lounge, this season five contestant took over the kitchen at English last month, serving dishes like duck confit dumplings and a mushroom-infused turkey burger.

Rick Bayless: Now a national household name thanks to his victory on "Top Chef Masters," Bayless's star continues to rise with the success of Xoco and his recent James Beard nomination for TV Food Personality for his PBS show, "Mexico One Plate at a Time."

Art Smith: A contestant on the first season of "Masters," Smith is still running the show at Table fifty-two and Washington, D.C.'s Art and Soul.

Graham Elliot Bowles: Appearing on both seasons of "Masters," Bowles recently announced the location of his new, more casual grahamwich at 615 N. State Street. It is expected to open this spring.

Rick Tramanto: Making his "Masters" debut this season, Tramanto gave up the former chef's table at Tru to make room for Lettuce Entertain You's M Burger, which shares Tru's kitchen. His new cookbook, Steak with Friends: At Home, with Rick Tramanto, releases on April 27.

Tony Mantuano: Nominated for the 2010 James Beard Outstanding Restaurant Award for Spiaggia, Tony Mantuano is also the executive chef and managing partner of Terzo Piano in the Art Institute's Modern Wing.

Marcus Samuelsson and David Burke: National chefs with Chicago ties, Samuelsson is behind C-House and the surprisingly delicious Marc Burger at Macy's, and David Burke's Primehouse is one of the best steak joints in the city.