Top Chef 7 Florida Casting, in Pictures | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

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Top Chef 7 Florida Casting, in Pictures

Jacob Katel
Prospective Top Chef contestants shoot the shit while they wait their turn to see the casting director.
Top Chef 7 is officially on its way to your signal box, and Magical Elves, the production company behind the hit Bravo series, was in Miami on Sunday looking for talent. Prospective contestants turned up for a 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. casting call at Club 50 in Brickell's Viceroy. Chefs from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Coconut Creek, Tampa, Orlando, and even Jamaica showed up for the chance to compete for $100,000, fame, and glory.

So what does it take to get on the show through a casting call? Applicants must create a home tape, fill out an entry form, have their picture taken, and meet the casting department. If they like you, they'll call.

Clean Plate Charlie asked Top Chef season 7 casting director Hunter Braun about the most outrageous home tape he's seen. "Last year, believe it or not, we had two people put octopus on their heads. It was like a running motif. Neither of them knew each other, they were just... I don't know, it was really bizarre. One of them almost made it on the show."

Here are some of the folks who tried out for Top Chef season 7.

Shashank Agtey "The Sidewalk Chef." We've been telling you about this character for months; click here, here, and here, for a great backstory. He told us, "I'm here, I'm ready. I can't wait for the opportunity."

Chef "Superdave" Gordon. Clean Plate Charlie first met Superdave in the kitchen of 5300 Chophouse in Doral, where he was cooking for a dinner paired with wines made by Sunbox Eleven Winery, a boutique, limited-production label he co-owns. Superdave said, "A couple of years ago, I tried out for Hell's Kitchen. They said I was overqualified. I wanna get on Top Chef and compete, not for the money but for myself. I put my video together at 2:30 a.m., so I don't even know what's on there, but it's exciting."
Chef Sean Bernal, executive chef of Oceanaire Seafood Room in Brickell, is a certified Miami-Dade County representer and, according to us, a Swordfish Samurai. He said, "My IT department sent me an email about the casting call, said they thought I'd be good for it. I'm like, wow, I can actually do this. It's gonna be awesome to represent the MIA and to represent my island, Puerto Rico. This show is cool because it exposes people who don't usually get recognized. It's not just about the core chefs you always hear about."

Joyce Simons drove down from Tampa to try out for Top Chef 7. She works there as the food and beverage director and executive chef of the Embassy Suites. She said, "Top Chef is the best show ever!"