Carla Pellegrino on the roster for ‘Top Chef’ season 10

You could say Carla Pellegrino is fairly affectionate about Italian food.
Photo: Denise Truscello

Bravo’s Emmy and James Beard Award-winning cooking competition Top Chef returns to your TV for its 10th season on November 7, and Las Vegas will be represented by one of its most colorful and fiery chefs—Carla Pellegrino.

Top Chef: Seattle will feature 21 cheftestants competing for the grand prize of $125,000, a feature in Food & Wine magazine, and a showcase at the Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. Pellegrino, who commands the kitchen at Tropicana’s Bacio Italian restaurant and operates the Anthem-area Bratalian Neapolitan Cantina, is the only local chef set for season 10. But you can always expect a Vegas presence on Top Chef, including the addition of Wolfgang Puck as a judge for the Seattle season.

Born in Brazil to a Portuguese father and Italian mother, Pellegrino moved to Liguria, Italy, at age 16. She had been working in her mother’s catering business as a child and presented cooking demonstrations from the store she operated in Italy. She moved to the U.S. in 1997 and graduated with honors from the French Culinary Institute in New York City. In 2000, she and Frank Pellegrino Jr. (of the famous Rao’s restaurant family) opened Baldoria in New York’s theater district, and in 2006 she came to Las Vegas to open Rao’s at Caesars Palace.

TV is nothing new to Pellegrino, who has appeared on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, and even bested Bobby Flay on his Throwdown show on the Food Network. She’s ready for Top Chef, but is Top Chef ready for Carla?

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's managing editor and has been writing about Las Vegas for more than 15 years.

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