‘Top Chef’ new season to feature Root Restaurant’s chief cook

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Season 12 of “Top Chef” will include a familiar face for Metro Detroiters.

Chef James Rigato of Howell, executive chef of the Root Restaurant & Bar in White Lake, will be one of 16 cooking experts to compete on the popular Bravo show.

At age 29, Rigato, who studied culinary arts at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, is one of the younger chefs on “Top Chef’s” upcoming season. The show pits professional chefs against each other in a variety of challenges, many which include cooking for celebrity chefs and other stars.

Season 12 is set in Boston and features returning judges Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson. “Top Chef All Star” winner Richard Blais has joined the judging table this year.

Last season Livonia native Aaron Cuschieri of Chicago’s Slurping Turtle restaurant appeared on the competition, but was eliminated in the third episode.

“Top Chef” season 12 premieres Oct. 15 at 10 p.m.