clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Meet the Three Bay Area Stars Competing on the Upcoming Season of Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’

David Murphy, Laura Ozyilmaz, and Rasika Venkatesa will all compete on season 21 of Bravo’s cooking show ‘Top Chef’

Chef David Murphy eating a piece of pizza wearing a cowboy hat and checkered apron.
Chef David Murphy of Shuggie’s Trash Pie in the Mission will appear on Season 21 of Bravo’s ‘Top Chef.’
Shuggie’s Trash Pie
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

The 21st season of Bravo’s hit cooking competition show Top Chef debuts on Wednesday, March 20, and Bay Area food lovers will have a trio of local stars to support. The list of 15 contestants announced today, February 7, includes an impressive three names from the San Francisco Bay Area: Shuggie’s Trash Pie + Natural Wine co-owner and chef David Murphy, Dalida chef and co-owner Laura Ozyilmaz, and Rasika Venkatesa.

Venkatesa formerly worked at one-Michelin-starred Mourad in downtown San Francisco until November 2023, when she parted ways with the restaurant after a five-year run that saw her rise to the role of chef de cuisine. According to her bio on the Top Chef website, she’s now “traveling across Tamil Nadu to learn from the local communities” ahead of opening her own restaurant.

Meanwhile, Murphy opened Shugie’s with partner Kayla Abe in April 2022. The self-described “trashy-glam” restaurant, well-known for its maximalist interior design, serves pizzas and other entrees made using upcycled ingredients. It’s a buzzy destination, where fans flock for tableside porron service and a rowdy annual crawfish boil.

Ozyilmaz and her husband and co-chef Sayat opened their debut restaurant Dalida in the Presidio in June 2023. In the month since, the restaurant has been named one of the Best New Restaurants by Esquire magazine, on top of being Eater SF’s 2023 Restaurant of the Year. Most recently, both Laura and Sayat were named semifinalists for the James Beard Award for Best Chef: California.

Top Chef Season 21 will premier on Wednesday, March 20 on Bravo with episodes running every Wednesday and available the next day on Peacock. Judges will include Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons along with host Kristen Kish.

Here’s the full list of “Top Chef” Season 21 contestants: