Service Bar chef Avishar Barua set to compete on the new season of 'Top Chef'

Andy Downing
Avishar Barua

When we last checked in with Avishar Barua in August, the Service Bar chef said he was still adapting to operating a restaurant in a pandemic, which had caused him to rethink some of his motivations.

Previously, the chef said he tended to narrow in on minutiae when assembling a dinner plate, obsessing over the sourcing of ingredients and the continual refinement of process (witness the painstaking, three-day undertaking required to bring the eatery’s famed fries to the plate). “Now it’s more like, if you leave here happy, then we’re happy,” he said at the time. “Anytime I add anything more than that, it gets complicated.”

This more relaxed mindset should serve the chef well as he takes on his most recent challenge: competing on the 18th season of the Emmy-winning Bravo cooking competition "Top Chef."

Earlier today, it was announced that Barua would be one of the 15 chefs vying for the crown on the new season, which was filmed in Portland, Oregon, and returns to the air on April 1. The winner takes home $250,000.

Other contestants include:

  • Avishar Barua (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Dawn Burrell (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • Gabe Erales (Austin, Texas)
  • Nelson German (Oakland, California)
  • Byron Gomez (Aspen, Colorado)
  • Sasha Grumman (Houston, Texas)
  • Roscoe Hall (Birmingham, Alabama)
  • Sara Hauman (Portland, Oregon)
  • Kiki Louya (Detriot, Michigan)
  • Maria Mazon (Tuscon, Arizona)
  • Shota Nakajima (Seattle, Washington)
  • Gabriel Pascuzzi (Portland, Oregon)
  • Jamie Tran (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • Chris Viaud (Milford, New Hampshire)

For Barua, winning "Top Chef" would fall second only to being named the city's Best Chef by Alive in 2019. Watch the trailer for the new season of "Top Chef" here.