Chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval has been approached plenty to take part in foodie television shows, but he usually won’t bite.
“I am one of very few chefs who also owns their company, and with 37 restaurants, I don’t have much free time,” Sandoval said.
But when “Top Chef Masters” came asking in January, Sandoval relented.
“For the first time, ‘Top Chef Masters’ asked the chefs to bring their sous chef, and my corporate chef (Greg Howe) has been wanting to participate,” Sandoval said.
The show, which was filmed in February, will air on Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Bravo. Sandoval will be watching from his restaurant Al Lado in Denver, where he’ll be sipping on tequila and perhaps eating a taco or two during the airing, he said.
“I chose Denver because it’s one of my favorite cities and Colorado is where I have the most restaurants,” he said.
In honor of Sandoval’s participation, his other restaurants, including Maya in The Westin in Avon, will host viewing parties with food and drink specials.
It’s the fifth season of the show and 13 award-winning chefs from around the country will compete for bragging rights, as well as the title of “Top Chef Master.”
The winner of the show will get $100,000 to put toward the charity of their choice.
Sandoval’s charity of choice is C-Cap, or Careers Through Culinary Arts Program.
“I chose C-Cap because it helps kids get scholarships and build careers in the culinary industry,” Sandoval said.
Colorado chef Jennifer Jasinski, executive chef-owner of Denver restaurants Rioja, Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen, will also compete.
But it’s New York chef David Burke, owner of David Burke Townhouse, Burke in the Box, David Burke Fishtail, David Burke Fromagerie, David Burke Prime, David Burke’s Primehouse and David Burke’s Kitchen, all in New York City, that Sandoval pegged as the one chef who made him nervous to compete against.
“To me he is one of the most creative minds in the industry, and I know he can create some amazing things,” Sandoval said.
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone is back as series host alongside new head critic Gail Simmons, with returning judges James Oseland, Ruth Reichl and Francis Lam and new judge, food and dining editor Lesley Suter. The chefs face off in some of the most difficult and unique challenges seen thus far — and they’re serving up food for some top entertainers and celebrity guest judges, including Mindy Kaling, Busy Philipps, Kathie Lee Gifford, Lindsay Price, the cast of “Days of our Lives,” Ali Larter, the cast of “Yo Gabba Gabba,” LA Cult Favorites Lucha Va Voom among others.