The Truth About Jo Chan From Top Chef Season 19

Bravo's hit show "Top Chef" is back for Season 19. This season the contestants traveled to Houston, Texas, a city host Padma Lakshmi called "one of the most diverse cities in the nation." Each of the 15 contestants will be asked to prepare culturally relevant cuisine including Nigerian food, dishes with influences from Houston's Asian population, and takes on southern and Tex-Mex items like barbecue and fajitas as they compete for the $250,000 prize (via Bravo).

One of the contestants vying for the grand prize is Austin, Texas' Jo Chan, executive chef at the restaurant Eberly (via Bravo). While Chan told Out Smart Magazine that her cooking style is influenced by her Chinese ethnicity and Filipino cultural background, Eberly is a New American restaurant that combines Asian and Italian elements. Chan originally wanted to be an architect, but realized in her teens that she wasn't very good at geometry. She switched her career aspirations to culinary pursuits, attending San Diego Culinary Institute and interning in New York City. "From that point my career took off," she told Out Smart.

Jo Chan achieved her dreams by letting her food speak for itself

Austin chef Jo Chan will be competing on Season 19 of "Top Chef," and participating is a dream come true. "When I was growing up and wanting to become a chef, 'Top Chef' was at the height of its popularity. I remember watching early seasons and setting the benchmark of being chosen to compete as a goal," Chan said in an interview with Out Smart Magazine. Chan announced she would be appearing on "Top Chef" in an Instagram post — the photo of her in a "Top Chef" chef's jacket was captioned with "I don't know that fifteen year old me would have ever believed this day would come." 

Supporters took to the comments with their congratulations and encouragement. "Omgsh, CONGRATS!!!!!! can't wait to watch!!! SO pumped for you!" wrote one user while another chimed in, "YESSSSSS!!!!! We are ALLLL the way tuned in for this! FINALLY!!!" In her interview with Out Smart, she offers succinct yet wise advice for aspiring cooks looking for a career as a chef: "Put your head down and work hard." As for personal life, Chan resides with her fiancée and two dogs, Blue and Luna. If you'd like to cheer Chan on, her season of "Top Chef" is currently airing on Bravo on Thursdays at 8/7c.