Emeril on Top Chef

EMERIL LAGASSE GUEST JUDGES SEASON FINALE OF BRAVO'S "TOP CHEF" IN NEW ORLEANS

Finalists Heat Up The Competition In A Two-Part Finale -

Part 1 Premieres Wednesday, February 18 At 10 PM ET/PT;

Part 2 Names Winner On Wednesday, February 25 At 10 PM ET/PT

NEW YORK - January 20, 2009 - The final chef'testants will need to "kick it up a notch" to impress famed chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse in the eclectic city of New Orleans as part of the two-episode finale of Bravo's "Top Chef: New York," beginning with a supersized episode on Wednesday, February 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The winner will be revealed on Wednesday, February 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.  In a surprise twist of events, there will be extra special challenges in the finale of "Top Chef: New York."

Lagasse, chef/proprietor of Emeril's Restaurant, NOLA, and Emeril's Delmonico in New Orleans said about his experience on "Top Chef":

"In Louisiana, we have an amazing selection of local ingredients: andouille sausage, frog legs, turtle, catfish and rabbit. I was interested in seeing if the chefs would venture out and really try to explore our local flavors and culture. The challenge for some was finding a balance between the bold spices we love and their own personal style. All I can say is that you'll definitely want to go back for seconds for some of their final dishes!"

Want more "Top Chef" during season five's final days? Go to www.BravoTV.com  for our special countdown, "14 Days of Finale," an extra helping of exclusive videos available only online.  Beginning February 4 and leading up to part one of the finale on February 18, fans can watch clips of Bravo's Andy Cohen conducting exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with the series' judges and cast.  Fans are also treated to a webisode series, "Gail in the City: A Culinary Adventure," hosted by judge Gail Simmons. Join Gail as she takes you to her favorite foodie hotspots in New York.  Find out which Italian cheese she describes as "oozalicious," the cookbook her great grandmother contributed to, and which out-of-the-way restaurant has the best fries.

For the first time ever, fans will have a say in a future episode of "Top Chef."  During Part one of the finale, viewers will be asked to vote on which of three Quickfire challenges they'd like to see featured in season six of "Top Chef," with voting on www.BravoTV.com.

Bravo is a program service of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBC Universal one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Bravo has been an NBC Universal cable network since December 2002 and was the first television service dedicated to film and the performing arts when it launched in December 1980.  For more information, visit www.BravoTV.com.