The second season of Top Chef Masters airs tonight, and the 22 contestants are a particularly interesting bunch. It combines legendary seminal American chefs like Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in New York (returning from last season); succeeding next-wave cooks like Mark Peel of Campanile in Los Angeles (also returning), Susan Feniger of Street in Los Angeles, and Jody Adams of Rialto in Cambridge; and talented new-generation chefs like Maria Hines of Tilth in Seattle, Ana Sortun of Oleana in Cambridge, and Monica Pope of t'afla in Houston.
Dark horses to look out for: Jimmy Bradley of the Red Cat in New York City. He's a thoughtful, smart, less-is-more kind of a cook; David Burke, whose gimmicky but often delicious cooking could cut either way with the judges; and WD-50's Wylie Dufresne, who's a very good cook and a restless experimentalist.
Who are you rooting for? And if you've eaten at any of these chefs' restaurants, what did you think?