Anthony Gray and Art Smith. [Facebook]
Last week, Top Chef announced that Anthony Gray of Southern Art and Bourbon Bar, will compete on season ten of the hit TV show. His mentor, Art Smith, who recently competed on Top Chef Masters season four, says he's all smiles for the Atlanta Rising Star.
"Honey, the peaches don't fall far from the tree!" Smith says. "[Anthony's a] talented southern gentleman with a huge heart. I love his passion for southern food."
When asked if he had anything to do with Gray getting on the show, Smith stays loyal to his chef. "It was all Anthony," he says. "But I did encourage him. Bravo loves a southern chef who cooks from his soul and also serves a side of funny."
"Chef Anthony Gray is the South. Honey, that's why he chose me to work for," he continues, no modestly here. "He is the second chef I've groomed for national TV. (John Vermiglio from Around the World in 80 Plates was my executive sous chef at Table 52 for three years and worked next to me on and off camera in 15 countries frying chicken as far away as South Africa for President Nelson Mandela. All my chefs are groomed for this industry.)"