If you stop by Slurping Turtle these days, you won't see executive chef Aaron Cuschieri. Multiple sources, both inside and outside the Takashi family of restaurants, have confirmed that he's not around because he's busy filming the upcoming season of Top Chef. Slurping Turtle employees are under a gag order and refuse to be quoted on the record.
The bright Top Chef spotlight is a well-deserved honor for Cuschieri, who was in last year's Eater Young Guns Final 50 and this year's Zagat 30 Under 30. Cuschieri also has a mentor in Slurping Turtle and Takashi owner Takashi Yagihashi, a past guest on Top Chef Masters.
Cuschieri auditioned for the show months ago, sources say, and Top Chef producers visited the restaurant to sample his cooking. They must have liked what they saw. Top Chef season 11 takes place in New Orleans, Top Chef Masters season five premieres July 24.
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· Eater Young Guns 2012 Final 50 [Official Announcement]