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Local Restaurant Owner Appearing on "Top Chef" series

Local Restaurant Owner to Compete in "Top Chef" Series from Stephen Quinn on Vimeo.

UPDATE: John Currence has been eliminated in the third episode of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters series. Currence will be on campus Thurs., April 21, at 4:30 p.m. in Holman 30 to speak as a participant in the MBA Speakers series.

The most prominent chef in Oxford is testing his talents on television. Local chef John Currence is a contestant in this season of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters series.

The show features 12 of the most renowned chefs in the country pitted against each other in a set of weekly challenges. After each episode’s challenge a contestant is eliminated. While off-the-wall ingredients in a challenge can frustrate even the best chef, Currence said the amount of time allowed for each challenge gave him the most difficulty.

“When I cook, I’m much more sort of methodical about what I do and so my ideas aren’t typically sort of on the spot decisions," Currence said. "I order proteins and vegetables that I have days to think about and plan for what I want to do."

Currence received the prestigious Beard Award in 2009. Though he was previously approached by Bravo to compete in the Top Chef series, he declined, admitting he did not have much faith in the television cooking genre. Currence finally agreed to do the show with his wife's encouragement, returning to Oxford when production ended in late 2010.

Currence said he is glad he competed, adding he wouldn’t trade the experience for anything “except for the opportunity to do it again.”

The Currence family of restaurants is also having an eventful year; City Grocery is celebrating its 19th year on the Square and will soon be joined by Boure this summer when the bistro-style restaurant moves into the location previously occupied by Downtown Grille.

Currence will be partnering with local real estate developer Stefano Capomazza on renovating Boure’s new location.

“We’re gonna throw a good amount of capital at it, and finish something that’s gonna be remarkable, it’s gonna be a beautiful space,” Currence said.