Hot Dish

'Top Chef' Recruits Cheftestant from Marco Island

As the Marco Island Marriott transforms into a luxury JW property, Gerald Sombright, the head of its fine dining restaurant, Ario, is tapped for Bravo’s TV competition.

BY October 21, 2016


Fans of Quickfires (and quick tongues) will have one of our own to cheer for when the 14th season of the Emmy- and James Beard-winning Top Chef hits airwaves Dec. 1.


Gerald Sombright, chef de cuisine at Ario, the fine dining restaurant at the Marco Island Marriott, will be one of eight freshmen Cheftestants to slice, dice and talk his way to the top. And wait—of course there’s a twist—the other half of the competition pool is made up of returning competitors from past seasons looking for redemption in their second chance.

Sombright has a tough road ahead in Charleston (where the show is set this time around), but he’s cut out for it. Aside from being the premiere chef at Ario—which was unveiled a year ago this month as the resort began its gradual evolution into a JW Marriott, the brand’s top-tier resort, that will be completed mid-airing (Jan. 1, 2017)—he has 15 years cumulative kitchen experience with stretches training under luminaries such as Michael Mina, Fabrizio Schenardi, Lou Rook and Annie Gunn. 


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