We've been told this season will be "back to basics" Top Chef -- I sure hope so!
The fact that they are starting with 21 chefs tells me maybe it's not entirely back to basics. Maybe tonight's show will be like last year, where it's a "semi-final"...we're waiting on starting chef bio threads to see how things shake out with the large cast.
Forum threads will open again after the show has aired on the west coast (11PM PT/2AM ET)
BTW, Padma is on WWHL, which airs a half-hour later tonight, right after the premiere of LOLwork.
Enjoy the new season!