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Top Chef Has a Seattle Contestant; Closes Seattle Office

Suzi Pratt

Welcome to CascadiaWire, a weekly collection of restaurant news from up-and-down the Pacific Northwest corridor.

TOP CHEF—Top Chef returns this December, and for its 13th season, Bravo's culinary reality show is hitting the road. The show will take contestants on a road trip up and down the California coast, from San Francisco to Palm Springs. Oakland, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Diego. Among the contestants are Seattle chef Jason Stratton, frequently on the James Beard Foundation's list of semifinalists for Best Chef Northwest.

BOTHELL—The newest addition to the McMenamins empire opened last week in Bothell, and it sure is a beauty. Once an actual school, McMenamins Anderson School is now a 5-acre-wide, 78,000-square-foot constellation of bars, restaurants, event spaces, and lodging (converted from classrooms). There's even a movie theater and heated saltwater pool that's free to overnight guests and available for a fee to others. Eater Seattle has an inside look.

VITAL UPDATES—Back in June, Eater reported that local foodie app Urbanspoon had been acquired by Zomato, a rival from India, for something like $50 million. Now, Zomato appears to be pulling the plug on a large part of its US operations. Some 20 workers in the Seattle office (the full staff, save one manager) were let go this week. Zomato's predecessor,, got its start in Seattle eight years ago. Full details here.