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We caught Maldonado just before things really took off: He's currently lined up to be on the upcoming season of Top Chef, New Orleans (Season 11). Known for his eats at the Healdsburg, Calif. establishment Spoonbar, Maldonado has also cooked in the kitchens of Thomas Keller’s famed French Laundry and Café Majestic. He recently worked as the chef de cuisine of the Michelin-starred Aziza in San Francisco. With such haute-cuisine accolades, this hunky chef's undying love for cheeseburgers (see below!) is even more endearing to us.
Date-night dinner: To be honest, I really love to go out and eat when I take a day off. Not to check out a hot new restaurant or see what people are doing, but I just love eating out and the whole experience that comes with it—it’s intimate, there's so much conversation, people watching, and just being on the same level with somebody in that sort of environment. But f I had to cook at home, then I really love cooking a beautiful piece of meat or a large bird of some sort.
Favorite way to sweat: I love to sweat! Three to four days a week, I run five to nine miles, and then I mix in clean and jerks, squats, pull-ups, dips, and a lot of burpees. I make it a huge priority to work out in the mornings. It takes my mind off of life and helps me focus on being healthier and feeling younger.
Food splurge: I love cheeseburgers and fries. Love, love, love. They're the best vehicle of flavor and everything works so well.
Feast your eyes on these super-sexy, talented chefs who are spicing things up both in and out of the kitchen
Feast your eyes on these super-sexy, talented chefs who are spicing things up both in and out of the kitchen.