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Joe Paulino

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‘Top Chef’ Leak! Café des Artistes’ Paulino to Compete

We’ve heard that mixed in with the usual assortment of line cooks, caterers, and wannabes on Top Chef’s next season will be a bona fide NYC cook: Joe Paulino, top banana at Café des Artistes. A restaurant manager claimed to be “in shock” when we asked him to confirm that Paulino will be a contestant — Bravo no doubt swears everyone to secrecy — but he admitted that executive sous-chef Kelvin Fernandez is running the kitchen while Paulino is on “vacation”; meanwhile, a lower-level employee told us he knew all about Paulino's being on Top Chef. (The Bravo publicist we spoke to asked if she could call us back later.) Looks like we’ve already got a favorite.