"I think everybody who comes on the show - especially if they're not in the food business - has a certain level of interest in food," host Padma Lakshmi told PEOPLE "These are cities you have to fly to, and you have to take a day or two out of your schedule."
Among the famous guest judges this season will be actress Charlize Theron and singer Patti LaBelle. "I've actually cooked with Charlize," head judge Tom Colicchio said. "And she's a serious, serious foodie and loves to cook." Collichio continued, "I've heard that Patti LaBelle can throw down pretty good. They're not cooking for us so it's hard to say, but they all talk a really good game."
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