People Were Pretty Shocked When This ‘Top Chef’ Contestant Appeared On The Bachelorette’s Hometown Dates

Alexis Morillo
·2 min read
Photo credit: ABC/Instagram/benveesmith
Photo credit: ABC/Instagram/benveesmith

From The Pioneer Woman

This season of The Bachelorette has been nothing short of unpredictable, but fans definitely did not see a Top Chef crossover coming during this week's hometown dates. Due to the pandemic, the "hometown" dates took place at La Quinta Resort with some contestants' family members flying in for the occasion. Fan-favorite Ben Smith had his sister and close family friend come join, the latter of whom just so happened to be Chef Antonia Lofaso.

"I told you before, my life is full of strong, decisive, bold, independent women, and the two people you're going to meet today are my two favorites—a really close family friend, her name is Antonia, she is with me more than anybody else. And you and her are eerily similar, it's incredible," Ben told lead Tayshia Adams prior to their nighttime portion of the date. His parents were unable to travel because his father is a healthcare worker.

Antonia appeared on season four and season eight of Top Chef and currently works as the executive chef at Scopa Italian Roots and DAMA, a Latin-inspired restaurant in Los Angeles. Bachelorette fans were shocked to see her make an appearance during the show, but turns out Antonia and Ben have been friends for years, PEOPLE reported, and Ben trains her at his gym, DEUCE.

In the episode, Antonia spoke with Ben about his budding relationship with Tayshia and Ben admitted, "She makes me feel a way that I've never felt in my entire life and I think the feeling is happiness. Like genuine, legitimate happiness." Ultimately, Tayshia ended up sending Ben home but fans were still excited to see Antonia on their television screens once again.