After the final season was safely and successfully filmed in Portland, Oregon last year, Top Chef, Bravo’s Emmy Award-winning culinary competition, moved to Houston for season 19. Production has started there and the show will premiere next year.
Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons all return to judge the new group of cook testants. Also coming back will be a variation of the “Top Chef” all-star jury from last season, in which alumni of the show participated as guest jurors and mentors. The idea grew out of the need for a pre-COVID vaccine, but it proved popular with fans of the show. Tiffany Derry, Hung Huynh, Stephanie Izard, Melissa King, Kristen Kish, Kwame Onwuachi, Sam Talbot, Brooke Williamson and Claudette Zepeda are among the alumni who will appear in the 19th season of “Top Chef”, other names will be known later given.
Houston cook Dawn Burrell, who came second last season, will also appear as one of the returning alumni.
By Houston artist David Maldonado.
Courtesy David Maldonado
Season 9 of “Top Chef” was filmed in several cities in Texas – Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas – but did not go to Houston. In a Variety story about Top Chef’s production during the pandemic, Bravo manager Matt Reichman said the Top Chef brain trust – network executives, the show’s producers, and their production company Magical Elves – cities years in advance explore “an endless cycle” of preparation.
Bravo made a statement from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner about the show’s arrival there. “I can’t think of a more perfect combination than ‘Top Chef’ and the city of Houston. Both stand for a festival of cuisine, culture and innovation, ”he said. “We pride ourselves on the diverse community and unique heritage that make our city such a hot culinary destination – from classics like Tex-Mex and barbecue to local inventions like Viet-Cajun and Japanese tapas. As any Top Chef candidate will tell you, passion is born of the best food, and Houstonians exemplify this idea with every dish we create. “
According to Bravo, “Top Chef” will film again under “CDC guidance, all state and local orders, and NBCUniversal’s own safety guidelines.”
Casey Kriley, Jo Sharon, Doneen Arquines, Hillary Olsen and Gaylen Gawlowski are executive producers of “Top Chef” from Magical Elves.
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