A new season of Top Chef is coming soon to Bravo. Season 18 of the cooking competition series will premiere in April, and viewers will see a rotating panel of judges this time around. Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio , and Gail Simmons will be joined by winners, finalists, and favorites from previous seasons.
Bravo revealed more about the new season, filmed entirely in Portland, in a press release.
“Bravo’s Top Chef, produced by Magical Elves, calls Portland, Oregon home for season 18, kicking off with two weeks of supersized premieres starting on Thursday, April 1 from 8:00 – 9:15 pm ET/PT. This season, a new batch of 15 extremely talented Executive Chefs and restaurant owners, representing a cross section of kitchens and food around the country, vie for the coveted title bringing their unique skillsets, diversity of cuisines and gamut of flavors. With Portland as a picturesque backdrop and culinary inspiration, the chefs compete in a variety of challenges including celebrating PDX’s Pan-African cuisine to feeding hundreds of frontline workers and crabbing on the Oregon Coast in a tribute to culinary icon and Oregonian James Beard.
The Emmy and James Beard Award-Winning series returns with host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons. For the first time ever, a collection of “Top Chef” all-star winners, finalists and favorites are joining an elite rotating judging and dining panel including Richard Blais, Carrie Baird, Nina Compton, Tiffany Derry, Gregory Gourdet, Melissa King, Kristen Kish, Edward Lee, Kwame Onwuachi, Amar Santana, Dale Talde and Brooke Williamson. This season also includes appearances by José Andrés, Massimo Bottura, Gabriel Rucker and Alice Waters, as well as “Portlandia” stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein who stop by “Top Chef” Kitchen for a Quickfire Challenge.
Beginning Thursday, April 8, Bravo’s Emmy-Winning digital companion series Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen, hosted by Tom Colicchio, returns for season ten as the eliminated chefs go head-to-head to try to cook their way back into the competition. Presented by BMW of North America, each week’s episode will be available on Bravotv.com, On Demand or wherever you stream Bravo’s Top Chef at the conclusion of each week’s episode.
Meet the New Cheftestants:
Brittanny Anderson – Richmond, VA
Avishar Barua – Columbus, OH
Dawn Burrell – Houston, TX
Gabe Erales – Austin, TX
Nelson German – Oakland, CA
Byron Gomez – Aspen, CO
Sasha Grumman – Houston, TX
Roscoe Hall – Birmingham, AL
Sara Hauman- Portland, OR
Kiki Louya – Detroit, MI
Maria Mazon – Tucson, Arizona
Shota Nakajima – Seattle, WA
Gabriel Pascuzzi– Portland, OR
Jamie Tran – Las Vegas, NV
Chris Viaud- Milford, NH
During a time of extreme hardship in the restaurant industry, these chefs have more on the line than ever before. From working with foraged mushrooms and picking produce at the famous Hood River Fruit Loop to visiting the Tillamook Creamery, the chefs are tasked with cooking with Oregon’s natural bounty of ingredients. With Padma, Tom and Gail and a table full of alums to impress, the expectations have never been higher, especially in this year’s unique Restaurant Wars where the teams must perfectly execute on a micro-restaurant concept with a cohesive seven-course tasting menu that rivals the best in the world. To stay in the game, the chefs must cook at their best while contending with a Quickfire using ingredients used on the Oregon Trail and a surf and turf elimination challenge honoring the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.While in the “City of Roses,” the judges definitely don’t hold back their thorns as they narrow it down to find this season’s Top Chef.
The winning chef will earn the coveted title of Top Chef, $250,000 furnished by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine and an appearance at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. ”
Check out a preview for the new season of Top Chef below.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the Top Chef TV show on Bravo? Do you plan to watch the new season in April?