Houston, we have “Top Chef!”  Bravo’s “Top Chef,”  will call Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, home for season 19, launching with a supersized premiere on Thursday, March 3 from 8:00 – 9:15 pm ET/PT. The Emmy and James Beard Award-Winning series, produced by Magical Elves, returns with host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons. Expect the unexpected as 15 talented chefs from across the country vie for the coveted title bringing their unique skillsets, variety of cuisines and gamut of flavors.  

In the all-new season, the chefs will put their expert take on iconic regional dishes, while also being immersed in the ethnic diversity that has come to define Houston’s culinary identity.  With the city being home to the largest Nigerian population in the country, the chefs will be put to the test for a quickfire spotlighting Nigerian cuisine and an elimination challenge tasking them to feed Houstonians at an Asian Night Market that draws inspiration from some of the cities’ largest Asian communities. The chefs must also mess with Houston, Texas by putting their own spin on beloved staples including BBQ, biscuits, queso and the classic Tex-Mex original, the fajita, which was popularized in the city. 

Top Chef

Houston is home to infinite possibilities as the chefs create space-friendly dishes for former astronauts, and head out to the Gulf with Tom for an unforgettable fishing experience.  Taking inspiration from Top Chef France’s most difficult challenge, Padma tests the chefs to create two dishes that look identical but taste completely different. The competition’s signature challenge, Restaurant Wars, ups the ante with an open kitchen concept where the chefs must cook for a full dining room of guests, while also catering to an intimate tasting table for the judges. From paying tribute to the state’s female trailblazers to hosting a block party fundraiser to preserve Freedmen’s town, the culinary showdown from 15 to 1 “Top Chef,” is one for the history books.   

Meet the New Cheftestants:

·         Ashleigh Shanti – Asheville, NC

·         Buddha Lo – Brooklyn, NY

·         Damarr Brown – Chicago, IL

·         Evelyn Garcia – Houston, TX

·         Jackson Kalb – Los Angeles, CA

·         Jae Jung – New York, NY

·         Jo Chan – Austin, TX

·         Leia Gaccione – Morristown, NJ

·         Luke Kolpin – Seattle, WA

·         Monique Feybesse– Vallejo, CA

·         Nick Wallace – Jackson, MS

·         Robert Hernandez – San Francisco, CA

·         Sam Kang – Brooklyn, NY

·         Sarah Welch – Detroit, MI

·         Stephanie Miller – Bismarck, ND

For more information on the cheftestants, please visit  Bravotv.com/top-chef

Each week “Top Chef” winners, finalists and favorites return to lend their guidance and expertise including Nyesha Arrington, Dawn Burrell, Kelsey Barnard Clark, Adrienne Cheatham, Tiffany Derry, Joe Flamm, Gregory Gourdet, Hung Huynh, Stephanie Izard, Melissa King, Kristen Kish, Ed Lee, Maria Mazon, Shota Nakajima, Nini Nguyen, Kwame Onwuachi, Sheldon Simeon, Brooke Williamson and Claudette Zepeda.

Top Chef

The chefs must also impress world-renowned chefs Daniel Boulud, Wylie Dufresne, Carlotta Flores, Bricia Lopez, Eric Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson, and Alexander Smalls, while also serving up dishes for acclaimed Houstonian chefs Ope Amosu, Aaron Bludorn, Irma Galvan, Greg Gatlin, Robert Del Grande, Christine Ha, Trong Nguyen, Hugo Ortega, Monica Pope, Chris Shepherd, Kiran Verma and Chris Williams. Hunter Lewis, Editor-in-Chief of FOOD & WINE joins the judges for the final challenge.

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.  Throughout the season, chefs will also have the opportunity to earn prizes courtesy of in-show partners Chipotle, Mastercard, Talenti, Universal Pictures’ Jurassic Park: Dominion and VRBO. 

Beginning Thursday, March 10,  Bravo’s Emmy-Winning digital companion series “Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen,”  hosted by Tom Colicchio, returns for season eleven 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. 

Every Thursday directly following “Top Chef,” Bravo will encore Peacock’s “Top Chef Family Style,” hosted by Meghan Trainor and Marcus Samuelsson, where 15 exceptionally talented culinary prodigies compete with an adult family member for the chance to be crowned champions.

"Top Chef” continues to rank as the #1 food show across all of cable, with the most recent season averaging over 3 million viewers for each episode and reaching over 9 million viewers across the season. (Source: Food Show: Nielsen, L7, P18-49/P25-54, FY 2021, including food programs across cable, excluding repeats. VOD/Streaming: Rentrak and Adobe Analytics, S17 vs. S16, includes STB, TVE (on+off), dMVPD, and OVD.)   

“Top Chef” is produced by the Emmy Award-winning production company Magical Elves with Casey Kriley, Jo Sharon, Doneen Arquines, Hillary Olsen and Gaylen Gawlowski serving as executive producers.  “Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen” and “Top Chef Family Style” are also produced by Magical Elves.