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Top Chef

Top Chef

Photo Credit:  Paul Trantow/Bravo
  • Premiered: 
    March 8, 2006
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Bravo
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Talent
  • Tags: food, cooking

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  • Season 4 - Chicago
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  • Season 5 - New York
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  • Season 6 - Las Vegas
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  • Season 7 - DC
    • Amazon
  • Click icon to watch or own full episodes
    Season 1
    Season 2
    Season 3
    Season 4
    Season 5
    Season 6
    Season 7
    Season 8

Plot Synopsis

This reality competition series offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. The series features a group of aspiring chefs who compete for their shot at culinary stardom and a chance to earn the prestigious title of TOP CHEF. Each episode holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a Quickfire test of their basic abilities and the second is a more involved elimination challenge designed to test the versatility and inventiveness of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for a range of demanding clients. The challenges not only test their skills in the kitchen, but also uncover if they have the customer service, management and teamwork abilities required of a Top Chef. Season 10, TOP CHEF: SEATTLE, which premiered on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 10pm ET/PT, welcomes famed chef and restaurant mogul Wolfgang Puck joins as a judge this season, alongside Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson and Emeril Lagasse, to assess 21 chef'testants. TOP CHEF headed to New Orleans for is eleventh season, with lead judge Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson, and New Orlean's own Emeril Lagasse, alongside host Padma Lakshmi, at the judges' table. They'll be joined throughout the season by these guest judges: Jon Favreau, Lea Michelle, Anthony Mackie, Questlove, Leah Chase, Paul Prudhomme, Jacques Pepin, David Chang, John Besh, and Eddie Huang as well as local legends Kermit Ruffins and Dr. John. Season 11 premiered on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 10pm ET/PT on Bravo, with 19 chef'testants cooking with alligator, frog and turtle. TOP CHEF's twelfth season (in Boston) premiered on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 10pm ET/PT on Bravo. Returning to the judges table for the new season in New England are head judge Tom Colicchio, judges Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson and host Padma Lakshmi. For the first time ever, a TOP CHEF winner is joining the judging panel, as Richard Blais makes his debut as a recurring judge offering the cheftestants guidance from a former competitor's point of view. The stakes are higher than ever as TOP CHEF introduces sudden death Quickfire challenges that occur without warning throughout the season and a fiery judges table that puts every chef on the spot. The chefs will be tasked with serving up food for top entertainers, culinary stars and celebrity guest judges including: actress Emmy Rossum, Rob 'Gronk' Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, MLB Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, actor George Wendt, WWHL host Andy Cohen, Todd English, Barbara Lynch, Jasper White, Ming Tsai, Jacques Pepin, Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette. Season 13 of TOP CHEF premiered on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 from 10-11:15pm ET/PT on Bravo, with host Padma Lakshmi and head judge Tom Colicchio returning, alongside judges Gail Simmons, Richard Blais and Emeril Lagasse. For the show's thirteenth season, TOP CHEF embarks on an epic gastronomic road trip up the coast of California, kicking off with a two-night premiere event on Wednesday, December 2 and Thursday, December 3 at 10pm ET/PT. With nearly 1000 miles traveled, the six-city expedition challenged the cheftestants' culinary skills like never before as they journey across the Golden State, stopping in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where the series first began, along with San Diego, Santa Barbara, Oakland and the Greater Palm Springs area. From cooking for top food writers under the Hollywood sign to serving MC Hammer on the Oakland waterfront and Chrissy Teigen in Palm Springs, the chefs go knife-to-knife in iconic destinations and agricultural regions across the state to prove they have what it takes to out-cook their competition. Along with the return of the Sudden Death Quickfire challenge, the culinary showdown ups the ante this season with the most daunting Restaurant Wars ever. Additional pressure-filled challenges include catering the ultimate gay wedding in Palm Springs officiated by Lakshmi, a plating challenge inspired by @ChefJacquesLaMerde where the chef's fate was determined for the first time from fans on Instagram and a final California elimination paying homage to Hubert Keller's San Francisco institution Fleur De Lys. Throughout the season, the chefs are tasked with serving up food for culinary stars and celebrity guest judges including: Hugh Acheson, Max Silvestri, Ludo Lefebvre, Dana Cowin, Michael Cimarusti, Jose Andres, John Besh, Art Smith, Javier Plascencia, Antonia Lofaso, Michael Voltaggio, Jacques LaMerde, Bill Chait, Jonathan Waxman, Martin Yan, Adam Fleischman, Traci Des Jardins and Hubert Keller. Season 14 of TOP CHEF premiered on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 10pm ET/PT on Bravo, with new judge Graham Elliot joining returning host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, and judge Gail Simmons. The new season is the ultimate challenge of old blood versus new as eight returning chefs come back for redemption, heading to Charleston to battle it out alongside eight talented TOP CHEF newcomers. The returning chefs are: Sam Talbot (Season 2: Los Angeles; Brooklyn, NY), Casey Thompson (Season 3: Miami & Season 8: All-Stars; Napa Valley, CA), Amanda Baumgarten (Season 7: Washington, D.C.; Chicago, IL), Brooke Williamson (Season 10: Seattle; Los Angeles, CA), Sheldon Simeon (Season 10: Seattle; Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii), John Tesar (Season 10: Seattle; Dallas, TX), Shirley Chung (Season 11: New Orleans; Orange County, CA), and Katsuji Tanabe (Season 12: Boston; Los Angeles, CA). They are joined by the following eight new cheftestants: Silvia Barban (Brooklyn, NY), Emily Hahn (Charleston, SC), Jamie Lynch (Charlotte, NC), Annie Pettry (Louisville, KY), Sylva Senat (Philadelphia, PA), Gerald Sombright (Marco Island, FL), BJ Smith (Portland, OR), and Jim Smith (Montgomery, AL). Season 15 of TOP CHEF premiered on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 10pm ET/PT on Bravo, embarking on an epic culinary adventure through the state of Colorado. In the new season, 15 diverse chefs from across the country as they battle it out for the coveted title amid the breathtaking landscapes and thriving culinary scenes in Denver, Boulder, Telluride and Aspen. Host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio return to the judges table alongside Gail Simmons and Graham Elliot. For Season 15, the competition reaches new heights as the chefs battle it out on an epicurean road trip through Colorado, traveling to Denver, Boulder, Telluride and Aspen. From deconstructing the Denver Omelet and preparing Rocky Mountain Oysters to tailgating with the Broncos, the level of competition for these 15 talented chefs is going to be a mile high. With the judges looking for the chefs' peak performances, the challenges will test the competitors' culinary abilities in picturesque locales including a food festival in Larimer Square, a blizzard infused campfire cook-off, and cauldron cooking at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. In addition, social media star Logan Paul heads to Boulder and Olympians Gus Kenworthy, Meryl Davis and John Daly will challenge the chefs in an all-around culinary competition focusing on speed, precision and freestyle. And not to be outdone, TOP CHEF Sason 14 winner Brooke Williamson returns to surprise the cheftestants with a breakfast Quickfire using Nutella. It's not going to be easy for these chefs as they go for the gold, traveling around the state in BMW X5 xDrive50i, and battle it out for $125,000, a feature in "Food & Wine" magazine, a showcase at the annual "Food & Wine" Classic in Aspen and the coveted title of "Top Chef." Throughout the season, the chefs will be tasked with serving up food for culinary stars including: Curtis Stone, Naomi Pomeroy, Richard Blais, John Besh, Bruce and Eric Bromberg, David Kinch, Adam Perry Lang, Johnny Iuzzini, Wylie Dufresne, Paul Liebrandt, Michael Voltaggio, Bryan Voltaggio, Chris Cosentino,and Nilou Motamed. Also lending their expertise are local Colorado greats Troy Guard, Alex Seidel, Hosea Rosenberg, Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson, Keegan Gerhard, Jen Jasinski, and Frank Bonanno. The cheftestants in Season 15 include: Fatima Ali (New York, NY); Tyler Anderson (Simsbury, CT); Carrie Baird (Denver, CO); Adrienne Cheatham (New York, NY); Laura Cole (Denali National Park, AK); Joseph Flamm (Chicago, IL); Rogelio Garcia (San Francisco, CA); Tanya Holland (Oakland, CA); Bruce Kalman (Los Angeles, CA); Brother Luck (Colorado Springs, CO); Melissa Perfit (San Francisco, CA); Tu David Phu (Oakland, CA); Joe Sasto (Los Angeles, CA); Christopher Scott (Brooklyn, NY); and Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins (San Diego, CA).
Season 16 of TOP CHEF premiered on Thursday, December 6, 2018 from 9-10:15pm ET/PT, with host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, and regular judges Graham Elliot and Gail Simmons, who are joined by guest judges. This season, 15 new talented chefs from cities big and small across the U.S. will compete for the sought-after title amid the unique culinary scenes in Louisville, Lexington and Lake Cumberland, before heading abroad for an epic finale showdown in Macau, China. Cheftestants for Season 16 include: Eric Adjepong (Washington, DC), Sara Bradley (Paducah, KY), Kelsey Barnard Clark (Dothan, AL), Edmund "Eddie" Konrad (Philadelphia, PA), Pablo Lamon (Miami Beach, FL), Natalie Maronski (Philadelphia, PA), Michelle Minori (San Francisco, CA), Nini Nguyen (Brooklyn, NY), Brandon Rosen (San Mateo, CA), Kevin Scharpf (Dubuque, IA), Caitlin Steininger (Cincinnati, OH), Justin Sutherland (St. Paul, MN), David Viana (Asbury Park, NJ), Adrienne Wright (Boston, MA), and Brian Young (Boston, MA).

Padma and Tom continue to keep the chefs on their game with an exciting season full of curveballs, double eliminations and the earliest and first ever three team Restaurant Wars. The cheftestants work to impress the judges and notable guests as they bet it all at Kentucky's famous racetracks, Churchill Downs and Keeneland, cook for Laila Ali at the Muhammad Ali Center, and compete in a buzzer beater showdown for roaring fans at the University of Kentucky's Rupp Arena with Hall of Famer, Coach Calipari. At Maker's Mark's iconic bourbon distillery, the chefs celebrate two Kentucky mainstays as they are tasked with putting their spin on classic dishes including burgoo, Benedictine, hoe cakes and dumplings. In addition, the blindfold taste test is back as the chefs must identify a variety of herbs and spices for a KFC-inspired Quickfire. Emmy-Award Winner Lena Waithe is on hand for a Quickfire challenge reimagining the Hot Brown and BELOW DECK's Captain Lee Rosbach and Captain Sandy Yawn join the cheftestants for a house boat challenge in Lake Cumberland. Embarking on a road trip to Nashville, the chefs hit the Grand Ole Opry stage dishing up delectable delights to musicians Hunter Hayes and Kings of Leon's Caleb Followill, along with his wife, model Lily Aldridge. And for the first time ever, the chefs grow their own produce and must use their harvests in one of the final Kentucky challenges. The top five chefs then travel to Macau, China, to the heart of fusion-food, to battle it out for the title of "Top Chef," along with $125,000 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, as well as a $50,000 prizing package from Williams Sonoma and a headlining slot on the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage at BottleRock in Napa Valley.

Throughout the season, the chefs will serve culinary stars including: Emeril Lagasse, Eric Ripert, Jonathan Waxman, Art Smith, Nancy Silverton, Richard Blais, Brooke Williamson, Nina Compton, Karen Akunowicz, Annie Pettry, Caroline Styne, Sean Brock, Tandy Wilson, Dario Cecchini, Ken Oringer and Abraham Conlon. Also lending their expertise are acclaimed Kentucky chefs Ouita Michel, Ed Lee, Newman Miller, David Danielson and Kathy Cary.

In the 75-minute season opener, "The Fastest 2 Minutes in Cooking," TOP CHEF Kentucky begins as 15 of the country's finest chefs are off to the races at Churchill Downs for the ride of their lives. After a lightning fast two minute mise-en-place focused Quickfire, the Chefs are challenged to make a dish that will appeal to a crowd of 200 at a stakes-filled Kentucky Derby party. Churchill Downs' own Chef David Danielson serves as guest judge along with returning regulars Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, and Graham Elliot.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Magical Elves