Season 9 heads south with new judges Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson in tow.

on Aug 9, 2011 - The Dish0

Texas, home of Top Chef 9
From All-Stars to Lone-Stars Top Chef is headed to Texas.

Fans hungering for a taste of Season 9 have some new information to satiate them until Top Chef returns -- the ninth season of the Emmy-Award winning (and recently nominated once again) show will head South, to the great state of Texas.

Whether Padma Lakshmi will be donning a cowboy hat remains to be seen, but we know she'll be saddling up with the regular judges chef Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and new two new faces -- famed chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse and critically acclaimed chef Hugh Acheson. Emeril is known for bringing the heat, and Hugh's certainly not known for holding back (just relive some of his best zings from his run on Top Chef Masters for a refresh), so it seems like they'll fit right in.

And since everything's bigger and such the competition will be in not one, but three cities -- Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. We hope the cheftestants cowboy boots are made for walking (sorry, had to!)

What other Texas-style beans are there to spill? Season 9 also promises many surprising twists and turns and never-before-seen challenges and events when it returns in the fall. 

Think everything is better in Texas (including Top Chef)? Battle it out in our Tweet Battles.

 

114 comments
Mary SiskoSmith
Mary SiskoSmith

My family and I are huge fans of your show! The one thing the judges have said repeatedly to the contestants; season after season: 'If it's not right - don't serve it'. What happened to that principle when you put Sarah through to the finals? You actually figured it was acceptable to serve a key component of a main entree in such a manner that it was difficult to cut. Cut - why would anyone even expect to cut a sauce? I don't even like Lindsay, but she did indeed serve all of her components in a presentable edible form. I have to wonder what politics were behind keeping Sarah after such a HUGE faux-pas and sending someone home; who you all admitted served a great meal. Wow! There are people in my family, as well as some of my friends who think the only reason Sarah is even at the semi-finals is due to politics; some even think there was money involved. I didn't believe them; but I am in Total shock that Sarah is in the finale after serving a frozen sauce. I am a good cook, but no expert; but even little ole me wouldn't have made such a ridiculous blunder. There were many obvious things she could have done to try to remedy her situation, and she simply served them. I am so disappointed in you judges!

Huerra
Huerra

I believe that Beverly should be commended for her classy way of handling the rude insensitive people on the show, the females were rude and nasty and overall hopefully others will recruit Beverly for special gigs. It is disappointing that one of the rudess and incentive people won at the end.

MRS. nEWBY
MRS. nEWBY

I "DID" enjoy watching this show, but as the show progresses I have to listen to Sara and her vulgar language. It really topped the limit when on the "Culinary Games" when Sara kept saying the "F" word and "GD" allthe time. Come on....my kids watch this with me. I would rather not watch anything than have to listen to some of this! I hope that TOP CHEF listens to its' viewers and takes notes. I hope Sara fails!

quiltedbabe
quiltedbabe

I am done with the show now. The chefs left have shown more TV personality than cooking ability. Hope they have fun.

Hungry for More
Hungry for More

Nyesha was Set-Up and RobBeD!! Please!! I had more faith in you Top Chef in finding the Very Best Chef!! Nyesha's conceit gets old fast, but Bev's giggling is intolerable. Bev doesn't beleive in herself, so why should we. Very disappointed in Top Chef for manipulating the last Last Chance Kitchen!! BOoO! Nyesha didn't have a chance working with Bev's old and tired asian ingredients! I WaNt a ReMatch!! Requested: One More Honest and Fair Chance for Nyesha!

jammyhawk
jammyhawk

Beverley like my sister sees the world and what she does in her own words and the glasses are always rosie and the glass 1/2 full but Sarah is the one I would predict will win this she has just been setting back and waiting to pull out all of her potions and wares to dazzle us all.

psarap
psarap

Epidude, San Antonio is on the show because they paid Bravo $200k+ and Houston refused to pay anything.

Epidude
Epidude

Several things. Firstly, I agree with all you Houstonians that you should have been included in TC Texas; and thy should have probably left off San Antonio- it's a pretty dismal city and I would choose to visit Houston over San Antonio any day. Now, secondly the Dallas metroplex has been larger than the Houston metro area for quite some time now. Check your facts. When large corporations and industry look at population stats they don't look at legal city limits anymore, they look at MSA's (metropolitan statistical areas). Believe me, I work for Delta Air Lines here in Dallas and I know what I'm talking about. The DFW metro area is now the fourth largest metro area in the country, and quite a bit larger than the stats for the Houston/Galveston/Baytown area. In my industry, we look at demographics all the time to determine potential routes we will fly. Houston for so many years chose to annex so many of it's suburbs over the years while Dallas didn't. It increased your numbers and tax base, but our master plan was a bit different here in Metroplex. Don't get me wrong, I love Houston and think it should have certainly beat out S.A.... But I do think Dallas is the most cosmopolitan and upscale area in Texas, with great dining and nightlife. And I have worked for an airline for the past 24 yrs so I've been all over and to many great cities. So finally, I was just as shocked as you when San Antonio showed up on the show and Houston didn't; a crazy decision in my opinion. Both Dallas and Houston are great cities so can we put the city rivalry to bed for now and just enjoy this season of Top Chef Texas. I'm a culinary student here in Dallas ( Go Art Institute Dallas!!), and I enjoy the competition.

Lew Dixon
Lew Dixon

It would be nice if the yankee born hosts for the program stopped saying that Texas is part of the south. They need a geography lesson. Texas is a part of the southwest US.

Connie Stone
Connie Stone

I enjoy your show very much but using the GD word is not very attractive. It is a very big turn off. You could have edited it out. Seams you bleep out the F word but GD is OK to say.

adnama79
adnama79

Bella--

No, they weren't. Enchiladas made with flour tortillas turn into play-dough. You just either didn't know what you were eating or you've never had a good enchilada.

Don S.
Don S.

I have been a fan of and watched Top Chef since its inception. During that time I have been amazed at the quality of cooking that takes place on the show. Being a Texas resident, I have been looking forward to this latest edition of Top Chef. To say the quality of cooking is not up to par is an understatement. Is the show becoming more about interpersonal drama and less about cooking?

EWSturg
EWSturg

What happened??? I can't find Top Chef Texas on Bravo anymore, I tried to find it on my cable box and it has no listing of Top Chef at all. What is going on???

bella216
bella216

SOOOO disappointed with Chef Keith going home. I have been to different Mexican restaurants, so chain some Mom and Pop restaurants ran by Mexicans and have ordered enchiladas. They were always with flour tortillas.

glenncharles
glenncharles

I love Top Chef. I have be a dedicated viewer for many seasons.

If your not from Texas, the stereotypes may seem accurate. I live in Dallas. I have never worn cowboy boots or eaten rattlesnake. If the producers want to present a view of Texas that resonates with the viewer, Texas offers many examples of these redundant themes. Texans appreciate the consideration that we are not a population of uneducated hicks. If you look closely, Texas reveals a multicultural group of people that offer a diversion from the projected images displayed in current reality television programming.

NoelP3
NoelP3

I moved to Houston over 30 years ago. Prior to that I lived in Tampa (6 years) and Chicago (10 years). Guess what you will find in Both Chi Town and Tampa? Houston originated restaurants. Carrrabbas and Pappas restaurants are Houston originals that have grown nationwide. In fact because of our ethnic diversity we have more food choices than Austin, Dallas and San Antonio combined. Our world renowned chefs include: Monica Pope of T'afia(James Beard Nominee), Brian Caswell of REEF restaurant that was recently named the #1 seafood restaurant in the United States by Bon Appétit Magazine, Michael Cordua of Cordua Restaurants ( Churrassco's, America's), Marcus Davis of the Breakfast Klub (made GMA's Final 4 for Best Breakfast in America), Chefs Matthew Gray and Albert Roux of Chez Roux (Albert Roux is a Michelin Star Chef that mentored Gordon Ramsey), Maybe "Top Chef Houston" needs to be a future stand alone season? We are just to big to share the spotlight with our Cousins Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. Come on Andy just do it!

psarap
psarap

As has been previously said, the Texas cities were asked to pay Bravo to be featured on the show, and Houston refused to pay up. Also, if you've been watching the show or the commercials for it, you will see the Texas stereotypes are played on (cowboy boots, lassos, etc.) and Houston is perhaps the least Texan (in this sense) and most international and cosmopolitan of the Texas cities. Therefore, more difficult for Bravo to perpetuate the Texas stereotype in Houston.

Texasbest
Texasbest

San Antonio is the 7th (24th metro)largest city in the USA and attracts more than 25 million visitors...They picked SA because of it's iconic landmarks, colorful vibrant downtown and it's emerging food scene. You wont find hundreds of restaurants in downtown Houston like in San Antonio, that are along the Riverwalk and downtown streets. Le Reve on the River was rated number one in Texas and 6th in the nation a few years ago. De marco in Houston was number 29th. Plus San Antonio has the new Pearl District urban village in the Downtown area that backs up to the Riverwalk and new Museum Reach section. It also houses a new Culinary institute of America. So its not about what city is bigger or which city has more restaurants, its the whole package they are looking at. houston is a cool city but pretty much anywhere USA. San Antonio and to a lesser degree Austin are the only two unique cities in Texas with their own brand.

Viewer10
Viewer10

It would be fair and have more sense to have a judge that has experience and knowledge in Texas and Tex-Mex cooking, as those are some of the foods they are supposed to judge since the event is to take place in TEXAS. Instead, they have included an Indian who claims to have knowlwedge of ALL types of cooking, which is not true as evidenced by her background and experience.

Bartakus
Bartakus

Top Chef Texas is still to show a Chef from Texas! Last night should have been top chef Chicago! I am sure there is some rhyme and resaon for this. Like eliminating regionally? I hope to see some Texas Chefs Soon! Maybe the casting calls in H-town etc were simply gratuitous.... ??

El Paso Longhorn
El Paso Longhorn

Great that Austin is featured, wish they had visited El Paso for the Mexican cuisine. Sorry for those not featured, but had your city council/chamber of commerce/convention & visitors bureau tried harder/at all, my hometown of El Paso included, you probably would have been featured. So stop all this in-state bad mouthing and be grateful we live in a state with personality and interest. I

jan forrester
jan forrester

UNBELIEVABLE they did not come to THE most diverse restaurant city in the state!!!

Texas Foodie
Texas Foodie

I think its great that TC is coming to Texas. 8 of the 14 shows will showcase San Antonio, the other 6 will be split amongst Dallas, Austin and (I heard) Houston. San Antonio is a great choice due to the new Culinary Institute of America, amazing new talent and beautiful scenery as a backdrop to the show. San Antonio based Central Market, a thriving farmer's market and the newly transformed Pearl Brewery devoted to local food are just part of the new culture. As Texas' most popular tourist destination, San Antonio has fostered many great new restaurants and home grown chefs. The city has beautiful spaces for showcasing a food show. At the very least, it will promote to America that Texas is not just cowboy hats, big hair and boring, empty glass high rises. Look at all the shows being taped in Dallas..... They show the same JR Ewing stuff (see Most Eligible Dallas, the A-list Dallas) like cadillacs with horns and chics claiming "the bigger the hair the closer to heaven." I really need a break from that stereotyped 1980s Texas look. I love Houston and Dallas but am finding that Austin is becoming a snobby little town with an big attitude. When I meet people from Austin and tell them I am from Dallas, Houston or San Antonio they make a face and say something nasty. It's really pretty funny to see them do that. I hope TC gets to show what a great culinary state Texas is and how much variety there is in all 4 cities. Looking forward to a great season.

KatrinaL.
KatrinaL.

Why is everyone freaking out about the season that hasn't even aired yet. Yes we can assume there will be tons of barbeque and southern cooking on this season, but come on. It's Top chef, you know it's going to be awesome, you know there will be a variety of tastes. Trust them, they know what's up! Wait and see what happens!

Dallasjones84
Dallasjones84

I just wanted to say to the people who think Houston is some kind of food town. Get with it!! Houston can't compete with Dallas when it comes anything food. I see people saying Houston has the best seafood and Italian food in the country! Are you people nutz!! By far Dallas Is the best food city in Texas with Austin a close second!!

Viewerz
Viewerz

"ldbaby" shows the typical Austintude snob bubble so prevalent these days. Let's generalize Channelview and Baytown to all of Houston, yeah, that's realistic. Might want to check some lists of top 10 restaurant cities, top museum cities, and similar. Don't see little 'ol Austin on those lists, just Houston. Come out from under your pretentious rock, dear.

Viewerz
Viewerz

GlenW, Houston is one of the best melting pots in the US and has a fairly substantial Asian population. But apparently, Top Chef wasn't interested, as they want the more Texas-stereotypical sorts of cities. Sorry.

Viewerz
Viewerz

Going to Texas for a food show and skipping Houston to go to Austin and San Antonio is almost as bad as going to California and skipping Los Angeles to go to Sacramento and Berkeley.

THAT my friends, is why people are making a big deal out of it.

Cartmom1
Cartmom1

I think that Bravo needs to address the Houston snub. Houston is the 4th largest city in the country. Our cuisine spans the global palate. Houstonians eat out more than residents of any other city. Texas is a little more diverse than cowboy boots and tumbleweeds. The redundancy of the cities selected is fairly sad. So much for Top Chef being better than the Food Network.

GlennW
GlennW

Texas for Top Chef? How many Tex-Mex meals should we be expecting to see this season? One of the reasons I watch TC is to see the creativity of the cheftestants in a wide variety of flavors and "cultures".

Other places are known for being more as "melting pots", even places like Atlanta. This was a problem in Miami and in the New Orleans,Caribbean, and Asian finales, and it could very well be a problem in Texas as far as I'm concerned.

Keep the Quickfires and Elimination Challenges from being a Southwest cuisine smorgasbord or this will turn out to be the worst TC ever.

smithking
smithking

Have they already filmed all of the show in Austin or is filming still going on?

viwer
viwer

Confused to why Houstonians care so much? They picked 3 cities and Houston is not one of them. Just because you live there doesn't mean it's great...Austin is definitely the best city in Texas. A whole episode is dedicated to THE SALT LICK, I KNOW BECAUSE MY FRIENDS WENT THE DAY IT WAS BEING FILMED

ACG2611
ACG2611

Way to go Top Chef on continuing to perpetuate the idea that Houston is in some way inferior to the three other major metros in Texas. Having lived in 3 of the 4, I'm very sad to find this out, because Houston easily has the best (and largest) selection of restaurants, the least pretense about the food scene and over all, the most welcoming city. It has the largest and most interesting international population of any city in the state.

You really had the chance to break the mold here and share something new with your viewers, instead of just rehashing stereotypes and pandering to prejudices. Unfortunately, you didn't.

Txgal87
Txgal87

That's why Tom was in San Antonio not too long ago!! I saw him at my work n was wondering what the heck would he be doing here haha it's about time top chef came to the lone star state!!

flashscuba
flashscuba

I love that Top Chef is coming to Texas, but I'm so over this notion that Texas is nothing but cowboys, country music and barbecue. As a fourth generation Texan living in Austin, we have an attitude of "anything goes" as long as you are thinking independently and making your own mark. Give up the square-dancing dress, Padma, and get into this century. Austin, Houston and Dallas have restaurants that are known nationally for innovation and great taste, and none of them have anything to do with a cowboy.

NathanB
NathanB

I have traveled all over Texas, and I believe Dallas has by far the best selection of food in the State. Its an international city with some of the top eateries in the World. It is, from what I have read, the only city in the World with a AAA five diamond restaurant and hotel(the mansion on turtle creek) and some of the worlds most famous chefs call Dallas home. While I have enjoyed my food experiences in Houston, Austin and San Antonio, as someone who is a self proclaimed NYC food snob, I can tell you, Dallas is the ONLY city in Texas that truly competes with New York, San Francisco, Paris, etc.

Juan Herrera
Juan Herrera

Top Chef not visiting the LARGEST city in TEXAS??????? HELLLLLOOOOOOO!!!! Also, Houston is know for it's diversity in food! We have the best BURGERS, BBQ,, Middle Eastern, Asian and Tex/Mex around!

I will still watch, but bad move on Bravo's part for not visiting Houston...makes no sense!

cindyw68
cindyw68

If it's true that Top Chef didn't come to Houston because the city refused to pay them, then someone at the Chamber of Commerce should be fired! What a huge missed opportunity! It's so bad that I have to believe the other rumor I heard, that Padma didn't want to come to Houston because her baby daddy, Adam Dell, lives here.

MontyM
MontyM

I am a native Houstonian and live in Houston. It doesn't bother me that Houston was left off the list. You never know why some of these decisions are made; however, to say that Houston is an ugly, dirty city with no culture and no architecture is ignorant and factually incorrect AND it's the only city in Texas where you can eat a different type of ethnic cuisine every night for a month and never have the same kind twice. That being said, Austin and San Antonio are great cities too. Did I leave anyone out??

Top Chef Enthusiast
Top Chef Enthusiast

My husband and I have been top chef fans since season 1.... every season we talk about how much we wish we could have (and what we'd give for) the opportunity to get to dine at one of the Restaurant Wars.... how does one get the opportunity to do this??

Sally Bartolameolli
Sally Bartolameolli

Glad you are finally heading to TEXAS but shocked to know that you are not in HOUSTON. Houston has some of the finest food in the country. I've eaten all over the world and Houston has the most authentic Mexican food, Steak, Vietnamese, Italian, freshest seafood and the like. Wake up Top CHEF! We're a cool city with amazing cultural diversity and class.

alantexan
alantexan

I hope San Antonio gets the most coverage, it has the most beautiful backdrops, iconic landmarks, history and culture. It is also the top leisure destination in the state and actually has more AAA 4 star Diamond rated restaurants and hotels than Houston and Austin, only Dallas has more. I dont know how someone can say San Antonio is the ugly stepchild of Houston, has to be out of their minds. San Antonio has the beautiful hill country full of wine vineyards, the beautiful lush urban riverwalk and all the historic landmarks and parks.

Ryan D.
Ryan D.

As a huge Top Chef fan since the beginning i would love to know how to become a diner for some of the challenges ala Restaurant Wars?! Since some of the season will be in Dallas I would love to know how to attend one of these events. Please advise. Thank you!

MiltonBurlesque
MiltonBurlesque

Top Chef Texas! Why? If Top Chef was going to hit the road why not go to a place that is known for good food, not beef, beans and Texas toast. NOLA is just a few hundred miles to the east and has some of the finest cuisine in the world. Then there is the fact that Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, LA and even Las Vegas are better known for good food then Texas. I think this move has more to do with economics then fine dining.

top city
top city

I'll definitely be watching. But as a New Yorker and native Houstonian, I do think this news about Houston not being in on the action is weird. Without a doubt, Houston has the most culture and by far the biggest melting pot of food from low to high on the cuisine spectrum. I love Austin (at least for as long as it can hold onto its individuality), and for its size it manages to pull off some fine offerings. But in Texas terms, everyone knows that San Antonio is the ugly stepsister, Houston is the original cultural metropolis, Austin is its own rockin' independent animal, and Dallas is... well, I guess it's the newer pre-fab wannabe.

TX-NY
TX-NY

I'll definitely be watching. But as a New Yorker and native Houstonian, I do think this news about Houston not being in on the action is weird. Without a doubt, Houston has the most culture and by far the biggest melting pot of food from low to high on the cuisine spectrum. I love Austin (at least for as long as it can hold onto its individuality), and for its size it manages to pull off some fine offerings. But in Texas terms, everyone knows that San Antonio is the ugly stepsister, Houston is the original cultural metropolis, Austin is its own rockin' independent animal, and Dallas is... well, I guess it's the newer pre-fab wannabe.

Jennlove
Jennlove

Come on, do a top chef New England!!! I'm in massachusetts and would love to see top chef here. it would be fantastic, we have so much culture and food here. Let's go bravo

ldbaby
ldbaby

I am so excited for this season! I love TC and have been waiting for them to film in my homes state. I'm an Austin native/resident, so I'd really like to see something with our amazing food trailers in the new season.

Who cares about Houston? Boo freakin' hoo. I'm sorry, but Houston is just a dirty city with ugly industrial sprawl. I've been to Houston quite a bit, and never had a great food experience. I'd rather go to SA for some quality Mexican food any day.

jaxon
jaxon

So funny! Houston envious of Dallas. Hmmm...like being envious of a tiny d... Ha!

Harpster
Harpster

To NFM- screw off! Houston is awesome! Who bailed out New Orleans during Katrina? Sure wasn't Dallas (aka Snooterville)! Houston has heart and some of the best food in the country!