Season 16 of Bravo's Top Chef will be here before you know it, and the competition's setting in Kentucky certainly has us intrigued. Why, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Graham Eliot have already been taking in all the sights, and, of course, all the food that the Bluegrass State has to offer, and it is totally leaving us wanting more.
So when The Daily Dish caught up with Top Chef Season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio earlier this month, we just had to ask if he could give us any insight into what fans can expect from Kentucky's culinary scene next season. And he is just as excited to find out as we are. "I don't know. I'm curious to see because it definitely is, I think, the smallest area that they've gone to with the show so far," he said.
Kentucky is known for its bourbon and barbecue, but fans can expect to see so much more when Top Chef explores the thriving culinary scenes of Louisville, Lexington, and Lake Cumberland next season. “We are always looking for rising culinary destinations and are looking forward to planting our flag in Kentucky and soaking up a diverse region of the country that we haven’t yet explored on Top Chef,” Shari Levine, Executive Vice President, Current Production, Bravo Media, said in a statement when the location of Top Chef Season 16 was announced in February. “Kentucky has a strong food identity and we know our incoming chefs will be inspired by the bourgeoning culinary scene, known for its innovative takes on Southern cuisine, melding flavors, and use of Kentucky’s agricultural bounty.”
One thing is for sure: With Kentucky's "southern hospitality" and all of "the energy" in the state, according to Voltaggio, next season's Cheftestants should be ready for a good time. "I mean, the Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest parties I've ever been to in my life," Voltaggio told The Daily Dish. "I think any city now is a food city because of the ability to distribute information to each other. And so, I'm excited to see it go anywhere. But certainly Kentucky is a good stop, for sure."
Top Chef Season 15's Joe Flamm and Adrienne Cheatham provide even more intel on what to expect from the culinary competition's time in Kentucky, below.