Bravo Media turns up the heat in a new culinary competition series Top Chef Duels premiering Wednesday, August 6 at 10 PM ET/PT as the network brings back the best culinary talent ever seen on Top Chef and Top Chef Masters for a gastronomic battle royale of epic proportions. Hosted by celebrity chef Curtis Stone, the newest iteration of the Emmy Award-winning franchise pits 18 of the biggest, boldest, and most talked-about personalities from past seasons against one another in high-stakes cooking challenges designed to test their passion and imagination in the kitchen. In addition to his role as host, Curtis Stone will also anchor the judges' table with Gail Simmons, while chefs Wolfgang Puck and Hugh Acheson along with other special guests will round out the judging panel throughout the series.
In each episode, two chefs will face-off in three rounds of head-to-head battles testing their skill, creativity and speed. Rivalries will be intensified as Top Chef Duels ups the ante and allows the competing chefs to each pick one mini-duel based on the other's perceived weaknesses in the kitchen. The third and final challenge of each episode will decide who moves on to compete in the ultimate high-stakes season finale where 10 chefs will be confronted with split-second decisions as they lay it all on the line in the greatest challenge of their careers. In the end, only one chef will earn bragging rights and win the $100,000 grand prize and a culinary adventure that will be featured in Food and Wine Magazine.
Top Chef Duels will showcase a wide range of guest judges from across film, TV, music, and food to round out the panel each week. Special guests include actress Shailene Woodley and musicians P!nk, Scott Ian Rosenfeld, Gary Holt and Rob Zombie. Also featured this season are Andy Samberg along with the cast of FOX's Brooklyn Nine Nine including Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Fumero, Chelsea Peretti and producer Dan Goor, as well as stars from ABC's Grey's Anatomy such as James Pickens Jr., Sarah Drew, Camilla Luddington, Jerrika Hinton, and Kevin McKidd. In addition, celebrity chef and restaurant owners joining the judges panel throughout the series are Daniel Boulud, Michelle Bernstein, Andrew Zimmern, Josiah Citrin, Paul Liebrandt, Homaro Cantu, Karen and Quinn Hatfield, Ben Pauker, Curtiss Calleo, Suzanne Goin, David Lentz, and American food writer and magazine editor James Oseland.
In a continuation of the competition, Bravo will add to its award-winning slate of companion digital video series with "The Knockout," which gives eliminated chefs a chance to claim a spot in the Top Chef Duels finale on-air. Hosted by Wolfgang Puck, each week the most recently eliminated chef from the series will compete against the incumbent Knockout champion. The winner of that battle moves on to face the next eliminated contestant, but in a twist on the format of "Last Chance Kitchen," a chef only needs to win one battle to qualify for a place in "The Knockout" online finals. However, the more battles a chef wins, the better his/her chances of earning a spot back on the show. Only the ultimate winner of "The Knockout" will re-enter the Top Chef Duels Championship finale.