Padma Lakshmi Reveals the Part of Top Chef That Is Scripted

Bravo's Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi gives a glimpse behind the scenes.

Bravo's Top Chef is heading to Kentucky for Season 16, with the hotly anticipated premiere now set for Thursday, December 6 at 9/8c. 

Padma LakshmiTom ColicchioGraham ElliotGail Simmons — along with Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard and Season 15 winner Joe Flamm — all appeared at PaleyFest in NYC on October 18 ahead of the new season to chat about the show... and share some intel not previously known to fans.

One attendee used the Q&A portion of the event to ask whether any part of the show is scripted, and Padma obliged. Indeed, she said that exactly one part of the show's format does follow a script: when she explains the challenges, and that's because “it is a specific thing.”

That is to say, the only thing the show scripts is the description of the challenges, so the chefs can be perfectly clear about the rules and guidelines expected of them for each. 

Padma also revealed that those scenes typically are cut shorter for TV, but in real life, the process is longer as the contestants are permitted to ask questions and confirm their understanding of the challenge they are about to undertake.

To that end, Tom added that chefs who claim they didn't know something about the challenge at hand are "full of s---."

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