Bravo's Top Chef is back with a twist when it returns for Season 18 with a supersized episode on Thursday, April 1 at 8/7c.
This season will welcome 15 new cheftestants vying for the coveted title of Top Chef in picturesque Portland, Oregon. These executive chefs and restaurant owners from all across the country each bring a unique set of skills and a diverse culinary point-of-view to the competition.
Meet the Top Chef Season 18 cheftestants, who head judge Tom Colicchio says "could be one of the best collections of chefs we've had on the show in 18 seasons" in the trailer for the new season, below:
Brittanny Anderson - Richmond, VA
Avishar Barua - Columbus, OH
Dawn Burrell - Houston, TX
Gabe Erales - Austin, TX
Nelson German - Oakland, CA
Byron Gomez - Aspen, CO
Sasha Grumman - Houston, TX
Roscoe Hall - Birmingham, AL
Sara Hauman - Portland, OR
Kiki Louya - Detroit, MI
Maria Mazon - Tucson, Arizona
Shota Nakajima - Seattle, WA
Gabriel Pascuzzi - Portland, OR
Jamie Tran - Las Vegas, NV
Chris Viaud - Milford, NH
Host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, and judge Gail Simmons will all be back to help determine who will be crowned this season's Top Chef. They will also be joined for the first time ever by an elite rotating judging and dining panel made up of Top Chef all-star winners, finalists, and favorites, including Richard Blais, Carrie Baird, Nina Compton, Tiffany Derry, Gregory Gourdet, Melissa King, Kristen Kish, Edward Lee, Kwame Onwuachi, Amar Santana, Dale Talde, and Brooke Williamson.
Season 18 of Top Chef will also include appearances by José Andrés, Massimo Bottura, Gabriel Rucker, and Alice Waters. Portlandia stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein also stop by the Top Chef Kitchen for a Quickfire Challenge.
The chefs will be put to the test in a variety of new challenges this season, including celebrating PDX's Pan-African cuisine, feeding hundreds of frontline workers, a surf and turf elimination challenge honoring the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and crabbing on the Oregon Coast in a tribute to culinary icon and Oregonian James Beard. They will also visit some of Oregon's most famous locations, including the Hood River Fruit Loop and Tillamook Creamery. This season's Restaurant Wars will be unlike any other as the teams must execute a micro-restaurant concept with a cohesive seven-course tasting menu.
In addition to the coveted title of Top Chef, this season's winning chef will receive $250,000 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.
Last Chance Kitchen also returns on Thursday, April 8. Hosted by Tom Colicchio, Bravo Media's Emmy-winning digital companion series will follow Season 18's eliminated chefs as they go head-to-head to try to cook their way back into the competition. Presented by BMW of North America, the latest installment of Last Chance Kitchen will be available at the conclusion of each week's episode of Top Chef on BravoTV.com, on demand, or wherever you stream Top Chef.
See everything that Season 18 of Top Chef will be serving up in the full trailer, above.
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