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Pack your knives and get ready to go to Houston, because Bravo's Top Chef Season 19 premieres on Thursday, March 3 at 8/7c with a supersized episode. As host Padma Lakshmi notes in the trailer for the new season, above, Houston is "one of the most diverse cities in the nation" — and these cheftestants are ready to mess with Houston, one dish at a time.
Padma will be joined by head judge Tom Colicchio as well as Gail Simmons, who all return for Season 19 as 15 cheftestants put their culinary skills to the ultimate test while vying to be named Top Chef.
"It's going to be a beautiful, interesting season if we're cooking like this," Padma adds in the trailer, above.
Meet the Top Chef Season 19 cheftestants, below:
Ashleigh Shanti – Asheville, NC
Buddha Lo – Brooklyn, NY
Damarr Brown – Chicago, IL
Evelyn Garcia – Houston, TX
Jackson Kalb – Los Angeles, CA
Jae Jung – New York, NY
Jo Chan – Austin, TX
Leia Gaccione – Morristown, NJ
Luke Kolpin – Seattle, WA
Monique Feybesse – Vallejo, CA
Nick Wallace – Jackson, MS
Robert Hernandez – San Francisco, CA
Sam Kang – Brooklyn, NY
Sarah Welch – Detroit, MI
Stephanie Miller – Bismarck, ND
The season will see the chefs as they use their expertise to take on iconic regional dishes, all while being immersed in the ethnic diversity that defines the city’s culinary identity. Houston is home to the largest Nigerian population in the country, and the chefs will be put to the test for a Quickfire spotlighting Nigerian cuisine. They will also compete in an elimination challenge tasking them to feed Houstonians at an Asian Night Market that draws inspiration from some of the city's largest Asian communities. They will also be asked to put their own spin on favorites like BBQ, biscuits, queso, and the classic Tex-Mex original, the fajita, made popular by Houston.
The chefs will also be asked to create space-friendly dishes for former astronauts, and they'll also head out to the Gulf with Tom for an unforgettable fishing experience. Padma tests the chefs by taking inspiration from Top Chef France’s most difficult challenge where they must create two dishes that look identical but taste completely different. Top Chef's signature challenge, Restaurant Wars, is back with an open kitchen concept where the chefs must cook for a full dining room of guests, while also catering to an intimate tasting table for the judges. From paying tribute to the state’s female trailblazers to hosting a block party fundraiser to preserve Freedmen’s town, Season 19 is one for the history books.
Each week winners, finalists, and favorites from the world of Top Chef will also make appearances, including Nyesha Arrington, Dawn Burrell, Kelsey Barnard Clark, Adrienne Cheatham, Tiffany Derry, Joe Flamm, Gregory Gourdet, Hung Huynh, Stephanie Izard, Melissa King, Kristen Kish, Ed Lee, Maria Mazon, Shota Nakajima, Nini Nguyen, Kwame Onwuachi, Sheldon Simeon, Brooke Williamson, and Claudette Zepeda.
A who's who of world-renowned chefs will also appear this season, including Daniel Boulud, Wylie Dufresne, Carlotta Flores, Bricia Lopez, Eric Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson, and Alexander Smalls, as well as acclaimed Houstonian chefs Ope Amosu, Aaron Bludorn, Irma Galvan, Greg Gatlin, Robert Del Grande, Christine Ha, Trong Nguyen, Hugo Ortega, Monica Pope, Chris Shepherd, Kiran Verma, and Chris Williams. Hunter Lewis, Editor-in-Chief of FOOD & WINE, joins the judges for the final challenge.
In addition to being crowned with the coveted title of Top Chef, the winner 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. Throughout the season, chefs will also have the opportunity to earn prizes courtesy of in-show partners Chipotle, MasterCard, Talenti, Universal Pictures’ Jurassic Park: Dominion, and Vrbo.
And, Bravo’s Emmy-Winning digital companion series Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen returns on Thursday, March 10. Hosted by Tom Colicchio, Last Chance Kitchen is back for Season 11 as the eliminated chefs go head-to-head to try to cook their way back into the competition. Presented by BMW of North America, each week’s episode will be available on BravoTV.com, On Demand, or wherever you stream Bravo’s Top Chef at the conclusion of each week’s episode.
There's even more Top Chef to enjoy as every Thursday directly following Top Chef, Bravo will encore Peacock’s Top Chef Family Style. The series is hosted by Meghan Trainor and Marcus Samuelsson serves as head judge as 15 talented culinary prodigies compete with an adult family member for the chance to be crowned champions.
Check out the full trailer for Top Chef Season 19, which premieres on March 3 at 8/7c, above.
You can also take a sneak peek at Peacock’s Top Chef Family Style before it encores on Bravo, below.
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