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The Daily Dish Top Chef

See Kristen Kish Step in as Host for Top Chef Season 21, Which Includes Interesting Twists

Find out everything you need to know about Top Chef Season 21, from the 15 cheftestants competing to the unique location.

By Allison Crist

It's time to get cooking on Top Chef Season 21, as the award-winning series is back in a big way this March.

How to Watch

Watch the Top Chef Season 21 premiere on Wednesday, March 20 at 9/8c on Bravo and next day on Peacock.

We're not exaggerating, either, because this time around, every single episode will be supersized. What's more, directly following the premiere on March 20 of Top Chef Season 21, will debut a brand-new digital aftershow, The Dish with Kish. Then beginning Wednesday, March 27, Bravo's digital companion series, Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen, will return for Season 13. (More details on both digital shows below!)

Top Chef Season 21 itself will surely be one to remember, because for the first time in the show's history, cheftestants will have the opportunity to win a cash prize at every Quickfire Challenge and immunity will now be up for grabs at the Elimination Challenges, making the winning chef safe in the next episode. 

Making the stakes even higher, head judge Tom Colicchio and perennial judge Gail Simmons will also lend their expertise as they join host Kristen Kish at Quickfire Challenges for the back half of the season.

It's all going down with a new batch of 15 talented, rising star chefs and James Beard nominees from across the country. Meet the Top Chef Season 21 cheftestants in the above trailer, and keep scrolling for more details (including where this season is taking place!). 

What You May Have Missed on Bravo: 

Where to Watch and Stream Top Chef

Gail Simmons Reveals What Makes Her the “Most Proud” of Top Chef After 20 Seasons

Meet the New Host of Top Chef — and Find Out the Location for Season 21

When does Top Chef Season 21 premiere?

Season 21 of Top Chef premieres Wednesday, March 20 on Bravo with an entire season of supersized episodes every Wednesday night from 9 to 10:15 p.m. Episodes will be available the next day on Peacock.

Gail Simmons, Kristen Kish, and Tom Colicchio in a kitchen pantry together

Where does Top Chef Season 21 take place?

Top Chef Season 21 takes place in Milwaukee and Madison. At the end of the season, the show will "embark on a special high-seas finale with award-winning cruise line Holland America Line," per a press release.

The arial exterior of a farm barn and silo where a Top Chef challenge is taking place.

Who are the Top Chef Season 21 cheftestants? 

Kaleena Bliss - Chicago, IL

Kevin D’Andrea - Austin, TX

Alisha Elenz - Chicago, IL

Danny Garcia - New York, NY

Valentine Howell Jr. - Boston, MA

Dan Jacobs - Milwaukee, WI Manny

Barella Lopez - Denver, CO

Savannah Miller - Durham, NC

David Murphy - San Francisco, CA

Kenny Nguyen - Athens, GA

Laura Ozyilmaz - San Francisco, CA

Charly Pierre - New Orleans, LA

Amanda Turner - Austin, TX

Rasika Venkatesa - San Francisco, CA

Michelle Wallace - Houston, TX

Who are the Top Chef Season 21 guest judges?

The elite rotating judging and dining panel this season includes Dane Baldwin, Charlie Berens, Ryan Braun, Paul Bartolotta, Dominique Crenn, Curtis Duffy, Clea Duvall, Andrew Kroeger,  Emeril Lagasse, Hunter Lewis, Bricia Lopez, Tory Miller, Itaru Nagano, Carrie Nahabedian, Joe Papach, Shaina Papach, Justin Pichetrungsi, Sofia Roe, Sean Sherman, Adam Siegel, Helmi Smeulders, Art Smith, Brittany Snow, Elena Terry, Christina Tosi, Erick Williams, and David Zilber.

Top Chef Alums Making Cameos on Season 21

Throughout the competition, Top Chef winners, finalists and favorites return to lend their guidance and expertise, including Sara Bradley, Joe Flamm, Jeremy Ford, Gregory Gourdet, Stephanie Izard, Carla Hall, Ed Lee, Mei Lin, Buddha Lo, Kwame Onwuachi, Shota Najikama, Amar Santana, Justin Sutherland, and Bryan Voltaggio.

What to Expect on Top Chef Season 21

Per a press release, "The cheftestants must bring their A-game and inspiration to Wisconsin this season as they go head-to-head in a slew of challenges honoring the state’s traditions, local staples, and fresh produce. From a cutthroat cheese festival featuring some of Wisconsin’s Award winning cheesemakers, to showcasing the versatility of Door County cherries and Wisconsin-grown cranberries, there’s no room for error as the judges narrow down the competitors each week to find this season’s winner. One challenge takes the chefs to the home of the Milwaukee Brewers for their Famous Racing Sausages®  Race, but this Top Chef version means they’re tasked with cooking and elevating five different types of sausages.

"The cheftestants will also observe a Wisconsin institution — an old-fashioned Door County fish boil before creating their own with some help from some Top Chef alums. In Madison, the chefs pull together a high-end, clever take on a supper club menu and visit a farmer’s market to do their shopping for a special Quickfire with guest judge W. Kamau Bell.

"While this year’s Restaurant Wars goes back to the basics, the competition continues to keep the chefs on their toes. Always pushing boundaries, one challenge tasks the chefs to make dishes that are works of art honoring renowned architect and Wisconsin native Frank Lloyd Wright, where another challenge brings in Chef Matty Matheson (The Bear) as a guest judge for a challenge about chaos cuisine, combining cultures and breaking the culinary mold.

"The chefs have to cook at the top in order to move onto the epic finale cruising on the MS Eurodam in the Caribbean. The first stop is Curaçao for one last Quickfire. While onboard, the final four receive a surprise visit from Holland America’s Fresh Fish Program Ambassador, Chef Masaharu Morimoto, before having to prepare an eight-course fish-tasting menu for the penultimate episode. In the final meal, the remaining chefs must impress the judges and table of experts by cooking the best four-course meal of their lives in order to be crowned the champion. The winner takes home the $250,000 grand prize provided by the Saratoga® Spring Water, a feature in Food & Wine and an appearance at the 41st annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen."

Details on The Dish with Kish

Directly following the Top Chef Season 21 premiere, debuts a brand-new digital aftershow, The Dish with Kish, presented by Saratoga® Spring Water and hosted by Kristen Kish, where Kish will be joined by a Top Chef alum.

Full length of Kristen Kish wearing a white vest and white pants in a kitchen pantry

The pair will break down all the culinary action from the latest episode while creating a new dish inspired by the episode’s challenges, revealing new insights into the creativity and techniques behind challenging-winning dishes.

Joining Kish in the kitchen to talk about the culinary action and give a look behind-the-scenes are Top Chef winners, finalists, and fan favorites Gregory Gourdet, Stephanie Izard, Mei Lin, Buddha Lo, Amar Santana, Joe Sasto and Marcel Vigneron.

Details on Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen Season 13

Beginning Wednesday, March 27, Bravo’s Emmy-winning digital companion series, Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen, hosted by Tom Colicchio, returns for season 13 with a new twist as a new chef tries to break into the competition.

Presented by BMW of North America, each week eliminated chefs go head-to-head to try to cook their way back into the main competition.

Both digital series will be available at the conclusion of each week’s episode on Peacock or wherever you stream Bravo’s Top Chef.

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