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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Tom Colicchio and Graham Elliot Hit the Derby as Top Chef Prepares to Kick Off in Kentucky

With Bravo's Top Chef Season 16 set for Kentucky, the judges made an essential pre-game pit stop.

By Tamara Palmer

Bravo's Top Chef Season 16 is set to take place in Kentucky, with the thriving culinary scenes of Lake Cumberland, Lexington, and Louisville serving as the backdrop for a big Bluegrass State battle. Judges Tom Colicchio and Graham Elliot were in the latter city this weekend looking extra dapper for the Kentucky Derby, where they posed for red carpet photos and sampled strong mint juleps.

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"Oh my God, it's incredible!" Graham exclaimed from the red carpet in a selfie video. "So, in Kentucky, Louisville, not only is it about the food, it's the people, it's the bourbon, it's the area, it's the energy. It's the frickin' costumes that these people are wearing!"

They also bet on the big race, each selecting a different horse.

Unfortunately, neither of their picks went on to win the Kentucky Derby; Graham's Blended Citizen just missed competing on the field, while Tom's choice, a European entry named Mendelssohn, fell to the back of the pack.

Top Chef Season 16 will premiere later this year.

“We are always looking for rising culinary destinations and are looking forward to planting our flag in Kentucky and soaking up a diverse region of the country that we haven’t yet explored on Top Chef,” Shari Levine, Executive Vice President, Current Production, Bravo Media, said in a statement announcing the series' next location. “Kentucky has a strong food identity and we know our incoming chefs will be inspired by the bourgeoning culinary scene, known for its innovative takes on Southern cuisine, melding flavors, and use of Kentucky’s agricultural bounty.”

Cheers to winning horse Justify... and to Season 16 of Bravo's Top Chef in Kentucky!

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