About Top Chef
Bravo’s Top Chef serves up new flavors this season when host Kristen Kish joins head judge Tom Colicchio and perennial judge Gail Simmons at the judges’ table as they head to the Midwest to call Wisconsin home.
The Emmy, James Beard and Critics' Choice Award-winning series, produced by Magical Elves, lands in the energetic culinary scenes of Milwaukee and Madison before embarking on a special high-seas finale with award-winning cruise line Holland America Line. Renowned chef and Season 10 winner Kristen Kish takes the helm this season as host, bringing a fresh perspective, new rules and unexpected twists. A new batch of 15 talented, rising star chefs and James Beard nominees from across the country vie for the coveted title, bringing their unique skillsets, culinary heritage and innovative flavors.
For the first time in series history, the 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, Colicchio and Simmons will also lend their expertise as they join Kish at Quickfire Challenges for the back half of the season.
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.