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.
Season 21 premieres Wednesday, March 20 on Bravo with an entire season of supersized episodes every Wednesday night from 9-10:15 p.m. Episodes will be available the next day on Peacock.
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.
MEET THE 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
For more information on the cheftestants, please visit Bravotv.com/top-chef.
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.
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.
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.
Directly following the premiere, BravoTV.com 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. 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 her 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.
Additionally, 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.”
The partnership with Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation was made in cooperation with Travel Wisconsin, Visit Milwaukee, Destination Madison, Destination Door County, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.
For a complete list of partners this season, click here.
“Top Chef” is produced by the Emmy Award-winning production company Magical Elves. Casey Kriley, Jo Sharon, Doneen Arquines, Hillary Olsen and Tracy Tong executive produce.
ABOUT MAGICAL ELVES
Magical Elves is a leading producer of award-winning, non-fiction content for domestic and international television markets. Known for hits like “Top Chef” (Bravo), “Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen” (Bravo), “Top Chef Family Style” (Peacock), “Nailed It!” (Netflix), “Cold Justice” (Oxygen) and “Brain Games On The Road” (Nat Geo), Magical Elves is a veteran production company with a long track record of consistently delivering the highest quality programming. Magical Elves is a part of The Tinopolis Group’s portfolio of production companies. For more information, visit www.magicalelves.com.
ABOUT BRAVO MEDIA
Bravo is the premier lifestyle and entertainment brand that drives cultural conversation around its high-quality, interactive original content across all platforms. The network features a diverse slate of original programming, including Emmy® Award-winning “Top Chef” and “Project Runway,” fan-favorites “Vanderpump Rules,” “Below Deck,” “Southern Charm,” and the highly popular “Million Dollar Listing” and “The Real Housewives” franchises. Bravo also boasts the only live late-night talk show on television with the critically acclaimed “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” which has become a nightly destination for A-list celebrities. Bravo is part of the NBCUniversal Television and Streaming portfolio, which includes NBCU’s broadcast, cable and streaming platforms: NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, Universal Kids, USA Network and Peacock. For more information, visit BravoTV.com.