The Emmy award-winning series will test its new batch of culinary talent in the Bayou City.
Not that Houston’s culinary scene needed the validation, but when the hit TV series Top Chef selected Space City to film its 19th season – it sure got it.
Tonight, Thursday, March 3, its new Houston-produced season will see the “cheftestants” compete amongst one another in a variety of cooking challenges in front of a panel of judges and culinary experts.
“‘Top Chef’ Season 19 is in production in Houston, the 4th largest city in the U.S. The racial and ethnic diversity of Houston’s population is represented in the city’s vibrant culinary scene, making it a perfect backdrop to inspire our next wave of cheftestants,” the network said in a press release. “We hope to showcase the rich heritage of Houstonians through the food that defines them.”
The new season will also see the return of some Top Chef vets to oversee the culinary talent, those of which include: Dawn Burrell, Tiffany Derry, Hung Huynh, Stephanie Izard, Melissa King, Kristen Kish, Kwame Onwuachi, Sam Talbot, Brooke Williamson, and Claudette Zepeda.
Among the 19 cheftestants competing are Houston’s own, Evelyn Garcia – chef and owner of Kin, as well as Jo Chan, an executive chef of Eberly in Austin, Texas.
See the full list here:
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
Top Chef will see contestants competing to win a $250,000 prize courtesy of S. Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, an appearance at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, and a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine, as well as a variety of mini-prizes throughout the show.
“I cannot think of a more perfect pairing than Top Chef and the City of Houston. Both represent a celebration of cuisine, culture and innovation,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “We are proud of the diverse community and unique heritage that makes our city such a hot culinary destination — from classics like Tex-Mex and barbecue to local inventions like Viet-Cajun and Japanese Tapas. As any Top Chef contestant will tell you, the best food is born out of passion, and Houstonians exemplify this idea with every dish we create.”
Top Chef’s 19 season will also feature local establishments such as Post Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and NASA.
The new season of Top Chef premieres on Bravo tonight, March 3 at 7 pm. In honor of the premiere, a number of local businesses will be holding viewing parties, including Saint Arnold Brewing Company and Axelrad.