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, June 2, its Houston-produced season will see its final “cheftestants” – Evelyn Garcia, Sarah Welch, and Buddha Lo – prepare a four-course menu “worthy of $250,000 and the title of Top Chef” in front of a panel of judges and culinary experts.
The panel, which will score each plating based on creativity, flavor, presentation, and texture, will consist of the following:
“Padma, Tom, Gail, and guest judges Stephanie Izard and Eric Ripert along with special guest diners Gregory Gourdet, Edward Lee, Janos Wilder, Bricia Lopez, Hunter Lewis, and Alexander Smalls.”
Throughout the season, Top Chef featured many of Houston’s most revered eateries. These include The Annie Café, The Blind Goat, Crawfish & Noodles, Dumping House, The Fattest Cow, Gatlin’s BBQ, Himalaya, Irma’s Original, J-Bar-M Barbecue, Kata Robata, Kiran’s, Mala Sichuan Bistro, 7000 Islands, and XinChao,
Other Houston outposts featured include POST Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and NASA.
As with the previous episode, the series finale will take place in Tuscon,
Top Chef contestants are 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.”
The series finale of Top Chef airs tonight, June 2, at 7 pm local time.