It’s hard to believe Top Chef is already in its 12th Season! And, that’s not counting all the spinoffs like Top Chef Masters, Top Chef Just Desserts, and most recently, Top Chef Duels. Each year, Bravo does its very best to outdo the last in terms of exciting new challenges, locales, guest appearances, and chefs. This year, Bravo is taking Top Chef back to the East Coast and heading to Boston.
Top Chef Season 12, Boston premieres Wednesday, October 15 @ 10pm ET/PT!!
For the first time, the Chef’testants will be judged by one of their own. Past “Top Chef” winner Richard Blais will be joining the judging panel as a recurring judge. It should be interesting to see him give his two cents from a former competitors point of view. Regular judges are, as per usual, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and Hugh Acheson. Padma Lakshmi will, of course, be returning as host. Last Chance Kitchen, the online series allowing ousted chefs a chance for redemption and a return ticket to the competition, will also be back this year, hosted by Tom Colicchio.
Here’s a first look at the culinary awesomeness to come:
New this season, viewers and Chef’testants will be introduced to sudden death Quickfire challenges which will occur without warning throughout the season. I suppose this means nobody is ever totally safe and that every chef better be cooking at his or her best every step of the way!
As if that added pressure wasn’t enough to light a fire under this season’s batch of Top Chef hopefuls, they’ll also be tasked with cooking for top entertainers, culinary stars and celebrity guest judges including: actress Emmy Rossum, Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, MLB Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, actor George Wendt (Norm from “Cheers”), Todd English, Barbara Lynch, Jasper White, Ming Tsai, Jacques Pépin, Ken Oringer, Jamie Bissonette and last, but certainly not least, “Watch What Happens Live” host Andy Cohen!!
According to Bravo, this season features some of the franchise’s “hungriest” chefs battling it out against the backdrop of Bean Town’s flourishing culinary scene. The chefs will go knife-to-knife at iconic Boston locales including Fenway Park, Plimoth Plantation and The Bull and Finch Pub, which served as the inspiration for “Cheers” and where exterior shots for the show were filmed. Mirroring Boston’s own rich history, Season 12 is full of firsts, including the first meal ever served on the field underneath the Green Monster, a challenge using only ingredients that would have been on hand at the first Thanksgiving meal, the first “Top Chef” food festival and the first fan appreciation challenge where fans of the show were invited to dine inside the “Top Chef” kitchen. The show will also feature a challenge highlighting Boston’s finest from the police and fire departments.
The winning prize pack this season is pretty standard Top Chef fare: $125,000 furnished by Healthy Choice, a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine, a showcase at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen and, of course, the highly coveted title of “Top Chef.”
We don’t have corresponding pictures or bios yet but, nonetheless, meet the Season 12 Chef’testants:
– Doug Adams, 29 – Portland, Oregon
– Stacy Cogswell, 33 – Boston, Massachusetts
– Joy Crump, 46 – Fredericksburg, Virginia
– Ron Eyester, 40 – Atlanta, Georgia
– Gregory Gourdet, 39 – Portland, Oregon
– Aaron Grissom, 27 – Los Angeles, California
– Adam Harvey, 29 – New York, New York
– Melissa King, 30 – San Francisco, California
– Rebecca LaMalfa, 32 – Chicago, Illinois
– Mei Lin, 28 – Los Angeles, California
– George Pagonis, 31 – Washington, D.C.
– Michael Patlazhan, 31 – Brooklyn, New York
– James Rigato, 29 – White Lake, Michigan
– Katsuji Tanabe, 33 – Los Angeles, California
– Keriann Von Raesfeld, 28 – San Jose, California
– Katie Weinner, 35 – Salt Lake City, Utah