Bravo’s latest culinary competition series is set to debut with an all-star group of cheftestants who are sure to turn up the heat this summer! Top Chef fans will appreciate the new show’s exciting format pitting past champions and fan favorites against each other in a culinary showdown of epic proportions.
The best culinary talent ever seen on Top Chef and Top Chef Masters are back Wednesday, August 6 at 10 PM ET/PT!
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone will host eighteen of the biggest, boldest, and most talked-about personalities from past seasons as they battle it out one-on-one in high stakes cooking challenges designed to test their passion and imagination in the kitchen. Curtis will be joined at the judges’ table by Gail Simmons and chefs Wolfgang Puck and Hugh Acheson along with other special guests will round out the judging panel throughout the series.
So how exactly is this going to work? Let’s break it down:
In each episode, two chefs will face-off in three rounds of head-to-head battles testing their skill, creativity and speed. The competing chefs will have a chance to each pick one mini-duel based on the other’s perceived weaknesses in the kitchen. Upon completion of the third and final challenge of each episode a winner will be decided who will move on to compete in the season finale. Ten chefs will lay it all on the line in the high-stakes finale where they will be confronted with split second decisions in order to win the greatest battle of their careers. As per Top Chef usual, only one chef will ultimately earn bragging rights, not to mention the $100,000 grand prize and a culinary adventure that will be featured in Food and Wine Magazine.
Sounds pretty exciting, right?! But which chefs will be battling it out in this first season of Top Chef Duels? Here are the match ups for each week:
Episode 101: Richard Blais (Top Chef Chicago runner- up and Top Chef All-Stars winner) vs. Marcel Vigneron (Top Chef Season 2 runner up)
Episode 102: Shirley Chung (Top Chef New Orleans finalist) vs. Brooke Williamson (Top Chef Seattle runner up)
Episode 103: Mike Isabella (Top Chef All-Stars runner up) vs. Antonia Lofaso (Top Chef Chicago finalist)
Episode 104: CJ Jacobson (Top Chef Miami contestant) vs. Stefan Richter (Top Chef Season 5 runner up)
Episode 105: David Burke (Top Chef Masters Season 5) vs. Takashi Yagihashi (Top Chef Masters Season 4)
Episode 106: Tiffani Faison (Top Chef Season 1 runner up) vs. Dale Talde (Top Chef Chicago and Top Chef All-Star contestant)
Episode 107: Nyesha Arrington (Top Chef Texas contestant) vs. Jen Carroll (Top Chef Las Vegas finalist)
Episode 108: Stephanie Izard (Top Chef Chicago winner) vs. Kristen Kish (Top Chef Seattle winner)
Episode 109: Kevin Gillespie (Top Chef Las Vegas fan favorite) vs. Art Smith (Top Chef Masters Season 1)
Episode 110: Championship Finale
Here’s a first look at the battles to come:
Top Chef Duels will showcase a wide range of guest judges from across film, TV, music and food to round out the panel each week. Special guests include actress Shailene Woodley and musicians P!nk, Scott Ian Rosenfeld, Gary Holt and Rob Zombie. Also featured this season are Andy Samberg along with the cast of FOX’s “Brooklyn Nine Nine” including Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Fumero, Chelsea Peretti and producer Dan Goor, as well as stars from ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” such as James Pickens Jr., Sarah Drew, Camilla Luddington, Jerrika Hinton and Kevin McKidd. In addition, celebrity chef and restaurant owners joining the judges panel throughout the series are Daniel Boulud, Michelle Bernstein, Andrew Zimmern, Josiah Citrin, Paul Liebrandt, Homaro Cantu, Karen & Quinn Hatfield, Ben Pauker, Curtiss Calleo, Suzanne Goin, David Lentz and American food writer and magazine editor James Oseland.
In a continuation of the competition, Bravo will add to its award-winning slate of companion digital video series with The Knockout, which gives eliminated chefs a chance to claim a spot in the Top Chef Duels finale on-air. Hosted by Wolfgang Puck, each week the most recently eliminated chef from the series will compete against the incumbent Knockout champion. The winner of that battle moves on to face the next eliminated contestant, but in a twist on the format of Last Chance Kitchen, a chef only needs to win one battle to qualify for a place in The Knockout online finals. However, the more battles a chef wins, the better his/her chances of earning a spot back on the show. Only the ultimate winner of The Knockout will re-enter the Top Chef Duels Championship finale.
So, what do you think about Top Chef Duels? Will you be tuning in on August 6? Which chef match ups are you most excited for?