Courtesy of Tommy Garcia / Bravo

The show's sixteenth season has begun filming, and the cast is already eating really, really well. 

Maria Yagoda
May 17, 2018

In February, the Top Chef team announced they'd be filming season 16 of the series in and around Louisville, Kentucky—and since then, we've been eagerly anticipating to see where and what they're eating.

Well, the bourbon-fueled festivities have officially begun, and how do we know? Padma Lakshmi's social media tipped us off. The crew, it seems, has wasted no time in exploring the city's rich culinary scene, starting off with BBQ, fried things, and bourbon cocktails. 

In recent years, Kentucky's distinct food culture gained the national recognition it deserves, so we're excited to see how this season shakes out, even if it pains us to watch people eat fried pickles when we aren't eating them, too. 

“Kentucky has a strong food identity, and we know our incoming chefs will be inspired by the burgeoning culinary scene, known for its innovative takes on Southern cuisine, melding flavors and use of Kentucky’s agricultural bounty," said Shari Levine, EVP of Current Production at Bravo Media, in a statement announcing the season.

Here's everything the Top Chef gang has eaten in Kentucky so far, so you can plan a mini pilgrimage later. Keep checking back for updates as filming (and eating) continues!

FEAST BBQ

On the menu:

A half rack of baby back pork ribs with collard greens and mac and cheese

Fried pickles

Loaded tater tots

Pork cakes

“And just so I can watch my weight, I have this chopped chicken salad.”

Mint Julep Slushie

909 E Market St #100, Louisville, KY 40206

 

RED HERRING COCKTAIL LOUNGE AND KITCHEN

On the menu:

Mint Juleps

1757 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206

 

ROYALS HOT CHICKEN

On the menu:

Ritz crackers & pimento cheese spread

Mac n’ cheese

Cole slaw

Hot chicken sandwich

Cheerwine 

736 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40202

 

RED HOG

On the menu:

Pimento cheese

2622 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206

 

On Twitter, Lakshmi is actively soliciting suggestions for where the team should eat next. Chef Edward Lee, who owns 610 Magnolia, MilkWood and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, tweeted at the host suggesting she stop by. (She's planning on it.) Also on her agenda? Sri Lankan food. "Oooo, I did a movie years ago in Sri Lanka and fell in love with the food," she tweeted at Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites, which is located in Lexington. "Would love to have some snacks!!"

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