Here Are All the Chefs Competing on 'Top Chef' Season 18 in Portland
The pandemic has put a lot of Hollywood on hold, but some cooking competitions have been able to work around and under COVID-19 safety requirements to keep cameras rolling. Such was the case with the most recent season of The Great British Baking Show, which saw the bakers, hosts, and judges (and their families) living in a bubble. A similar effort has been underway for Bravo's iconic Top Chef series, which last summer announced it would be making a few production changes and setting up shop in the show's latest locale, Portland, Oregon.
Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons will all be returning to the Judges' Table, along with a slate of guest judges that includes Richard Blais, Carrie Baird, Nina Compton, Tiffany Derry, Gregory Gourdet, Melissa King, Kristen Kish, Edward Lee, Kwame Onwuachi, Amar Santana, Dale Talde, and Brooke Williamson. We've also been told to expect appearances by the likes of José Andrés, Massimo Bottura, Gabriel Rucker, and Alice Waters, as well as Portlandia stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.
Today, we finally found out whose food they'll be judging as we get our first look at the cast of 15 chefs. Take a look below at their names, faces, and bios as provided by Bravo:
As for what to expect this season, as usual, Top Chef will showcase the best ingredients and experiences its location has to offer. Take a look at the teaser for season 18 below.
"During a time of extreme hardship in the restaurant industry, these chefs have more on the line than ever before," the show's official announcement said. "From working with foraged mushrooms and picking produce at the famous Hood River Fruit Loop to visiting the Tillamook Creamery, the chefs are tasked with cooking with Oregon's natural bounty of ingredients. With Padma, Tom and Gail and a table full of alums to impress, the expectations have never been higher, especially in this year's unique Restaurant Wars where the teams must perfectly execute on a micro-restaurant concept with a cohesive seven-course tasting menu that rivals the best in the world."
"To stay in the game, the chefs must cook at their best while contending with a Quickfire using ingredients used on the Oregon Trail and a surf and turf elimination challenge honoring the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation," it continued. "While in the 'City of Roses,"'the judges definitely don't hold back their thorns as they narrow it down to find this season's 'Top Chef.'"
The winner of Top Chef receives $250,000 courtesy of S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, a feature in Food & Wine magazine, as well as an appearance at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
Top Chef Season 18 in Portland premieres Thursday, April 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo. Find more information and video content at bravotv.com/top-chef.