Emmy-winning culinary competition 'Top Chef' has moved from Portland to Houston for its 19th edition. Production has begun there, and the show will premiere next year. Indian American model, TV host, author and activist Padma Lakshmi along with Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons are all returning to adjudicate the new group of cheftestants.
Also coming back will be a variation of last season's 'Top Chef' all-star judging panel, in which alumni of the show joined its bubble as guest judges and mentors.
The idea was born out of pre-Covid vaccine necessity, but proved to be popular with the show's fans.
Tiffany Derry, Hung Huynh, Stephanie Izard, Melissa King, Kristen Kish, Kwame Onwuachi, Sam Talbot, Brooke Williamson and Claudette Zepeda are among the alumni who will appear on 'Top Chef' 19th season, with more names to be announced later.
Houston chef Dawn Burrell, who was a runner-up last season, will also appear as one of the returning alumni.
Season 9 of 'Top Chef' filmed in several cities in Texas such as Austin, San Antonio and Dallas but did not go to Houston.
Bravo provided a statement from Sylvester Turner, the mayor of Houston, about the show's arrival there. "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," he said.
The statement further read: "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 aTop Chef' contestant will tell you, the best food is born out of passion, and Houstonians exemplify this idea with every dish we create."