The premier of Telemundo's Top Chef spinoff Top Chef Estrellas is just two days away, and here now is a 20-minute preview of the show's first episode (in Spanish, duh). Produced by the same company that's behind Top Chef, several components of the show will be recognizable to fans: The intro music and on-screen text are identical, and the set is the kitchen from Top Chef: New Orleans, which just makes good economic sense. The preview below finds the contestants greeting each other on the set, just like in past first episodes, and then diving into their first Prueba de Fuego, or Quickfire Challenge.
Where the show diverges from its American counterpart is with the people involved. As Entertainment Weekly points out, the new show "won't feature chefs hungry to make their mark on the culinary world — an element that's been essential to the Top Chef formula since its premiere on Bravo in 2006." Instead, various food-inclined celebrities will compete for charity, being judged by "master chef"/taco shill Lorena Garcia and James Beard award-nominated TV hosts and LA restaurateurs Jaime Martin Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu. Eliminated chefs won't be sent home; instead, they will remain to work as sous chefs for the other contestants.
A Telemundo rep tells Entertainment Weekly that the network sees celebrities as critical to the show's success: "What we are trying to do with our show is open it to all demographics. Even if you are not interested in cooking, once you see the novela stars and celebrities on the show, you will keep watching." Not everyone is enthusiastic about the programming differences, however. DC chef José Andrés said over Twitter that he doesn't expect the cooking on the show to be interesting, but that "TV is TV and if it entertains." Top Chef Estrellas premieres this Sunday, February 16. Go, watch the preview: