The real housewives network Bravo announced today what it's calling its "most diversified slate ever" and that includes a couple of new food reality shows. Up first is Top Chef Duels (the show was announced back in January with the working title of Top Chef Extreme, so perhaps it is less extreme than originally intended). According to a press release, contestants will include "eighteen of the biggest, boldest and most talked-about personalities from past seasons of Top Chef and Top Chef Masters."
What will these big and bold personalities be up to? Unsurprisingly they will participate in "extreme culinary challenges." And then the winners "will compete in the season finale in a test of pure gastronomic talent and ambition" for a $100,000 grand prize and "culinary bragging rights." So it's like Iron Chef meets Chopped meets Top Chef or something. Also announced was host Curtis Stone and judge Gail Simmons.
Up second is Best New Restaurant; it was announced a year ago and originally called America's Best Restaurant. The series is based on the UK series Ramsay's Best Restaurant — shouty chef Gordon Ramsay is just the executive producer — and chef/restaurateur Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio will host the show.
According to a release Colicchio will, "along with his trusted team of experts, pit 16 of the nation's hottest new restaurants against each other in a series of challenges aimed at determining who provides the best all-around, top-to-bottom experience." There will be a cash prize and the title of "Best New Restaurant."
Here are the relevant bits of Bravo's press release:
"Top Chef Duels"
Produced by Magical Elves with Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serving as Executive Producers.
Previously announced as "Top Chef Extreme," this new culinary competition series hosted by celebrity chef Curtis Stone brings back eighteen of the biggest, boldest and most talked-about personalities from past seasons of "Top Chef" and "Top Chef Masters." In each episode, two former chef'testants will face off head-to-head in three rounds of extreme culinary challenges, each being given the chance to up the ante and challenge the other's culinary skills. The winners of each battle will compete in the season finale in a test of pure gastronomic talent and ambition until only one is standing to claim the $100,000 grand prize and culinary bragging rights. Curtis Stone will also anchor the judges table with Gail Simmons, while chefs Wolfgang Puck and Hugh Acheson and special guests will round out the judging panel throughout the series.
"Best New Restaurant"
Produced by One Potato Two Potato with Gordon Ramsay, Tom Colicchio, Elizabeth Cook, Nicola Moody, Pat Llewellyn and Ben Adler serving as Executive Producers.
A new out-of-studio culinary competition series that tackles the food world from a fresh direction: the restaurant. Acclaimed restaurateur and host, Tom Colicchio, along with his trusted team of experts, pit 16 of the nation's hottest new restaurants against each other in a series of challenges aimed at determining who provides the best all-around, top-to-bottom experience. Tom will travel across the nation in search of only one restaurant that deserves a cash prize and to be crowned "Best New Restaurant." The series is modeled after the UK hit "Ramsay's Best Restaurant" from executive producer Gordon Ramsay.