Here come the cheftestepants: The 16th season of Top Chef, Bravo’s time-honored culinary competition, premieres Thursday, December 6, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, the network announced Thursday. Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Graham Elliot, and all their friends head to Kentucky for a new set of challenges that, if the just-released trailer is any indication, will be laden with plenty of bourbon, horses, and that patented Top Chef drama.
How much drama? Just take a look at a few of these choice lines spoken in the sneak-peek video:
“Stop! You guys listen to me, and you don’t talk to them!”
“I seem like a Southern belle, but shock factor is my secret weapon.”
“I’m not going to make it on corn! That’s all the corn and it’s on the floor!”
Wow, hold on to your big derby hats.
Regular judge Gail Simmons will appear only sparingly this season since she was on maternity leave during filming, according to People. In Simmons’ stead, former Food & Wine editor-in-chief Nilou Motamed will step up to offer her expert opinion on all of the chefs’ triumphs and disasters. Among the roster of guest judges this year are celebrity chefs (including Emeril Lagasse and Eric Ripert), musicians (country singer Hunter Hayes and Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill), sporting figures (boxer Laila Ali and University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari), and television stars (Lena Waithe of Dear White People and Master of None fame and Captains Lee Rosbach and Sandy Yawn from Bravo’s Below Deck).
The cast of combatants includes culinary pros from the usual big cities, but there is some small-town representation, as well, including a local rooting interest.
• Sara Bradley (Paducah, Kentucky)
• Eric Adjepong (Washington, D.C.)
• Kelsey Barnard Clark (Dothan, Alabama)
• Edmund “Eddie” Konrad (Philadelphia)
• Pablo Lamon (Miami Beach)
• Natalie Maronski (Philadelphia)
• Michelle Minori (San Francisco)
• Nini Nguyen (Brooklyn, New York City)
• Brandon Rosen (San Mateo, California)
• Kevin Scharpf (Dubuque, Iowa)
• Caitlin Steininger (Cincinnati, Ohio)
• Justin Sutherland (St. Paul, Minnesota)
• David Viana (Old Bridge, New Jersey)
• Adrienne Wright (Boston)
• Brian Young (Boston)
The winner of Top Chef Season 16 will, as per usual, receive a big check for $125,000, a spread in Food & Wine magazine, and a showcase appearance at next year’s Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado. This season’s spoils also include a $50,000 prize package from Williams-Sonoma and a headlining gig on the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage at the 2019 BottleRock music festival in Napa Valley, California.
• Watch Your First Look at ‘Top Chef’ Kentucky [Official]
• The Trailer for the New Season of ‘Top Chef’ Is Here! Get an Exclusive Sneak Peek [People]
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