Bravo's Top Chef will be heading to Houston for its upcoming Season 19, Bravo announced on Tuesday, September 21.
"'Top Chef' Season 19 is in production in Houston, the 4th largest city in the U.S. The racial and ethnic diversity of Houston’s population is represented in the city’s vibrant culinary scene, making it a perfect backdrop to inspire our next wave of cheftestants," the network said in a statement. "We hope to showcase the rich heritage of Houstonians through the food that defines them."
Several Top Chef All Stars will also return to lend their guidance and expertise in the new season, including Dawn Burrell, Tiffany Derry, Hung Huynh, Stephanie Izard, Melissa King, Kristen Kish, Kwame Onwuachi, Sam Talbot, Brooke Williamson, and Claudette Zepeda.
Top Chef has traveled to cities, states, and regions all across the U.S. since it first premiered in 2006. Its most recent Season 18 took place in Portland, Oregon, and featured a new batch of 15 cheftestants vying for the top title. For the first time ever, the series also featured a rotating judging and dining panel made up of Top Chef all-star winners, finalists, and favorites, along with longtime judges Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons.
We met Shota and Luke at a coffee shop in Cle Elum, WA, where Shota was to have had the grand opening of his new restaurant in that tiny town. (Ultimately, the opening was delayed, for which Shota apologized profusely as we had driven some distance to be there.) Shota introduced Luke as part of his crew. There was a 3rd guy with them who looked very familiar--perhaps from a past TC season? Shota was teasing Luke that he couldn't say anything about this season because of his hefty NDA. Luke joked that he knew nothing and wasn't even watching. Super nice guys, and very gracious.