This casting notice appeared in "Backstage" last week...
BRAVO’S: “TOP CHEF AMATEURS” Bravo is seeking home cooks, aged 21 or older, for its new “Top Chef” spinoff competition, “Top Chef Amateurs.” Production dates and locations are TBD. A stipend will be provided as cooks compete for the top prize. Travel and accommodation will be covered. Apply here!
Top Chef Amateurs is still supposedly going to air on Bravo later this year. Today, another spin-off was announced:
Peacock is preparing a slew of spinoffs of hit non-scripted NBCU series. The streamer has ordered spinoffs of Top Chef and Below Deck as well as Baking It, from Amy Poehler and the team behind Making It, and is becoming the home of American Ninja Warrior Junior, which was previously at Universal Kids.
Top Chef Family Style is a spinoff of the Bravo reality series. It will be hosted by Meghan Trainor, who recently signed a cross-platform overall deal with NBCU with James Beard Award winner and cookbook author Marcus Samuelsson as head judge.
The family culinary competition will feature talented young chefs who will each team up with an adult family member partner to compete for a chance to be crowned champions. It is produced by Magical Elves with Casey Kriley, Jo Sharon, Hillary Olsen and showrunner Claire Kosloff serving as executive producers.
So it's like a new Top Chef Junior (which was a great show, too bad it disappeared) but the junior chefs are teamed with family members.
Bravo will need to cook up a new host of Top Chef now that Padma Lakshmi has revealed she is leaving.
Lakshmi, who also exec produces the show, said that she is leaving the cooking show after its 20th season, which is known as Top Chef: World All-Stars. The show, which has its season finale on June 8, has already been renewed for season 21.
“After much soul searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave Top Chef. Having completed a glorious 20th season as host and exec producer, I am extremely proud to have been a part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food,” she wrote on social media.
“After 17 years, many of the cast and crew are like family to me and I will miss working alongside them dearly. I feel it’s time to move and need to make space for Taste The Nation, my books and other creative pursuits,” she added. “I am deeply thankful to all of you for so many years of love and support.”
Top Chef’s 20th season was set in London and featured 16 of the greatest competitors from the format’s iterations around the globe.
Lakshmi hosted alongside head judge Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons. It is produced by Magical Elves.
Elsewhere, Lakshmi also hosts Hulu’s Taste The Nation, which just aired its second season.
“Padma Lakshmi leaves behind an incredible legacy on Bravo’s Top Chef,” and NBCUniversal spokesperson said. “Her impact on the Emmy, James Beard and Critics’ Choice Award-winning series is undeniable. We are grateful to Padma for being a consummate host, judge and executive producer, and for bringing her ingenuity and exceptional palate to each episode where she ate every bite of food on the series for over 17 years and 19 seasons. She will always be part of the Top Chef and the NBCUniversal family and has a seat at the judges’ table anytime.”
I’m surprised they didn’t wait until after the finale to announce this But good for her! It must have a tough decision for her to leave, but makes some sense from what she said…just after the world all star season, and she’s got other stuff going on and other stuff that she wants to do.
It will be a different show without her, but hopefully they’ll find a good fit to replace her.
If Bravo recruits the next host from within the “Top Chef” family, who would you recommend?
I don’t want to piss anyone off. [Past contestants] are all like my children. There are a lot of great people, like Melissa King and Kristen Kish, who have other shows. Carla Hall would be fantastic. Either Gregory Gourdet or Kwame Onwuachi could do the job because they are the hottest chefs in the world right now, and we don’t see enough Black men in roles at the forefront of the professional food world, even though Black men and women have been making most of the food in this country historically. Kwame is charismatic and funny; Gregory is thoughtful and has a lot of empathy.
And I think Gail could be great too. We have grown up together on this show, and she certainly knows how to handle all the complexities that sit between us [at Judges’ Table]. Maybe the solution is to have Gail take my chair, and then you could have a permanent position that only alumni get to take.
I was recently thinking about Carla Hall. I once saw her on the street and ran back to my office to tell everyone, but no one knew who she was. I love her energy and this is my favorite idea for a replacement.