In a sneak peek at the new season filmed in gorgeous Colorado, host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, and judges Gail Simmons and Graham Elliot welcome 15 new contestants to step up to the stove. The chefs will travel across Denver, Boulder, Telluride and Aspen for challenges like a snowy campfire cook-off and a cauldron cooking competition at the Food & Wine Classic.
“There’s something inside of us that makes us want to cook but the better chefs, they go on a journey,” says Colicchio. “They find themselves and they find their voice and then they can actually make that important to the world.”
In between guest appearances from Olympians Gus Kenworthy and Meryl Davis and celebrity chefs like Curtis Stone, Richard Blais and John Besh, the cheftestants (see the full list below) also have to deal with their fair share of drama.
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Tears are shed, harsh critiques are given (“It looks like a concussion on a plate,” Elliot can be seen saying) and one chef, Bruce Kalman from Los Angeles, even has to keep his cool as his family expands while he’s away competing. “My son is going to be born while I’m here,” he says. “It’s tough to stay focused.”
Watch the clip above to get a first look at the new season before it premieres December 7 at 10 pm ET/PT on Bravo. And tune into Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen—where eliminated chefs get a chance at redemption—premiering for the first time before the new season starts on Nov. 30.
Top Chef Colorado Cheftestants
Fatima Ali (formerly of La Fonda Del Sol) – New York, NY
Tyler Anderson (Millwright’s Restaurant and Tavern) – Simsbury, CT
Carrie Baird (Bar Dough) – Denver, CO
Adrienne Cheatham (formerly of Red Rooster) – New York, NY
Laura Cole (229 Parks Restaurant) – Denali National Park, AK
Joseph Flamm (Spiaggia & Café Spiaggia) – Chicago, IL
Rogelio Garcia (The Commissary) – San Francisco, CA
Tanya Holland (Brown Sugar Kitchen) – Oakland, CA
Bruce Kalman (UNION and Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market) – Los Angeles, CA
Brother Luck (Four by Brother Luck) – Colorado Springs, CO
Melissa Perfit (Bar Crudo) – San Francisco, CA
Tu David Phu (Ăn: A Vietnamese Dining Experience) – Oakland, CA
Joe Sasto (Cal Mare) – Los Angeles, CA
Christopher Scott (Butterfunk Kitchen) – Brooklyn, NY
Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins (El Jardín) – San Diego, CA