"Top Chef" Races to Kentucky for Season 16

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02 December 2018
Top Chef
Photo: Michael Hickey/Bravo
"Top Chef"
Season Premiere Thursday, December 6 at 9PM ET/PT on Bravo

         Bravo’s popular series Top Chef  heads to the state of Kentucky for the new season, kicking off with two weeks of supersized premieres. This season, 15 new talented chefs from cities big and small across the U.S. will compete for the sought-after title amid the unique culinary scenes in Louisville, Lexington and Lake Cumberland, before heading abroad for an epic finale showdown in Macau, China. The Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series returns with host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, Graham Elliot, Nilou Motamed and Gail Simmons.

Top Chef
Tommy Garcia/Bravo
          Padma and Tom continue to keep the chefs on their game with an exciting season full of curveballs, double eliminations and the earliest and first ever three team Restaurant Wars. The cheftestants work to impress the judges and notable guests as they bet it all at Kentucky’s famous racetracks, Churchill Downs and Keeneland, cook for Laila Ali at the Muhammad Ali Center, and compete in a buzzer beater showdown for roaring fans at the University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena with Hall of Famer, Coach Calipari.

          At Maker’s Mark’s iconic bourbon distillery, the chefs celebrate two Kentucky mainstays as they are tasked with putting their spin on classic dishes including burgoo, Benedictine, hoe cakes and dumplings. In addition, the blindfold taste test is back as the chefs must identify a variety of herbs and spices for a KFC-inspired Quickfire. Emmy-Award Winner Lena Waithe is on hand for a Quickfire challenge reimagining the Hot Brown and “Below Deck’s” Captain Lee Rosbach and Captain Sandy Yawn join the cheftestants for a house boat challenge in Lake Cumberland.
Embarking on a road trip to Nashville, the chefs hit the Grand Ole Opry stage dishing up delectable delights to musicians Hunter Hayes and Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill, along with his wife, model Lily Aldridge. And for the first time ever, the chefs grow their own produce and must use their harvests in one of the final Kentucky challenges. The top five chefs then travel to Macau, China, to the heart of fusion-food, to battle it out for the title of “Top Chef.”

Top Chef
Photo: Michael Hickey/Bravo
 •  Eric Adjepong - Washington, DC
 •  Sara Bradley - Paducah, KY
 •  Kelsey Barnard Clark - Dothan, AL
 •  Edmund “Eddie” Konrad - Philadelphia, PA
 •  Pablo Lamon - Miami Beach, FL
 •  Natalie Maronski - Philadelphia, PA
 •  Michelle Minori - San Francisco, CA
 •  Nini Nguyen - Brooklyn, NY
 •  Brandon Rosen - San Mateo, CA
 •  Kevin Scharpf - Dubuque, IA
 •  Caitlin Steininger - Cincinnati, OH
 •  Justin Sutherland - St. Paul, MN
 •  David Viana – Asbury Park, NJ
 •  Adrienne Wright - Boston, MA
 •  Brian Young – Boston, MA

          The winning chef will earn the coveted title of “Top Chef” along with $125,000 furnished by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine and an appearance at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, as well as a $50,000 prizing package from Williams Sonoma and a headlining slot on the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage at BottleRock in Napa Valley.

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