Top Chef producers “don’t pay the guest judges,” Tom Colicchio says

Head Top Chef 3 judge Tom Colicchio says that the show’s guest judges are not compensated for their time or potential suffering through bad food.

In an interview with TV Guide, he said that Anthony Bourdain is a fan of the show, and “That’s why he comes back. [Laughs] They don’t pay the guest judges, c’mon. All of the guest judges, for the most part, are people that I’ve worked with and respect. A lot of the guys you’ll see this season are friends of mine.”

Asked about Hell’s Kitchen, he says, “I watched five minutes once and turned it off because I can’t deal with people yelling and screaming at chefs. For me, I try to treat the contestants the way I would treat the cooks in my kitchen — you have to be firm, you have to criticize them, but you do it in a way that builds them up, not rip them apart.”

Despite being hyper-critical on the show, Tom is not that way in real life. I’m the least critical person going to a restaurant [because] I know what the chef is going through. I go there, I enjoy it, I don’t ever complain,” he said.

Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio Shares His Recipe for Success [TV Guide]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.