Skip to Content

Top Chef spin-off features guest judge Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama guest judged a competition between former contestants on Top Chef Friday, and it turns out that’s actually for a mysterious spin-off to the Bravo series, which will be called Life After Chef.

The New York Times casually mentioned in an article about her healthy eating that “Obama had just finished judging a Top Chef competition to pick the best school lunch. She and her co-judges — the celebrity chef Tom Colicchio and the Obamas’ personal cook and food policy adviser, Sam Kass — declared it a tie among the three entries. The first lady told the children at the taping that when it comes to healthy school lunches, ‘everybody wins.'”

That was in Dallas, and that doesn’t make any sense: Top Chef Texas long ago concluded production in the state, and is about to go into its finale. But it turns out that it was actually for a spin-off series about which we know very little.

Here’s what Dallas’ Pegasus News reported:

“Emceed in part by White House chef Sam Kass, the healthy cooking competition featured Top Chefs Richard Blais, Fabio Viviani, Jenn Carroll, Spike Mendelsohn, Grayson Schmitz, and Paul Qui, while students from Nancy Moseley Elementary School in Dallas watched and cheered from bleachers. In the end, no winner was picked: When kids eat healthy food, ‘everybody’s a winner,’ Obama said.

The event took place on the basketball court at the Kleberg-Rylie Recreation Center, which had been turned into the set of the Bravo show Life After Top Chef, complete with temporary lamps hanging from the rafters for better light.

Six students scored the high-profile assignment of running ingredients back and forth to the cooking stations where the Top Chefs were tasked with creating a healthy meal in 30 minutes. The chefs were paired up and placed on the red, white, or blue team. Season 9 contestants Grayson and Paul were paired together and dubbed by Colicchio the ‘Texas team.’ The blue team was Fabio and Richard, and White was Jenn and Spike.”

With information on just this one non-competitive challenge, the name is the only other thing we have to guess what the show will be about; based on Friday’s events, it seems like it will bring together past chefs in some context to do something, or perhaps will just follow them wherever they’re invited to go. Friday, Tom Colicchio tweeted a picture of himself with the First Lady, but made no mention of the competition.

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

More great stories

About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

Discussion

I value our community at reality blurred, which connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

Comment rules: My goal is for us to be able to share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space. That’s why I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to them.

Happy discussing!