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Details about Top Chef Amateurs, which Gail Simmons will host

Last month, I reported that Top Chef: Amateurs would be filming this fall, after Top Chef: Portland completed production, and today Bravo formally announced that it’d “greenlit” the show. The network also announced details, including the new reality show’s host, Gail Simmons.

Top Chef Amateurs is the fifth competition reality show spin-off of the Top Chef franchise, not including web series. It will also be filmed in Portland, Oregon, and premiere in 2021.

This will be Gail Simmons’ second time hosting a Top Chef spin-off competition; she hosted two seasons of Top Chef: Just Desserts, which aired 10 years ago this fall and winter.

Top Chef All Stars LA winner Melissa King is returning for Top Chef Portland, season 18 of the Bravo show
Top Chef All Stars LA winner Melissa King is returning for Top Chef Portland, season 18 of the Bravo show, and Top Chef Amateurs. (Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Bravo)

Bravo’s announcement said that “familiar faces” will appear on Top Chef Amateurs, including:

  • Eric Adjepong
  • Richard Blais
  • Jennifer Carroll
  • Shirley Chung
  • Stephanie Cmar
  • Tiffany Derry
  • Joe Flamm
  • Gregory Gourdet
  • Melissa King
  • Kwame Onwuachi
  • Dale Talde
  • Isaac Toups

If that list looks at all familiar, it’s because half of them—the former Top Chef contestants whose names I’ve bolded—are also appearing on Top Chef: Portland as part of its “rotating judging and dining panel,” which will take the place of guest judges and larger events.

What exactly they’ll be doing, however, is unclear, though they won’t be competing. The new, amateur contestants will face off in a familiar format: competing head to head, just like Last Chance Kitchen.

Their challenges, however, will be past Top Chef challenges. Bravo is letting viewers choose one of those challenges.

Bravo did not say if these are one-off episodes and match-ups, or if they’ll be part of a bigger competition, like a bracketed, tournament version of Masterchef.

Bravo only said the new show “will give talented home cooks the chance to put their skills to the test in some of the most iconic challenges from Top Chef seasons past.”

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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. Learn more about Andy.

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