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Top Chef Houston is not the only Top Chef that will be on Bravo Thursdays this spring

Top Chef Houston is not the only Top Chef that will be on Bravo Thursdays this spring
Top Chef winner Kristen Kish and head judge Tom Colicchio (center) talk to Luke Kolpin (left) and Ashleigh Shanti (right) during Top Chef Houston episode 1. (Photo by David Moir/Bravo)

Bravo announced the premiere date and cast for Top Chef Houston, season 19 of its marquee cooking competition, and also revealed some unexpected news: a second full season of Top Chef will be airing on Bravo Thursday nights, and while most people probably haven’t seen it, it’s technically new-ish.

First, for Top Chef Houston, the all-star panel is returning, but will be used in a slightly different way. Instead of serving as the only guest judges, host Padma Lakshmi explains in the trailer that “each week, we’ll be joined by a Top Chef all-star guest judge, along with a local or national culinary icon.”

The names of the all-stars, the guest judges, and all of the contestants are below.

Another terrific pandemic-inspired change is also being modified for this new season: Restaurant Wars will now be “an open kitchen concept where the chefs must cook for a full dining room of guests, while also catering to an intimate tasting table for the judges,” according to Bravo. Honestly, that’s a little disappointing, because the tasting table worked fine by itself, and I don’t think the challenge really needs a dining room full of guests, too.

But here’s the really exciting news…

Top Chef Family Style will air on Bravo

Top Chef Family Style host Meghan Trainor and head judge Marcus Samuelsson
Top Chef Family Style host Meghan Trainor and head judge Marcus Samuelsson (Photo by David Moir/Peacock)

Yes, Top Chef Family Style, which aired only on Peacock for paying subscribers, will air on Bravo, with a new episode following each episode of Top Chef Houston, starting March 3.

In addition to bringing back Last Chance Kitchen, which will air on demand and online, Bravo is giving us a second full season of Top Chef that will be new to many, if not most, fans of the franchise.

Bravo is calling this an “encore,” saying “every Thursday directly following Top Chef, Bravo will encore Peacock’s Top Chef Family Style, hosted by Meghan Trainor and Marcus Samuelsson, where 15 exceptionally talented culinary prodigies compete with an adult family member for the chance to be crowned champions.”

The only thing I didn’t like about Top Chef Family Style was that it was locked behind yet another paywall, and so I’m thrilled NBCUniversal is pulling a Discovery+ here and airing its formerly exclusive show on cable.

The show features pairs of contestants, kids and a relative, and was truly just an outstanding season of Top Chef. If Top Chef Houston is anything like Top Chef Portland, having those two seasons back-to-back will make for fantastic Thursday evenings.

Top Chef Houston’s cast, all-stars, and guest judges

Top Chef Houston season 19 chefs
Top Chef Houston’s chefs contestants: Leia Gaccione, Jae Jung, Stephanie Miller, Jo Chan, Monique Feybesse, Buddha Lo, Sam Kang, Ashleigh Brown, Luke Kolpin, Robert Hernandez, Sarah Welch, Jackson Kalb, Damarr Brown, Nick Wallace, and Evelyn Garcia. (Photo by David Moir/Bravo)

Contestants

There are 15 chefs competing on the new season. Here they are, with links to each chef’s bio on Bravo’s site:

Top Chef alumni/all-stars

Dawn Burrell, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Trong Nguyen, and Monica Pope trying the Top Chef Houston chefs' food during episode 1
Dawn Burrell, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Trong Nguyen, and Monica Pope trying the Top Chef Houston chefs’ food during episode 1. (Photo by David Moir/Bravo)

Judging the contestants will be Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons, of course, plus these Top Chef alumni:

  1. Nyesha Arrington
  2. Dawn Burrell
  3. Kelsey Barnard Clark
  4. Adrienne Cheatham
  5. Tiffany Derry
  6. Joe Flamm
  7. Gregory Gourdet
  8. Hung Huynh
  9. Stephanie Izard
  10. Melissa King
  11. Kristen Kish
  12. Ed Lee
  13. Maria Mazon
  14. Shota Nakajima
  15. Nini Nguyen
  16. Kwame Onwuachi
  17. Sheldon Simeon
  18. Brooke Williamson
  19. Claudette Zepeda

Top Chef Houston’s guest judges

Top Chef season 19 will have two different types of of guest judges, starting with these “world-renowned chefs”:

  1. Daniel Boulud
  2. Wylie Dufresne
  3. Carlotta Flores
  4. Bricia Lopez
  5. Eric Ripert
  6. Marcus Samuelsson
  7. Alexander Smalls

The guest judges will also include these “acclaimed Houstonian chefs”:

  1. Ope Amosu
  2. Aaron Bludorn
  3. Irma Galvan
  4. Greg Gatlin
  5. Robert Del Grande
  6. Christine Ha
  7. Trong Nguyen
  8. Hugo Ortega
  9. Monica Pope
  10. Chris Shepherd
  11. Kiran Verma
  12. Chris Williams

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  • 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.

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