Top Chef

Wednesday 10:00 PM on Bravo Premiered Mar 08, 2006 In Season



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AIRED ON 10/15/2014

Season 12 : Episode 1

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Season 12 : Episode 2

Show Summary

Top Chef season 12 celebrates Boston's transition from Beantown to a destination city for fine dining. The season is flavored with celebrity diners, renowned chefs, cultural sites, and newly energized challenges and rules for the competition.

Top Chef: Boston begins with 16 chefs in contention for the title. This season adds sudden death Quickfire challenges that pop up randomly. Each round's challenges take advantage of the city's rich cultural history and local ingredients. Locations will include famous venues, old and new, including visits to Fenway Park and Plimoth Plantation. Guest judges and diners will range from superstar chefs to sports stars and celebrities.

Padma Lakshmi continues as host and judge, along with returning head judge Tom Colicchio. Gail Simmons, and Hugh Acheson continue as judges, and, in a Top Chef first, a former winner – Richard Blais – joins the panel of judges. The Top Chef title includes a feature inFood & Wine magazine, the opportunity for the winner to showcase his or her skills at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, and $125,000 to help turn the winner's culinary dreams into reality. Top Chef is produced by Magical Elves Productions, which Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serve as executive producers.

Broadcast History (All times E/P):
Seasons 8-12 – Wednesday, 10:00 pm
Season 7, Episodes 10-14 – Wednesday, 10:00 pm
Season 7, Episodes 1-9 – Wednesday, 9:00 pm (Displaced from its regular time slot by Bravo's Work of Art: the Next Great Artist.)
Seasons 1-6 – Wednesday, 10:00 pm

2014 Emmy Awards (66th)
Nominated – Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

2013 Emmy Awards (65th)
Nominated – Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
Nominated – Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming ("Glacial Gourmand")

2012 Emmy Awards (64th)
Nominated – Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
Nominated – Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming ("Fit for an Evil Queen")
Nominated – Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming ("Fit for an Evil Queen")

2011 Emmy Awards (63rd)
Nominated – Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
Nominated – Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming ("Give Me Your Huddled Masses")
Nominated – Outstanding Directing for Reality Programming ("Give Me Your Huddled Masses")
Nominated – Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming ("Give Me Your Huddled Masses")

2011 James Beard Awards
Winner – Television Program, In Studio or Fixed Location (Season Seven)

2010 Emmy Awards (62nd)
Winner – Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
Nominated – Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming ("Masters Get Schooled" "Vivre Las Vegas")
Nominated – Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming ("Vivre Las Vegas")

2009 Emmy Awards (61st)
Nominated – Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
Nominated – Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming ("The Last Supper")
Nominated – Outstanding Directing for Reality Programming ("The Last Supper")
Nominated – Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program (Host Padma and Co-host Tom)
Nominated – Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming ("The Last Supper")

2008 Emmy Awards (60th)
Nominated – Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
Nominated – Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming ("Finale (Part 1)")
Winner – Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming ("First Impressions")

2008 James Beard Awards
Winner – Television Food Special ("Top Chef Holiday Special")
Nominated – Television Food Show, National and Local (Season Three)

2007 Emmy Awards (59th)
Nominated – Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
Nominated – Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming (Episode 209 ["Seven"])

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  • top ched bullies and permissive production crew and judges

    I may be watching an older season but I am appalled at how Marcel was bullied by the 3 other chef's near the end of series. I find it outrageous how he was physically assaulted by Cliff. If the hosts and producers can't see how this individual has been treated - they all need to go to a class on what's appropriate. And to boot- Marcel is the best chef left - particularly since he has been professional compared to other 3 remaining people. Marcel is only one that doesn't have an attitude. One contestant who hadn't seen him in 2 months and sees him in first class flight says he is already annoying him- that is a trouble maker and the others are bullies. Sometimes when 3 people with all of a similar type of faults get together it can be dangerous for the 4th person. I hope they treat Marcel properly.

    As an aside - I was so disappointed he lost but understand and not convinced he wasn't sabotaged with his "missing" fish. I was so pleased and proud of Gail Simmons and P. Lakshi defended Marcel when this bully ex contestant insinuated his food was horrible without even eating it. I realise this was an old episode but just shocked by this mob mentality attack following what was nothing short of a choke hold type of lock they physically put Marcel throw. Frankly, I am surprised he didn't sue CBS,moreless
  • Kind of a familiar area

    We have all seen cooking shows and I think that this one more or less stands out on its own. It does have a lot of exciting moments but not enough to satisfy me.
  • padma is why i won't watch

    I once loved Top Chef. It was all about competition between chefs with one exceptional chef winning. That's how it should be. Then one night I happened to see Padma on that late night Bravo show (by accident--it came on after Top Chef, and I was getting ready for bed, and the fact that Padma was on caught my attention) and she was absolutely gushing about campaigning for Obama--I lost all respect for her, and lost all interest in the show. Apparently she's either so wealthy that his policies won't touch her or so stupid due to her lofty celebrity status that she can't see the truth. Whichever it is, I too am driven by my love of country and memory of what this country once was and could be again, that I could not care less about this show, and feel ill at the sight of this woman. I am so disappointed.

  • Real Chefs of Texas Flip Out -- Thoughts on Season Nine's Descent To the Rest of Bravo's Execrable Programming.

    I don't like reality TV. Bear with me. That statement is not the complete logical disconnect that it appears at first read. The higher echelon of reality fare -- no Kardashians need apply -- focuses not on the deconstruction of the human race, but on gamesmanship and excellence. This season the food played second chair to the petty bullying of a clique of women contestants. If I watched Big Brother or any of the Real Housewives franchises, maybe I'd have a different take on this season. But I come for the food.

    It's quite clear that early on the producers saw a story arc and decided to exploit it into a gender-biased season. Even if the numbers don't support me, the editing made it feel as though I was seeing more boy vs. girl challenges than in any other season. The foundation of that was the bullying of Bev by certain of the women chefs rumpus. Scripted comments and editing made this bigger than it was, but it was still happening and the decision was made to capitalize on it as though Top Chef was one of the bottom-feeding reality programs and not an Emmy-winning show.

    I'm sure the producers thought it was a sound decision ratings-wise, and the numbers may prove them correct. As a viewer, however, I believe it was a tactical misstep because that decision took me completely out of the Top Chef experience; something that hasn't happened since season two and the hijinks with Marcel. If I watch any season nine episode, I do not root for the best chef to win. I root for anyone but Sarah, Lindsay or Heather to win and begrudge all of them their cash prizes and perks that go with the wins. This is not how I want to watch the show. I come for the food.

    As long as I'm passing blame around, it's only fair to share it with the women who sparked the story idea. There are always personality clashes in a work setting, and a competition only makes it more fraught. We see it every season; the chefs snap at each other, accuse one or the other of laziness. It's all happened before. What hasn't happened is the persistence and the ostracization to this level. For whatever reason, mob mentality took over and never left. What's sad is that, because no one in the mob could detach and regain a modicum of professional conduct, it provided the opening for the producers to flavor the whole season with the ladies' ugly behavior.

    With any luck there will be a more professional group of chefs next season, and focus will shift primarily back to the competition. Like I said, I come for the food.moreless
  • Enjoy the Food Network? Always thought you could be the best cook in the world. Then Top Chef is for you. This reality competition takes Chef's from all different backgrounds and see who comes out as Top Chef.moreless

    Top Chef began after the huge success seen by its predecessor Project Runway. It took a real life skill that could not be hidden by camera edits because the contestants had to produce a finished product. Top Chef is a great program for all food lovers. You can see the most amazing dishes created in a matter of minutes or hours depending the challenge.

    The premise is simple. The show starts off with a Quickfire challenge, which I consider the preamble to the show. The Quickfire is designed to see what the Chef's can do in a small amount of time using only their background and prior knowledge. They have no planning and almost always make it right down to the buzzer. Typically the bottom three and top three chef's are showcased. The bottom three are aware of what they did wrong and will have to "bring it" in the Elimination Challenge later in the episode. Typically the Winner of the Quickfire receives immunity in the Elimination Challenge competition, which can be great if the elimination challenge is not team based.

    Then the show continues with the Elimination Challenge, which allows for more prep and planning on a budget of course, with limited access to the stocked kitchen. Sometimes the Chef's are so stumped they are even planning in the supermarket as they find items and go from there. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. As I mentioned above the Elimination Challenge could be individual based or team based, but typically it is team based. So when a member of your team has immunity it just means that everyone else has to step up so your team does not fall behind. Some of the Chef's get lost and think oh, one of our team members has immunity so that means we won't be on the chopping block. Wrong!!

    During the first season it was everyman/woman for his/herself and when they formed teams it was a nightmare. As the series has grown more contestants are realizing it is helpful if you can get along with your teammates. It not only helps you not get eliminated, but you turn out a better product for the guests to enjoy.

    The judging only takes place at the event the Chef's are creating dishes for. Tom Coliccho is the "Chef" judge and he stops in the kitchen to see how the contestants are progressing. One season a Chef forgot an ingredient and Chef Tom saw that ingredient being prepped and commented at Judges' table about why did that ingredient disappear. The ingredient could have made the dish better and was subsequently sent packing. So his presence could be helpful or hurtful depending on which way you see it.

    There is always a guest judge and recently they have brought in Anthony Bourdain and Ted Allen to spicen the mix up. This show is just great entertainment and always enjoyable. Sometimes a little to predictable, but every now and then there is a suprise. Bon Appetit!moreless

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