(Padma Lakshmi voice) Previously on Top Chef, the long-running culinary competition series assembled some of its best and brightest alums for an all-stars season of epic proportions. Now, having crowned its second all-star, it’s time for the franchise to, you know, create some new stars. And you know what that means:
Top Chef: Portland premieres on April 1, and today Bravo announced its new crop of cheftestants with some bios and an extended trailer for the new season, which was filmed in the midst of COVID-19 lockdowns. Sadly, that means we’re going to be seeing a lot of culinary titans—José Andrés, Alice Waters—via Zoom, though a number of alums will be on hand for the season’s rotating judging and dining panel. They include past winners and franchise favorites Melissa King, Kristen Kish, Kwame Onwuachi, Brooke Williamson, Richard Blais (ugh!), and Dale Talde (yay!).
In the below trailer, judge Tom Colicchio says the Portland contestants “could be one of the best collections of chefs we’ve had on the show in 18 seasons,” but he always says stuff like that. Focus instead on the blessed image of Portlandia’s Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein in the Top Chef kitchen.
“This season, a new batch of 15 extremely talented executive chefs and restaurant owners, representing a cross section of kitchens and food around the country, vie for the coveted title bringing their unique skillsets, diversity of cuisines and gamut of flavors,” reads a statement from Bravo. “With Portland as a picturesque backdrop and culinary inspiration, the chefs compete in a variety of challenges including celebrating PDX’s Pan-African cuisine to feeding hundreds of frontline workers and crabbing on the Oregon Coast in a tribute to culinary icon and Oregonian James Beard.”
Top Chef: Portland premieres on Bravo on Thursday, April 1. Check out the chef’s bios over at Bravo.