Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, and Amar Santana film an episode of Top Chef
(L-R) Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, and Amar Santana film an episode of ‘Top Chef’ | David Moir/Bravo

Hosted by model and activist Padma Lakshmi, Top Chef pits the best chefs in America against each other through a series of challenges, often themed around the city where filming takes place. The chefs’ work is evaluated by a panel of judges including celebrity chef Tom Colicchio and food writer Gail Simmons. Drama ensues as the contestants live and work together, competing for the ultimate prize of $250,000.

The Bravo show’s 19 seasons (and counting) have inspired several Top Chef spinoffs, including Top Chef Masters, Top Chef Just Desserts, Top Chef JuniorTop Chef Amateurs, and Top Chef Family Style.


  • Debut year: 2006
  • Seasons: 19 seasons and counting
  • Network: Bravo
  • Filming location: San Francisco, LA, Miami, Chicago, New York City, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Texas, Seattle, New Orleans, Boston, Charleston, Colorado, Kentucky, Portland, and Houston
  • Where to watch: Bravo, Hulu, and Peacock

Featured Articles:

Is ‘Top Chef’ Carla Hall the Most Successful Contestant Who Lost the Show?


‘Top Chef’ Judges Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons Reveal the Worst Dishes They’ve Ever Had on the Show


Why Did ‘Top Chef: Just Desserts’ Get Canceled?


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