About the Show
Top Chef returns for its 13th season with an epic gastronomic road trip up the coast of California, kicking off with two back-to-back episodes Thursday, December 3 beginning at 9 E/P. With nearly 1000 miles traveled, the unprecedented six-city expedition challenged the cheftestants' culinary skills like never before as they journey across the Golden State, stopping in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where the series first began, along with San Diego, Santa Barbara, Oakland and the Greater Palm Springs area. Returning to the judges table for season 13 are host Padma Lakshmi and head judge Tom Colicchio, alongside judges Gail Simmons, Richard Blais and Emeril Lagasse.
From cooking for top food writers under the Hollywood sign to serving MC Hammer on the Oakland waterfront and Chrissy Teigen in Palm Springs, the chefs go knife-to-knife in iconic destinations and agricultural regions across the state to prove they have what it takes to out-cook their competition. Along with the return of the Sudden Death Quickfire challenge, the culinary showdown ups the ante this season with the most daunting Restaurant Wars ever. Additional pressure-filled challenges include catering the ultimate gay wedding in Palm Springs officiated by Lakshmi, a plating challenge inspired by @ChefJacquesLaMerde where the chef's fate was determined for the first time from fans on Instagram and a final California elimination paying homage to Hubert Keller's San Francisco institution Fleur De Lys.
Throughout the season, the chefs will be tasked with serving up food for culinary stars and celebrity guest judges including: Hugh Acheson, Max Silvestri, Ludo Lefebvre, Dana Cowin, Michael Cimarusti, Jose Andres, John Besh, Art Smith, Javier Plascencia, Antonia Lofaso, Michael Voltaggio, Jacques LaMerde, Bill Chait, Jonathan Waxman, Martin Yan, Adam Fleischman, Traci Des Jardins and Hubert Keller.
This season features a record number of Executive Chefs and Chefs de Cuisine battling it out for $125,000 furnished by San Pellegrino, a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine, a showcase at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen and the coveted title of Top Chef.
Directly following the second episode on Thursday, December 3, Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen will kick off its fifth season, sponsored by Hidden Valley® and Soy Vay, and hosted by Tom Colicchio. This web-exclusive video series will be posted on foodnetwork.ca/topchef. Each week, the eliminated cheftestants face-off in a pressure-filled, battle royale to compete for the ultimate prize – redemption and a spot back in the Top Chef finale.
Padma Lakshmi is known internationally as an actress, food expert, model and award-winning writer. She established herself as a food expert early on in her career, having hosted two successful cooking shows and writing a best-selling cookbook.Read More
Tom Colicchio returns as lead judge for Food Network's Top Chef and also serves as mentor to the competing chefs on the series, guiding them through their various challenges.
In July of 1994, Colicchio, along with partner Danny Meyer, opened Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan's Gramercy Park neighborhood. His cooking at Gramercy earned consistent recognition; after three nominations for James Beard's Best Chef NY Award, he won it in 2000.