The time has come to change our state's "Welcome to Colorado" signs to "Welcome to Culinary Colorado," because Bravo Media is bringing one of its most popular TV shows to town. Season fifteen of Top Chef will begin filming in Denver, Boulder and Telluride this spring with now-familiar host Padma Lakshmi and head judge Tom Colicchio, along with regulars Gail Simmons and Graham Elliott. Once in the can, the new season will air later this year.
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While filming in Colorado doesn't guarantee more chef-contestants from our state in the lineup, Top Chef's focus on the locations where it films means good national exposure for our booming restaurant scene. Still, it would be great to see some of Denver's top talent compete. In past years, we've seen a few Colorado chefs rise in the ranks, most notably Hosea Rosenberg, who won season five and has since gone on to open Boulder restaurant Blackbelly and Blackbelly Butcher next door. Rosenberg continues to be at the leading edge of food trends, most recently as an advocate for cannabis-themed cooking and food pairing.
Jennifer Jasinski (Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Stoic & Genuine and Euclid Hall) made it to the final four of Top Chef Masters in 2013, and Tyler Wiard of Elway's, Vail's Kelly Liken and Jorel Pierce of Jasinski's Crafted Concepts restaurant group also had their time in the Top Chef spotlight as notable Colorado representatives. Richard Sandoval, chef-owner of Zengo and Tamayo, and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Frasca have also competed on Top Chef Masters.
The announcement from Bravo was made in conjunction with the Colorado Tourism Office. "Colorado is the ideal locale for Top Chef’s first visit to the Rocky Mountains, and we cannot wait for viewers to experience the scenic beauty, hospitality and vibrancy of some of our thriving culinary destinations, including the Mile High City of Denver, Boulder and Telluride,” said CTO director Cathy Ritter in making the announcement.