Top Chef Season 15
Sarah and I are Really Into Top Chef. We have watched every single season, starting with the first season 12 years ago in Texas when we both still lived in Texas. Last season was amazing because it brought back past cheftestants along with the new ones. Top Chef Season 15 will be hosted in Denver will all new chefs. We have watched the Bravo teaser preview and gotten a short introduction to the Denver Cheftestants.
Last Chance Kitchen
One of my favorite additions to Top Chef in the last few years is Last Chance Kitchen, and this season is starting off with a bang! Instead of starting after the Top Chef, the new season of Last Chance Kitchen has actually already premiered, and it has brought back some old favorites – and an old villain. Leann Wong, Marcel Vigneron, Kwame Onwuachi and Jen Carroll are back and competing for a place in the Top Chef Season 15 Finale. Will they make it????? Tune in to find out! Last Chance Kitchen airs immediately after the episode of Top Chef on bravotv.com.
Top Chef Season 15 – Colorado Expectations
Jessica: I am excited about the Colorado scenery. I am expecting some snowy, outdoor cooking challenges and some local Colorado flavor. Maybe there will be lots of wild game to eat? What is Colorado food?
Sarah: I saw on the preview they have a Challenge consisting of Rocky Mountain oysters. I love when Padma says, “Hope you like nuts”. I’m expecting a challenge at high altitude, definitely some wild game like elk & cooking out in the snow or a ranch type of vibe. Other than that, I’m just ready to meet some new chefs!
Top Chef Season 15 – Meet the Cheftestants
Sarah: Fatima seems like a bad ass. She’s already won an episode of Chopped & is a NYC chef. From Bravo, “She wants to pioneer the movement of eclectic, modern Pakistani cuisine, melding the bold flavors and spices she grew up on, with the modern techniques of her training.“
Jessica: Oh man I love Chopped, and it is super difficult too. I’m excited to see how Fatima is going to incorporate her Pakistani food into the challenges.
Sarah: Tyler is a California guy now living in Connecticut. He owns his own restaurant & makes New England style food. He’s been nominated for 4 James Beard awards, so he’s packing some serious culinary skills.
Jessica: When I think of culinary hot spots, I don’t think of Connecticut, but I bet Tyler has an interesting blend of East and West Coast styles.
Sarah: Carrie is from Idaho, but lives & works in Denver, CO. She will definitely have an advantage with some of the local cuisine challenges. From Bravo, Carrie is “Focusing on sustainable and responsible food, she loves working with local farmers and ranchers to develop her menus.”
Jessica: I think that Carrie will definitely have an advantage being comfortable with the local cuisine, but it will only go so far. This is Top Chef!
Sarah: Adrienne is another NYC chef. She’s worked for 8 years for Le Bernadin restaurant with Chef Eric Ripert & helped with his PBS show, Avec Eric. Adrienne also worked with Marcus Samuelsson to open & run 2 restaurants. She’s not messing around & I think her experience with Ripert will really help her do well this season.
Jessica: Oh man, what a background! Eric Ripert is no joke, so I bet Adrienne is going to be very tough! She has been working in restaurants since she was a kid.
Sarah: Reading through Laura’s bio is unreal. She now owns a restaurant in Alaska & was the head chef at the South Pole Station. While she was there, she pulled a sled full of ingredients through temperatures reaching 50 below zero. I think it’s safe to say she can handle what Colorado throws her way.
Jessica: You’re right Sarah, Laura’s background is crazy! She obviously can handle the cold, and it looks like she is used to cooking what she catches. She is quite the outdoorswoman.
Sarah: A Chicago guy through & through, Joseph grew up making homemade pasta with his Grandma. He’s worked for Oprah’s buddy, Art Smith, & seems like his career is on the rise.
Jessica: Joseph seems like a sweet guy. He is a little of a mystery to me so far, but he could be great. If he’s making fresh pasta he will be sure to impress.
Sarah: OMG! I am rooting for Rogelio. He grew up in Napa & San Francisco with a single mom & went on to be Chef de Partie at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry. Swoon. Jessica & I ate there a few years ago & I’m thinking we need to go back – pronto. Rogelio moved on from TFL & now serves as Executive Chef at Traci Des Jardins’ The Commissary. You remember Traci from Top Chef: Masters, right?
Jessica: Ok, I agree with Sarah on all fronts – especially going back to The French Laundry!
Sarah: Dang, Tanya came to win. She’s in Oakland, CA now as Executive Chef and Owner of her restaurant, Brown Sugar Kitchen. She’s worked & trained in France & NYC under Bobby Flay & Jean-Michel Bouvier to name a few. What I love is before she launched her restaurant, she went back to work as a line cook. This shows dedication & tenacity & the other chefs better be ready.
Jessica: I have heard of Brown Sugar Kitchen but haven’t made it over there. I always root a little more for the ladies….
Sarah: Bruce has worked all over with tons of famous chefs. He’s also been on another Bravo show Best New Restaurant (somehow we missed that one) & won his Episode of Chopped. His previous TV experience & his well-rounded food knowledge will likely benefit him, especially in the Quick Fire Challenges. Also, his son was born during the taping of this season, so you know he is committed to winning.
Jessica: His list of credentials is loooong. He may be a great chef, but it looks like he is focused on being a TV personality as well.
Sarah: Brother has a restaurant in Colorado that focuses “on the four providers behind his cooking – hunters, fisherman, farmer and gatherers”. He’s worked in Japan & has worked in kitchens since he was 14 years old. I bet his experience with Colorado cuisine will come in handy.
Jessica: Interesting first name….Brother has a wide variety of cooking experience and I am excited to see how Japan and Colorado come together.
Sarah: Melissa has a lot of experience running a kitchen. Looking at her bio, she’s worked at a lot of restaurants with different types of cuisines. I’m thinking there’s potential to be the dark horse of this crew, but we shall see.
Jessica: Bar Crudo in San Francisco is a super popular place, famous for their oysters and LOTS of beer. I am hoping to see a lot of fresh seafood here.
Sarah: David lets his heritage guide him as he now hosts Pop-Up Restaurants with Vietnamese inspired dishes in Oakland, CA. The San Francisco Chronicle crowned him “Rising Star Chef” in 2017 which will likely bolster his confidence going into the competition.
Jessica: I can’t believe his family is a part of Hung Thanh fish sauce! Tu has family roots in cooking. I love Asian food, and I always like to see what chefs who cook in different Asian cuisines do on Top Chef.
Sarah: Joe is a Bay Area Chef with a serious resume. He knows his way around some pasta too.
Jessica: Okay, his mustache is a total distraction and of course this is what he is going to be remembered for. But in all seriousness, he has a serious resume and has cooked all over the Bay Area.
Sarah: Christopher has worked alongside 2 Top Chefs alums, Kevin Sbraga & Mike Isabella.He & his wife just opened a restaurant named Butterfunk in Brooklyn (love the name) & he’s cooked for some famous folks you may have heard of including Barack Obama, Tony Blair & Nelson Mandela. I’m sure he got some good tips from Kevin & Mike.
Jessica: Well Sarah, what else is there to say? I totally love the name Butterfunk and I’m excited to see what he comes up with.
Sarah: So, this is kind of a big deal because Claudette competed on Season 2 of Top Chef: Mexico! She will for sure be a step ahead of the rest of the cheftestants. She owns a modern Mexican restaurant in San Diego, CA & she has experience in pastry too! My bet is she will go far in the competition.
Jessica: Yep, already competing in Top Chef is the biggest leg up you can have. Combine that with a knowledge of dessert and you have a tough contender. Also, I am glad we have one chef that specializes in Mexican cuisine.
We could not be more excited for the new season. Top Chef Season 15 should come with the usual twists and turns and unexpected hardships that this show is known for. It is always exciting to see these chefs work hard and push themselves to do their best. And hopefully there is a little drama too! Come back each week for our updates and to talk about the show.