Bravo's “Top Chef” Season 18 Calls Portland, Oregon, Home
“Top Chef” Elite Rotating Judging and Dining Panel
While in the “City of Roses,” the judges won't hold back their thorns as they narrow it down to find this season’s “Top Chef.” For the first time ever, a collection of “Top Chef” all-star winners, finalists, and favorites are joining an elite rotating judging and dining panel. The panel includes one of my favorite Portland chefs Gregory Gourdet. Chef Gourdet is a three-time James Beard Award semifinalist who competed on the 12th and 17th seasons of “Top Chef.”
Chef Gregory Gourdet
When I lived in Oregon, I'd attended numerous events, as well as simply dinner with friends, at the sky-high downtown restaurant Departure within the Nines Hotel in Portland. I've chatted with Chef Gourdet on several occasions during his nearly 10 years at Departure and his pan-Asian fusion food and drink menu were off the hook. Chef Gourdet opened his own restaurant in 2020—Kann PDX—that taps into BIPOC cuisine flavors from around the world, with a strong focus on his Haitian heritage.
“Top Chef” Season 18, Oregon, and the Pandemic
During a time of extreme hardship in the restaurant industry, these chefs have more on the line than ever before. From working with foraged mushrooms and picking produce at the famous Hood River Fruit Loop to visiting the Tillamook Creamery, the chefs are tasked with cooking with Oregon’s natural bounty of ingredients.
With Padma, Tom, and Gail and a table full of alums to impress, the expectations have never been higher, especially in this year’s unique Restaurant Wars where the teams must perfectly execute on a micro-restaurant concept with a cohesive 7-course tasting menu that rivals the best in the world.
To stay in the game, the chefs must cook at their best while contending with a Quickfire using ingredients used on the Oregon Trail and a surf and turf elimination challenge honoring the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
While in the “City of Roses,” the judges definitely don’t hold back their thorns as they narrow it down to find this season’s “Top Chef.”
The winning chef will earn the coveted title of “Top Chef,” $250,000 furnished by S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine, and an appearance at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen.
Meet the New “Top Chef” Cheftestants
- Brittanny Anderson – Richmond, VA
- Avishar Barua – Columbus, OH
- Dawn Burrell – Houston, TX
- Gabe Erales – Austin, TX
- Nelson German – Oakland, CA
- Byron Gomez – Aspen, CO
- Sasha Grumman – Houston, TX
- Roscoe Hall – Birmingham, AL
- Sara Hauman– Portland, OR
- Kiki Louya – Detroit, MI
- Maria Mazon – Tucson, Arizona
- Shota Nakajima – Seattle, WA
- Gabriel Pascuzzi– Portland, OR
- Jamie Tran – Las Vegas, NV
- Chris Viaud– Milford, NH
About Bravo’s “Top Chef”
For the first time ever, a collection of “Top Chef” all-star winners, finalists, and favorites are joining an elite rotating judging and dining panel including Richard Blais, Carrie Baird, Nina Compton, Tiffany Derry, Gregory Gourdet, Melissa King, Kristen Kish, Edward Lee, Kwame Onwuachi, Amar Santana, Dale Talde, and Brooke Williamson. This season also includes appearances by José Andrés, Massimo Bottura, Gabriel Rucker, and Alice Waters, as well as “Portlandia” stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein who stop by “Top Chef” Kitchen for a Quickfire Challenge.
Beginning Thursday, April 8, Bravo’s Emmy-Winning digital companion series “Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen,” hosted by Tom Colicchio, returns for Season 10 as the eliminated chefs go head-to-head to try to cook their way back into the competition. Presented by BMW of North America, each week’s episode will be available on Bravotv.com, On-Demand, or wherever you stream Bravo’s “Top Chef” at the conclusion of each week’s episode.
Do you have a favorite you hope wins Season 18 of “Top Chef?” Tell us in the comments below!