BRAVO!: Hit cook­ing show “Top Chef” com­ing to Colorado

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Joanne Ostrow Spe­cial to The Den­ver Post Joanne Ostrow (jo­niostrow@gmail.com) is a former tele­vi­sion critic for The Den­ver Post.

Colorado’s sta­tus as a foodie des­ti­na­tion is con­firmed: “Top Chef” will fire up its next sea­son here. No word yet on spe­cific restau­rants or chefs but ex­pect culi­nary scenes in Den­ver, Boul­der and Tel­luride.

Pro­duc­tion be­gins this spring for Sea­son 15 of the Emmy and James Beard Award-win­ning re­al­ity show.

No pre­miere date was an­nounced, but the net­work said the se­ries will re­turn later this year with host Padma Lak­shmi, head judge Tom Colic­chio, and Gail Sim­mons and Gra­ham El­liot at the judges’ ta­ble.

“This is a big get,” said Don­ald Zuck­er­man, head of the state’s Of­fice of Film, Tele­vi­sion & Me­dia. “Be­cause Colorado is not looked on as a food des­ti­na­tion. The best food show on tele­vi­sion will show our great restau­rants, ranches, farms, our lamb, peaches, wines … . Peo­ple will look at Colorado in a dif­fer­ent way.”

The of­fice was au­tho­rized to give Bravo Me­dia a 20 per­cent in­cen­tive, Zuck­er­man said. In other words, if they spend $5 mil­lion they will get $1 mil­lion. The pos­i­tive ef­fects on the food scene, ho­tels, the abil­ity to draw con­ven­tions and the econ­omy in gen­eral are sig­nif­i­cant, Zuck­er­man said.

Bravo Me­dia made the an­nounce­ment Wed­nes­day in part­ner­ship with the Colorado Tourism Of­fice and the Colorado Of­fice of Film, Tele­vi­sion and Me­dia.

“We are al­ways on the hunt for the next great culi­nary des­ti­na­tion and Colorado is fast be­com­ing a hot spot for young chefs and food­ies, mak­ing it an ideal back­drop for our up­com­ing sea­son,” said Shari Levine, the ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of cur­rent pro­duc­tion at Bravo Me­dia. “Our new cheftes­tants will have an abun­dance of in­spi­ra­tion to pull from as they cook amid the awe-in­spir­ing scenery and ex­plore the bour­geon­ing culi­nary scenes from ci­ties to moun­tain re­sorts.”

Last sea­son’s fi­nale, which crowned Brooke Wil­liamson of Los An­ge­les the win­ner, scored sea­son highs in key de­mo­graphic with 2.2 mil­lion to­tal view­ers.

Pro­vided by Bravo TV

Emeril La­gasse, Padma Lak­shmi, Tom Colic­chio and Gail Sim­mons at the judges’ ta­ble in a pre­vi­ous sea­son of “Top Chef.”

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