TOP CHEF: Colorado sea­son pre­miere an­nounced

The Colorado sea­son pre­mieres Dec. 7 on Bravo

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Allyson Reedy Allyson Reedy (areedy@den­ver­ is a food writer for The Den­ver Post. On Twit­ter @AllysonBTC and In­sta­gram, AllysonEat­sDen.

Colorado’s mo­ment in the culi­nary spot­light starts Thurs­day, Dec. 7 — that’s when the Colorado sea­son of “Top Chef” pre­mieres on Bravo.

Sea­son 15 of the Emmy Award-win­ning culi­nary com­pe­ti­tion was filmed through­out the Cen­ten­nial State in May and June, with judges Tom Colic­chio, Gail Sim­mons and Gra­ham Elliot travers­ing the state with host Padma Lak­shmi and their cheftes­tants for all sorts of Rocky Moun­tain chal­lenges.

And some of the chefs com­pet­ing are from right here in Colorado.

Rep­re­sent­ing Colorado this sea­son are Car­rie Baird, ex­ec­u­tive chef at Bar Dough in Den­ver (for­merly of Just Be Kitchen and Rioja), and Brother Luck, chef/owner of Four by Brother Luck in Colorado Springs.

“It’s go­ing to make Colorado look re­ally cool,” Baird said of this sea­son. “It was very hum­bling to be cho­sen to rep­re­sent my beau­ti­ful city.”

Know­ing the sea­son would be filmed right here in her own back­yard, Baird was very strate­gic in her show prepa­ra­tion (and maybe even had a slight ad­van­tage due to al­ready liv­ing — and cook­ing — at al­ti­tude).

“I tried to think about what Colorado would be pro­duc­ing at that time,” she said. “It was spring, so I just started think­ing pro­duce and things like that. I re­ally fo­cused in on what Colorado is known for. Like, we’re clearly not seafood, so I prac­ticed game. Rocky Moun­tain oys­ters is some­thing I prac­ticed. I fig­ured if there was any­thing I could an­tic­i­pate, it would be that.”

Although Baird said it was hard be­ing away dur­ing the two-month-long film­ing, she wasn’t re­ally that far from home.

“It was wild. Our cast house was in Capi­tol Hill, and I live in Capi­tol Hill. We’d drive past my home ev­ery day. We’d do events and I’d see peo­ple I knew and they’d see me,” Baird said.

If you want to watch the Colorado sea­son un­fold in De­cem­ber with­out any spoil­ers, stop read­ing now.

The Den­ver Post was granted ac­cess to some of the show’s chal­lenges in town at Larimer Square, Mile High Sta­tion and the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen.

Many of the city’s no­table chefs, such as Frank Bo­nanno, Troy Guard, Steve Redzikowski and Kee­gan Ger­hard, were at the Larimer Square event. For Res­tau­rant Wars, the teams trans­formed Mile High Sta­tion. And one of the chal­lenges in­volves Den­ver Bron­cos play­ers.

The fi­nale was filmed in Aspen dur­ing the Food and Wine Classic.

Will Baird or Luck take the ti­tle for Colorado? Will Rocky Moun­tain oys­ters or green chile come into play? Will Colic­chio yell at some­one for screw­ing up risotto? Will Lak­shmi look si­mul­ta­ne­ously pained and put out when she asks cheftes­tants to pack their knives and go?

OK, we al­ready know the an­swers to the last two. But to find out the rest, we’ll have to wait for the must-see-Colorado-TV sea­son that­be­gins Dec. 7 on Bravo.

Tommy Gar­cia, Pro­vided by Bravo Me­dia

Gail Sim­mons, Tom Colic­chio, Padma Lak­shmi and Gra­ham Elliot from “Top Chef.” The Colorado sea­son starts Dec. 7.

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