Earlier than a winner is topped after the finale showdown, which can happen in Macau, China, the cheftestants must endure a few of High Chef’s craziest twists but, together with earliest and first-ever three-team Restaurant Wars battle. 

The Red Tea Detox

So what precisely goes right into a season of filming High Chef? Whereas watching (and typically drooling over) the present, we have usually puzzled what occurs to all of the substances that are not used, and if anybody else will get to style the meals except for the judges. And yeah, we have tried to guess simply what number of energy Padma, who oversees the quick-fire challenges and the elimination challenges, consumes every day whereas filming. Or how in regards to the clean-up course of for the kitchen after every problem? 

For those who’ve ever requested your self these questions, we have you lined, as we rounded up 18 secrets and techniques you won’t have recognized about High Chef, which debuted approach again in 2006. 

Padma Lakshmi, 2018 Emmys, 2018 Emmy Awards, Red Carpet Fashions

Danny Moloshok/Invision for the Tv Academy/AP Photographs

Padma made headlines a couple of years in the past when she revealed she consumes between 5,000-8,000 energy a day whereas filming, gaining at the very least 10 lbs throughout the six weeks of manufacturing. 

“I normally achieve about 10 to 15 kilos each season,” she reveals to New York journal’s The Reduce. “It is the one dangerous half about my job.”

She went on to disclose that she and the costume designer really “purchase garments in three completely different sizes in order that you do not discover my garments getting tight. All people tries to squeeze into the size-six denims or the size-eight costume, however who’s wanting on the tag to see what quantity is on it?”

In 2017, the host wrote a visitor column for The Hollywood Reporter in regards to the stress she all the time felt to get “crimson carpet prepared” for the Emmys after filming, revealing he rigorous weight loss program and train regime. However she mentioned her whole perspective modified when she realized how her younger daughter was being impacted by the way in which she talked about her weight and meals and it “scared” her when her then seven 12 months previous mentioned she was consuming an excessive amount of. 

“Each message I telegraph about meals and our our bodies is essential,” she wrote. “So, this 12 months, I’ve determined my weight won’t be my focus. If I want an even bigger costume, so be it.” 

Tom Colicchio, NBC Upfronts

Cindy Ord/NBCUniversal Cable Leisure

Whereas Padma sometimes good points weight throughout filming, the top decide really tends to keep up or lose, and he had a reasonably logical clarification for why that’s.

“She eats greater than I do on the set as a result of she does the quickfire challenges and the eliminations and I solely do the eliminations,” Tom advised Folks. “I really are likely to reduce weight imagine it or not.”

Cliff Crooks, Top Chef

Scott Shafer/NBCU Photograph Financial institution

In its 12-year historical past, just one chef has been kicked out of the competitors: Cliff Crooks.

In arguably High Chef‘s most scandalous second (that can go down in actuality TV historical past, that is how surprising it was), an intoxicated Cliff bodily pinned down fellow competitor Marcel Vigneron and tried to shave his head, as three different contestants laughed and filmed the incident, as they’d been left them a digicam “as a result of one among them had requested for one as a result of it was their final evening and so they needed to fiddle and have some enjoyable,” an government producer later defined.

Marcel was capable of get away, locking himself within the rest room for the remainder of the evening, however was left bruised, and revealed 10 years later that it was really worse than what aired. Cliff threw chocolate bars at him, and that Ilan Corridor and Elia Aboumrad shaved  their heads after the assault, not earlier than as was aired on tv, as an try to presumably mitigate the scenario, he advised The Huffington Submit

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“It isn’t cool to be picked on and assaulted,” Marcel mentioned. “Past the bodily ache of getting hit within the head with chocolate bars, there’s the human facet of eager to belong to one thing and having everybody be like, ‘You are bizarre, we do not such as you, we’ll abuse you.'” 

After seeing the footage the subsequent morning, which occurred to be Tom’s birthday, the producers and judges have been shocked.

“In a flash I understood how frat pranks can morph into ugly acts of hazing,” a disgusted Tom wrote in his Bravo weblog put up in regards to the scandal after the episode aired, revealing he needed to ship the entire cooks residence and crown Marcel the winner.

Producers stepped in to cease that from taking place, with Tom explaining, “Bravo’s Authorized division suggested us of the High Chef guidelines, which acknowledged that harming or threatening to hurt different contestants was potential grounds for disqualification. In response to these tips, it was clear that Cliff wanted to go.”

Marcel Vigneron, Top Chef

Scott Shafer/NBC/NBCU Photograph Financial institution

Form of tied to the notorious incident, Marcel, who was nicknamed “Loopy Hair” by some followers when season two aired, revealed that manufacturing wouldn’t let him get an expert haircut throughout filming. 

A publicist for the present defined to HuffPost that it was to “forestall continuity errors from arising throughout the modifying course of, and producers advised Marcel there was a approach round this: “The one approach you may minimize your air is that if one of many different contestants cuts it for you,” he recalled.

He declined that, given his less-than-friendly relationships with many of the different opponents. “No one here’s a f–king barber,” he mentioned. “These individuals do not even like me.” 

Top Chef


For those who suppose Thanksgiving dinner along with your bizarre family will get intense when politics come up, simply wait till you hear about how lengthy judges’ deliberation can take. 

“There have been eight to ten-hour judging tables,” Gail, one of many present’s unique judges, revealed throughout a public dialogue for the present in 2017, and added that she as soon as fell asleep on the desk throughout one significantly lengthy debate. 

So why does it take so lengthy? As a result of the choice a few winner have to be unanimous—with producers having no say within the winner. “If we won’t decide, the producers will sit us there,” Padma mentioned throughout the identical panel. “It is like detention.”

Generally a secret decide is introduced in: T-Bone, the digicam operator who shoots the still-life photographs of the contestants’ completed dishes, as he usually eats them afterward.

Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons

Courtesy Meals & Wine Basic in Aspen

As any loyal viewer is aware of, the judges will typically refuse to eat meals in the event that they imagine it’s undercooked. And Gail revealed she as soon as acquired sick after consuming one of many contestant’s dishes. 

“There’s all the time meals that is not precisely as you hoped it might be; the cooks prepare dinner in actually tough circumstances and typically they aren’t on their recreation, however I’ve solely gotten sick on the present as soon as,” she advised AOL. “Solely as soon as” is one time too many, Gail!

Top Chef


Whereas some actuality TV judges aren’t thrilled when the opponents problem their ruling or opinion, Tom welcomes it. 

“So far as speaking again, I actually do not care in any respect in the event that they discuss again,” Tom advised HuffPost. “I imply, it is really enjoyable, and I would quite they struggle for themselves. I would quite them say, ‘ what? You are incorrect.'”

Nevertheless, Tom does have one rule relating to the cheftestants: he will not rent them in his eating places following their time on High Chef

“I might rent a whole lot of them, however I have not and I will not, solely as a result of I do not need somebody to say, ‘o and so received as a result of Tom needed to rent them,’ So I simply keep out of it,” he advised AOL. 

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Top Chef, pantry

David Moir/Bravo/NBCU Photograph Financial institution

Anybody else ever really feel some severe jealousy after they see how stocked the High Chef pantry all the time is? Now, think about it is your job to buy all of that goodness on a big price range. 

“If you see the High Chef pantry, we constructed it and stocked all of the provides. We got here up with the ingredient checklist, the stuff you see after they’re in there grabbing substances throughout a problem,” a former culinary producer Shannon Wilkinson revealed. “We additionally equipped and managed all of the gear. The culinary producers, we might go to Complete Meals and spend $5,000.”

5K at Complete Meals is a millennial’s dream!

Top Chef

Paul Cheney/Bravo/NBCU Photograph Financial institution

Wilkinson went on to disclose what occurs to all of the substances the cheftestants do not find yourself utilizing throughout quick-fire challenges: crew dinner events!

“Since these challenges have been usually weeks aside, we might take any leftover product that might have spoiled again to the resort and have dinner events. For me that was the most effective perks; we might return to our resort and eat caviar and foie and lobster,” she mentioned. “On the finish of the day, we might must throw a whole lot of product away as a result of it sat too lengthy throughout filming. We all the time made positive the caviar was saved. Generally after filming, we might be within the High Chef kitchen cooking stuff up and take it throughout to the resort, have the lighting guys over, the digicam guys.”

Top Chef


Throughout filming, the cooks have very restricted contact with anybody besides their fellow opponents and their handler, and they aren’t to have any actual interplay with the judges outdoors of their critiques. 

“The contestants have handlers; they’re principally herded round. Your job is these individuals, and also you’re with them each seconded of the day, and also you deliver them all over the place they go,” Wilkinson shared. “They are not allowed to speak to anybody else. I imply it isn’t like they’re bouncers or bodyguards, however they’re undoubtedly accountable for protecting these individuals away from the general public, and likewise ensure that they present up at locations on time.”

Nonetheless, the culinary producers are all the time on set and  prepared to leap in “in case there’s “a meals or gear challenge.”

Top Chef

A 10 minute quick-fire actually is 10 minutes. A 4 hour problem ends at precisely the 4 hour mark. 

“Anytime you are watching the present and also you’re seeing that the cooks have been given 4 hours or no matter it’s, that’s completely, very strictly the period of time they get,” former government producer Shauna Minoprio advised the New York Each day Information in 2012. 

She went on to disclose that the strict timing rule is definitely the toughest a part of producing the present.

“For those who’ve advised a bunch of cooks that their meals goes to be served in four hours and three minutes time, then they’ll be targeted on ensuring their meals goes to be excellent to eat in four hours and three minutes time. So what could seem to be fairly an insignificant delay [like a foggy camera lens or someone using the bathroom] is simply utterly unforgivable,” she defined. “As a result of when the meals is prepared, we’ve got to be able to shoot in any respect prices.”

Padma Lakshmi, Top Chef

David Giesbrecht/NBCU Photograph Financial institution

Neglect one excellent plate, the cheftestants have to have two dishes prepared when Padma requires them to place their utensils down. 

“On just about each single problem on the present, the chef has to make two plates of all the pieces. And earlier than the decide will get to it, we sneak in and seize it for [photography purposes],” Minoprio mentioned. “We now have a digicam arrange within the space that we name the food-porn space, as a result of we would like the meals to look as attractive as potential.”

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Joseph Flamm, Joe Flamm, Top Chef

Paul Trantow/Bravo

In all probability the perfect a part of being a chef on the present is that you do not have to fret in regards to the mess you make, as it’s the manufacturing supervisor’s job to coordinate the kitchen’s clean-up and set-up for the subsequent problem. 

“We name it ‘turning the kitchen,’ as in principally getting cleaned, getting all of it again to shipshape once more for capturing,” Minoprio spilled. “He is principally in cost for all of that stuff—the entire gear and cleansing and protecting it wanting good and any changes that must be made.”

Lee Anne Wong, Top Chef

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Within the historical past of High Chef, solely 5 cheftestants have chosen to go residence, eliminating themselves: Cynthia Sestito, Otto Borsich, Mia Gaines-Alt, Howie Kleinberg, and Lee Anne Wong. Lee Anne, a season one competitor who would later go on to turn out to be the truth present’s supervising culinary producer for six seasons, returned to compete in season 15 because the sequence’ first pregnant contestant, however was suggested by her physician to go away the competitors.

Paul Qui, Top Chef

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With out a lot hesitation, Tom referred to as Paul Qui the “most proficient chef” that is ever competed on the present. And he was so good that it was onerous for the judges to critique throughout his season (9). 

“In reality, we needed to dumb down how good he was, as a result of it might’ve been fairly apparent that he was operating away with all the pieces,” he mentioned on HuffPost Reside. “For those who can determine who’s going to win 30 minutes into it, you flip off the TV. And so it’s important to preserve the suspense going till the very very finish.”

Padma Lakshmi, Top Chef

Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

Desserts are to High Chef what menswear is to Undertaking Runway, proper?

Whereas sweets and baked items usually seem like the kiss of loss of life for could cooks, it is not the meals class that has precipitated essentially the most eliminations, in accordance with High Chef Stats. That will be seafood, with 84 contestants being despatched residence after making it for the judges. 31 have gone down for vegetarian dishes, whereas simply 12 have been despatched residence for desserts.

Richard Blais, Top Chef

David Moir/Bravo/NBCU Photograph Financial institution

Richard Blais is the one former contestant to turn out to be a decide on the present, after inserting second in season 4 and profitable All-Stars (season eight). 

And in accordance with High Chef Stats, he’s the cheftestant whose received essentially the most prize cash throughout their stint on the present, raking in $225,000. 

Katie Lee, 2018 Met Gala, Red Carpet Fashions

Neilson Barnard/Getty Photographs

Now the host of her personal Cooking Channel present and a co-host on Meals Community’s The Kitchen, Katie Lee, who was married to Billy Joel on the time, was the host of High Chef in season one, with Padma being introduced in to exchange her within the second season. 

In his 2012 memoir, Andy Cohen shared a memorable second from Katie Lee’s quick stint on the present when he and the crew heard a loud, thumping noise throughout the first-ever elimination. 

“No one might determine what it was. Was somebody pounding on a door someplace? Was a chunk of apparatus failing?” he wrote. “Lastly the audio man realized what he was listening to. ‘That is Katie’s coronary heart!’ he screamed. I really like a number with a giant coronary heart, and Katie Lee felt so dangerous about having to ship anybody residence that hers was pounding onerous sufficient to be heard within the sound combine.”

(E! and Bravo are each a part of the NBCUniversal household.)


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