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Bravo’s “Top Chef” is coming to Madison

The 608 will be hosting one of television’s most popular cooking shows, “Top Chef”. Let us know which restaurants and what types of challenges you want to see featured on the upcoming season.

608 Kristen Kish

Former contestant Kristen Kish is returning to “Top Chef,” this time as the host.

Photo by Natalie Engel

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Bravo’s “Top Chef” is filming its upcoming season in Madison. The 608’s flourishing food scene is infused with farm-fresh ingredients and a variety of traditional practices, which are a few aspects that drew the show to the city. Production will also be making stops in Milwaukee and Door County.

Each season brings together a dozen or so professional chefs to compete for the title of Top Chef. On-location seasons pull inspiration from the host city for the Quickfire and Elimination cooking challenges that are scored by a panel of judges.

After 19 seasons, Padma Lakshmi is leaving the series and passing the hosting torch to season 10 winner Kristen Kish. She’ll be joining Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, who are both returning as judges.

Filming for season 21 will be taking place in late summer and/or early fall of this year. The season is expected to air during spring of 2024.

Quickfire Challenges

During Quickfire Challenges, chefs have about an hour to create a dish that meets specific requirements. During “Top Chef: Houston,” one Quickfire Challenge entailed chefs putting a unique twist on queso and pairing it with something other than tortilla chips.

608 Quickfire Challenge | Ranch Required
Are you really Midwestern if you don’t ask for a side of ranch at every meal? We want to see the contestants do a curd + ranch crawl to inspire their own version of deep-fried-something paired with homemade ranch.

608 cheese curd

It’s not a trip to Madison without cheese curds.

Elimination Challenges

Elimination Challenges are similar to Quickfire Challenges, but are more complex and require more time. An Elimination Challenge during the Houston season had contestants fish in the Gulf of Mexico to prepare fresh seafood creations to serve at a local restaurant.

608 Elimination Challenge | Farmers’ Market Mania
If Madison’s farm-to-table scene is what drew Top Chef to the isthmus, we think a market challenge is a must. Chefs could be given a time limit to traverse the Dane County Farmers’ Market — during busy hours — to create a multi-course meal.

Use this survey to pitch your own challenge idea and let us know which restaurants you want to see featured in the upcoming season.

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