Photo: Matthias Clamer / Bravo
Just in case you haven't had enough Top Chef, it returns on December 1 for its eighth season (the fourth time this year Bravo has aired a Top Chef incarnation). Starting with the second series of Top Chef Masters this past spring, the brand expanded into the unfortunately cast spin-off Top Chef Just Desserts, as well as crowning it's Top Chef: D.C. winner in Kevin Sbraga. But this new season promises to be different, despite its focus on the ghosts of Top Chef's past.
Billed as Top Chef All-Stars, the new season casts the "best of" from the last seven seasons, along with nabbing Anthony Bourdain as a full-time judge. Yet even as another round ramps up, we can't help but wonder: Are viewers suffering from Top Chef fatigue syndrome?
In a conference call with reporters last week, Tom Colicchio and Tony Bourdain said that the returning cheftestants have matured since their time away from the Top Chef spotlight, which will hopefully provide a new spin to the Quickfire-Elimination formula.
"I think it would be fair to say that there are a lot of surprises this season," Bourdain said. "I mean people who were surprisingly strong, and also some surprisingly strong, talented people who fell down, the ones you wouldn't expect to."
"From a competitive standpoint I think it's like any all-star game, whether it's the NBA [or Top Chef], you're playing with the best of the best," Colicchio added.
It makes sense to revisit some familiar faces at this point, especially since Top Chef has blossomed into Bravo's flagship show. While the all-star cast certainly is ripe with memorable personalities and an array of knife skills, the quick introduction of the show after the lackluster end to Top Chef Just Desserts makes us think that overexposure may sour the experience.
And now we turn to you Slashfood readers: Will you be watching Top Chef All-Stars?