Reality television has expanded over the years, and one of the most bizarrely addictive are food-based competitions. Bravo’s Top Chef has been a hit for the network from the start; from the looks of things, Bravo has faith that Top Chef will continue to perform well in the future. The show has officially been renewed for Season 14.
This month will see experts all over the country hosting casting calls to select the best up-and-coming chefs for the fourteenth season. The casting calls will take place at restaurants in Los Angeles, Portland, Las Vegas, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and New York. Fittingly, the restaurants will be those run by Top Chef alumni.
The wide net for potential contestants certainly guarantees that the judges will have quite a variety of tasty fare set before them in Season 14. With a top prize of $200,000 and the invaluable bragging rights of winning the competition, the chefs are always guaranteed to bring their very best.
The order for Season 14 is proof enough that Bravo is anxious to have as brief of gaps between seasons as possible for the Emmy Award-winning series. The thirteenth season is currently still airing new installments, so the renewal is timely, to say the least.
Considering the numbers for Season 13, a Season 14 order is no huge shocker. Top Chef is the #1 food program on cable in 2016 – although there admittedly hasn’t been a whole lot of 2016 for competition – with an average total viewership of 1.8 million viewers, which is a five percent bump up from Season 12. Fans should be pleased that the aging reality series is adding new viewers.
In fact, Top Chef’s numbers over the years have led Bravo to produce a handful of spinoffs. Top Chef Masters features established and award-winning chefs, Top Chef: Just Desserts features pastry chefs, and Top Chef Duels brings back past contestants to face off in three rounds of challenges.
Of course, the seemingly easy popularity of the franchise doesn’t mean that contestants have easy times on the shows. Although most have no major complaints about their stints in front of the camera, one past contestant claims that participating on Just Desserts ruined his life. Another was somewhat more diplomatic in his comments about his rough ride on Top Chef, but his report of the stress of 24-hour cooking shifts doesn’t exactly make the show sound like very much fun. Clearly, the chefs who choose to apply to participate in Season 14 won’t have a relaxing run on Bravo.
Still, with $200,000 and bragging rights to ride to culinary success at stake, it’s not hard to see why chefs would be willing to take on the stress to have a chance to become the top chef.
Top Chef airs on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.