Top Chef: What the judges won’t be doing during Season 18

TOP CHEF -- Season:17 -- Pictured: (l-r) Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio -- (Photo by: Smallz & Raskind/Bravo)
TOP CHEF -- Season:17 -- Pictured: (l-r) Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio -- (Photo by: Smallz & Raskind/Bravo) /

As we all know, the pandemic affected almost every facet of life, including companies halting production on filming your favorite TV shows. Some shut down and are only now going back into production.

Others figured out a way to maintain their schedule and work around the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. And food television, including Top Chef, was no exception.

For Season 18 of the popular cooking competition, which is taking place in Portland this year, Bravo decided to go with a production bubble. It was very similar to what the Great British Baking Show did for their series last summer.

However, while the Great British Baking Show went forward with very few changes to the format and how the contestants interacted with the judges, that won’t be the case when the new season of Top Chef arrives on April 1.

The crew and cast all decided to make some small yet significant changes to the series, especially when it came to the judges and how they operate.

The Top Chef judges and the contestants won’t be interacting as much as in previous seasons

According to the Top Chef page on, the judges won’t be sharing dishes at all this season during the Quickfire or Elimination challenges. Considering the situation, taking precautions such as that make perfect sense.

Also, the judges will have a brand new, socially distant table for Season 18. It will be in a large U-shape and ensures that the judges stay six-feet apart at all times.

As far as the contestants, you won’t see them sharing spice containers or related items and each will have their own set to use. Cleanliness, which was already important, was taken up a notch with wiping down stations and washing their hands stressed to everyone.

Other changes and tweaks had to be made as filming progressed in order to keep everyone safe yet maintain the spirit of Top Chef. Judge Padma Lakshmi seems to think they managed to pull it off and thanked everyone involved on her Instagram.

You will be able to see for yourself how the series did when Season 18 of Top Chef premieres next month on Bravo.

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Are you ready for a new season of Top Chef Guilty Eats Nation? Do you think despite the pandemic it will still manage to feel like Top Chef? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Twitter page.