Bravo will launch its cooking reality competition Top Chef March 15 at 10 p.m.
The 10-episode hour series, hosted by Billy Joel’s wife Katie Lee Joel, pits 12 aspiring culinary stars against each other for $100,000, a spot in Food & Wine magazine and an appearance at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, in June 2006.
In each episode, competitors are tested on their basic abilities, versatility, and inventiveness, evaluated by Joel and a team of judges, as well as the customers who try their concoctions.
New York celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, of the restaurants Gramercy Tavern and Craft, will mentor and evaluate the competitors on their customer service, management,and teamwork skills.
Shot in San Francisco and Las Vegas, the show is executive-produced by Magical Elves’ Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, who produced Bravo’s Project Runway and Project Greenlight.
The show is part of a reality-laden development slate Bravo announced in April. It and more than 30 other new series and specials in development or production would up the network’s original programming portfolio by 25% in 2006, the network said.