Tom Colicchio
Source: Bravo / David Moir

Tom Colicchio at the judges' table on 'Top Chef' Seaosn 19.

'Top Chef' Season 19 Highlighted Houston's Rich Food Scene — When Did It Film?

Shannon Raphael - Author
By

May 5 2022, Published 11:42 a.m. ET

Since it debuted in 2006, Top Chef has showcased some of the best chefs from around the world as they compete in culinary challenges to win glory, bragging rights, and a six-figure check (among a few other prizes).

While the format of the show has largely remained the same over the years, the Top Chef crew made some significant changes for Season 18, which took place in Portland, Ore.

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Top Chef: Portland was key in highlighting chefs and the restaurant industry following COVID-related shutdowns. The season also stood apart from the others as the first to film during the pandemic. A variety of protocols were implemented to keep the cast and crew safe during filming. These protocols affected everything from the elimination challenges, to plate sharing, to the amount of guests who could be featured at the judges' table.

Many of these protocols remained in place once host Padma Lakshmi and longtime judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons returned to film Season 19 as well.

Kwame Onwuachi, Dawn Burrell, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons
Source: Bravo / David Moir

Kwame Onwuachi, Dawn Burrell, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons at the judges' table.

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While the rules and precautions from the Portland season largely stayed the same, one major thing was different from any other season of the Bravo series: the filming location.

For Season 19, a new set of cheftestants showed off their skills in Houston, Texas. Though Top Chef Season 9 did take place in various Texas cities, Season 19 marked the first time that the competition filmed in Houston.

When exactly did Top Chef film in Houston for Season 19? Plus, read on to find out which notable Houston spots were featured on the show.

When was 'Top Chef' Season 19 filmed?

According to an article from The Houston Chronicle, filming for the popular food competition commenced in September of 2021. Bravo announced that Houston, which is known for its diverse food scene, would serve as the host city for the 19th season in that same month as well.

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"Top Chef Season 19 is in production in Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S. The racial and ethnic diversity of Houston's population is represented in the city’s vibrant culinary scene, making it a perfect backdrop to inspire our next wave of cheftestants," Bravo's statement read. "We hope to showcase the rich heritage of Houstonians through the food that defines them."

Per The Houston Chronicle, filming wrapped up on Season 19 about five weeks it started, in late October of 2021.

'Top Chef: Houston'
Source: David Moir / Bravo

The remaining chefs prepare for an Elimination Challenge at the Houston Space Center.

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Where in Houston did 'Top Chef' Season 19 film?

While most of the Quickfires and a few of the Elimination Challenges took place at the Top Chef kitchen on a set, the show also utilized several notable Houston landmarks during filming.

The chefs cooked in the kitchen of the popular Houston Eatery, The Annie Café, in the Season 19 premiere, and they also prepared food outside of the TDECU Stadium at the University of Houston for a football-themed episode as well.

For a challenge to promote the next Jurassic World movie, the cheftestants showed off their skills at the Houston Museum of Natural History. Scenes were also filmed in Freedman's Town, and at POST Houston, the Houston Farmer's Market, Brennan's of Houston, and J-Bar-M during the season.

On the May 5 episode, the chefs will cook for astronauts at the Houston Space Center.

Where will the chefs cook next? You'll have to tune in to find out.

New episodes of Top Chef: Houston air on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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