How ‘Top Chef’ Adapted for a New Season Despite a Pandemic, Wildfires and Portland Unrest

Jennifer Maas
·1-min read

Production on the Season 17 finale of “Top Chef” had just wrapped up in Italy last year when the looming threat of a COVID-19 pandemic became a reality. Facing a massive production shutdown, Bravo, which normally starts working on the next season of the high-end food competition series well in advance, had to figure out if Season 18 would be possible any time soon, where in the world would they shoot it and the biggest question of all … how would they pull it off? By May, Bravo and “Top Chef” production company Magical Elves had come up with the answers to the when, where and how, with host Padma Lakshmi and judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons on board to head to Portland, Oregon, for a pandemic-produced season that premieres Thursday. “This notion of creating a bubble I think has become the go-to model for many different productions on different sizes and scales. And we had to take that same approach,” Matt Reichman, Bravo’s vice president of current production, told TheWrap last October during our virtual visit to the “Top Chef” Season 18 set. “We basically had to own a hotel.” The production also went beyond NBCUniversal’s health and...

Read original story How ‘Top Chef’ Adapted for a New Season Despite a Pandemic, Wildfires and Portland Unrest At TheWrap