Local Top Chef fans frustrated by the Bravo show giving them the cold shoulder may have to get used to that left-out feeling.
A Bravo spokesperson says the show typically doesn't engage with its host city after production has wrapped. According to Tory Brody, "the show's concentration is the show." That means no special events surrounding the premiere, or homecoming visits by the show's celebrity judges.
"We don't really do anything," Brody says, adding that city tourism boards sometimes coordinate marketing campaigns with the show's airing.
Brody didn't rule out the possibility that Top Chef could return to Seattle for its finale, which is taped months after the lead-up episodes, but pointed out that "typically, the finale (location) is different than the majority of the show, but we could do something different."
Top Chef judges have been spotted around town, but they're apparently in no rush to engage with Seattle's food television followers, a decision in line with Bravo's strict policy of not revealing its chosen host city until filming is completed. Those tents and booms at Canlis and Pike Place Market? Nothing to see here, folks. Curious passers-by who quizzed a security guard at Canlis on Sunday morning were told "we're filming a mayonnaise commercial" (which, considering Top Chef's habit of barefacedly promoting its corporate sponsors, might not be far from the truth.)
Knowing their culinary idols are tiptoeing around their home city is a source of aggravation for dedicated Top Chef fans. "My friends are willing to sell their souls to go," read a recent message pleading for me to provide production schedule information.
I don't know anything about where and when Top Chef is filming, since Bravo's goal is to keep stalkers away from its sets.
"It's to preserve the quality of production," Brody says, adding that leaks could also undermine the upcoming season's drama. "We never announce until after we've wrapped shooting, and we're not going to."
An official announcement will likely be made in the fall, she says.