Food & Drink

How can you see 'Top Chef' in action in Kentucky? Sign up online.

"Top Chef" will have at least one chance for fans to attend, such as the event from last season's episode in Colorado when "cheftestants" Bruce Kalman, Chris Scott, Adrienne Cheatham, Fatima Ali, Joe Sasto and Carrie Baird cooked at Bronco Stadium.
"Top Chef" will have at least one chance for fans to attend, such as the event from last season's episode in Colorado when "cheftestants" Bruce Kalman, Chris Scott, Adrienne Cheatham, Fatima Ali, Joe Sasto and Carrie Baird cooked at Bronco Stadium.

If you've been dying to see "Top Chef" while season 16 is being filmed in Kentucky, here's your chance: Send an email to kentuckytopchef@gmail.com.

Then wait.

The show will be filming in Lexington, Louisville and around Lake Cumberland into June. By sending an email you could be notified of an opportunity to attend one of the signature events of the show.

For example, you might be able to come to an iconic Lexington location in the near future to see the "Top Chef" competitive drama in person.

However, according to media relations, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll get to eat any of the goodies that the "cheftestants" produce for host Padma Lakshmi, judge Tom Colicchio or the guest judges.

Word of caution: you may get little notice on when and where to be, and you won't be able to say anything about it or post anything to social media either.

And you might have to wait around for a while. Taping the show takes precedence, so be prepared to be patient.

top chef stage door.JPG
This is the door the cheftestants go through to walk onto the set of "Top Chef" Kentucky. The show has been filming in the state and will continue into June with locations in Lexington, Louisville and Lake Cumberland. Janet Patton jpatton1@herald-leader.com

Last week, during a visit to the show's set, Lakshmi and other judges spent as much time redoing their lines as tasting the food. Turns out it takes a lot of time and effort to get everything you see just right. It's no accident that you see all the contestants faces when the camera cuts to a group shot; if someone is hidden, they carefully reposition people so that everybody gets on camera.

Also, keep your eyes peeled, especially in Whole Foods. There have been several reports of the "cheftestants" visiting the stores in Lexington and Louisville to select items. Former "Top Chef" contestant Jamie Lauren is the supervising culinary producer, running the behind-the-scenes kitchen portion of the show, so fans might spot her scouring the shelves for ingredients to stop the pantry.

And Lakshmi also is looking for more advice on restaurants, particularly "vegetable forward" ones.

So quit haunting the barbecue joints and stake out vegetarian-friendly places if you're hoping to catch a glimpse.

On Friday, Lakshmi pointed out differences she'd noticed about Kentucky: "I do think you guys eat a lot of red meat here. You're much more carnivorous than other parts of the country."

One Kentucky-centric food Lakshmi might not be dying to try again: banana croquettes.

"It's that weird dish ... bananas and mayonnaise and peanut butter or powder?" said Lakshmi who recently tried them.

"When I heard about that, I was like, um, I don’t know … Honestly, it was good. And then I started thinking about it. Of course it’s good, it’s sugar, starch and fat! I never would have put mayonnaise with banana but it is just eggs … so … it’s been interesting."

But Lakshmi said that's her job: to taste the banana croquettes for the world.

"I see my job as being the audience’s representative … so when I bite into that banana croquette, or whatever it is, I can have the experience and articulate it and describe it in a way that really communicates it," Lakshmi said.

  Comments