Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’ Season 18 Gets New Location (Portland), Premiere Date & Cast

Top Chef Padma Tom
Smallz & Raskind/Bravo

Top Chef Season 18 will be cooking in a whole new town: The show, which premieres Thursday, April 1 (8 to 9:15 ET/PT), will take place in Portland, Oregon.

The 15 talented chefs and restaurant owners from around the country will compete in a range of challenges that include Portland-style Pan-African cuisine, and feeding frontline workers. Plus, they’ll go crabbing in honor of culinary icon and Oregonian James Beard.

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Host Padma Lakshmi and judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons return.

For the first time, according to Bravo, a collection of Top Chef all-star winners, finalists and “favorites” will be part of a rotating judges and dining panel, including Richard Blais, Carrie Baird, Nina Compton, Tiffany Derry, Gregory Gourdet, Amar Santana and Brooke Williamson. Plus, expect appearances from chef José Andrés, Massimo Bottura, Gabriel Rucker, and Alice Waters, as well as Portlandiaactors Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, because, of course.

Top Chef Padma Lakshmi Tom Colicchio

Smallz & Raskind/Bravo

Along with Top Chef‘s return, mark your calendars for the show’s Emmy-winning digital companion series Top Chef: Last Chance, which kicks off its 10th season beginning Thursday, April 8 on, On Demand, and streaming.

Top Chef, Season 18 Premiere, Thursday, April 1, 8/7c, Bravo