Last week, season 17 of Bravo’s Top Chef premiered and the first of the 15 returning all-star chefs was summarily sent home. Thus begins another cutthroat season of the competitive cooking show, where tempers are sure to flare-up just as much as the grills and stovetops. Meanwhile, over on Instagram, a group of notable Top Chef alums have put together a much more lighthearted, friendly competition meant to inspire and entertain all the fans currently trapped in their empty apartments.
“Over the next couple weeks, a bunch of Top Chef alum will give you a peek inside their kitchens while competing in virtual cookoffs,” writes chef and season 15 winner Joe Flamm, who kicked off the competition on Sunday with a head-to-head matchup with Chicago favorite and season 4 winner Stephanie Izard. This isn’t just any old cook-off, however. These chefs are pros and, having done their time in the Top Chef kitchen, are used to working within bizarre constraints.
“The exact challenge will be decided through a quick game of #PantryGoFish, to pick two ingredients that each chef much use,” Flamm writes. “The rest is up to their creativity with what they have around!”
Once the dishes are complete, the competing chefs will post pictures on their Instagram stories and let the fans at home decide which one looks and sounds better. Judging a cooking competition without getting to taste anything isn’t exactly fair, but these are trying times. It’s all for a good cause, anyway, as the chefs are working to raise awareness for the organization No Kid Hungry, which is helping a lot of kids missing out on school lunches at the moment.
Returning chefs include Brooke Williamson, Spike Mendelsohn, Gregory Gourdet, and Kristen Kish, as well as celebrity chef and Top Chef: Masters winner Chris Cosentino and long-time Top Chef judge Gail Simmons. Follow them all on Instagram to track the progress of your favorite former contestant and maybe you’ll be inspired to cook up your own randomized pantry dish.
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