Jealousy, Scandal And 8,000 Calories A Day: 18 Fascinating Secrets About Top Chef

Hands up, utensils down!

16 seasons in and we still can’t get enough of Top Chef, the Bravo reality hit series that proves viewers can totally stand the heat in the kitchen, no matter the city they’re in or which cheftestants dare brave the toughest culinary test on TV.

Premiering tonight at 9 p.m., host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, and judges Graham ElliotNilou Motamed and Gail Simmons are heading to Kentucky for Top Chef‘s latest season, with fans finally meeting the 15 chefs from across the United States who will battle it out for the title of Top Chef. 

Before a winner is crowned after the finale showdown, which will take place in Macau, China, the cheftestants will have to endure some of Top Chef’s craziest twists yet, including earliest and first-ever three-team Restaurant Wars battle. 

So what exactly goes into a season of filming Top Chef? While watching (and sometimes drooling over) the show, we’ve often wondered what happens to all the ingredients that aren’t used, and if anyone else gets to taste the food aside from the judges. And yeah, we’ve tried to guess just how many calories Padma, who oversees the quick-fire challenges and the elimination challenges, consumes on a daily basis while filming. Or how about the clean-up process for the kitchen after each challenge? 

If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, we’ve got you covered, as we rounded up 18 secrets you might not have known about Top Chef, which debuted way back in 2006. 

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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