Top Chef season 21: next episode and everything we know about the long-running cooking show

Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons in Top Chef season 21
(Image credit: David Moir/Bravo)

After celebrating its 20th season, Top Chef returns for season 21. Bravo's venerated cooking show has been given the green light for another season. 

This season, however, there will be one familiar face missing from the judges' table as Padma Lakshmi says goodbye to the series. She announced in June that she would not be returning to the show after the twentieth season. She released a statement on her social media telling fans that her journey with the show would end with season 20. 

"After much soul searching, I have made the difficult decision to leave Top Chef. Having completed a glorious 20th season as host and executive producer, I am extremely proud to have been part of building such a successful show and of the impact it has had in the worlds of television and food," she wrote. 

Per Variety, Lakshmi will be replaced by season 10 winner Kristen Kish, who has served as a guest judge in previous seasons. In the coming weeks and months we'll also learn more about the theme for season 21 and the new batch of cheftestants joining the Top Chef family. 

Here's everything we know about Top Chef season 21 so far.  

Next episode of Top Chef season 21 

New episodes of Top Chef season 21 airs Wednesdays at 9 pm ET/PT on Bravo.

Here's what we know about the June 12 episode:

Top Chef season 21 episode 13:
"For the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs are challenged to create a dish using fish and cheese. Kristen, Tom, Gail and Helim Smeulders preside as judges."

UK viewers can watch previous seasons of Top Chef on Hayu. 

Top Chef season 21 premiered Wednesday, March 20.

Top Chef season 21 episode guide

Top Chef season 21 episode : "Chef's Test"
"Top Chef heads to Wisconsin with 15 new chefs, new rules and new host Kristen Kish. With no Quickfire Challenge this week, Kristen, Tom and Gail each task five chefs with cooking a dish they believe is a worthy test of being a good chef."

Top Chef season 21 episode 2: "Living the High Life"
"Top Chef Colorado winner Joe Flamm joins Kristen for the Quickfire Challenge and tasks the chefs with creating a dish featuring hops."

Top Chef season 21 episode 3: "Take It Cheesy"
"The chefs must make a dish featuring Door County cherries and a mystery ingredient; for the Elimination Challenge, the chefs put on a Cheese Festival where each chef will be responsible for creating a dish featuring one of 13 different cheeses."

Top Chef season 21 episode 4: "The Wright Way"
"The chefs hit the road and take the Frank Lloyd Wright trail to Madison; for the elimination challenge, the chefs are tasked with creating dishes in teams of two that feature duality and celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright's legacy as 'America's Architect.'"

Top Chef season 21 episode 5: "Supper Club"
"While in Madison, the chefs receive a message alerting them that they'll be shopping for their quickfire challenge, but they do not know what the challenge is."

Top Chef season 21 episode 6: "Chaos Cuisine"
"A Last Chance Kitchen surprise changes the game; Milk Bar's Christina Tosi joins Kristen for a sweet Quickfire that requires the chefs to create a dairy-forward dessert; the chefs must serve a dish that exemplifies chaos cuisine."

Top Chef season 21 episode 7: "Sausage Race"
"Bryan Voltaggio joins Kristen to test the chefs' flambé and charring skills; Amar Santana heads to the kitchen with the Milwaukee Brewers racing sausages; the chefs compete at American Family Field and serve sausage-forward dishes."

Top Chef season 21 episode 8: "Restaurant Wars"
"Split into two teams, the chefs are tasked to conceptualize and create two restaurants that feature a three-course progressive menu with at least two options for each course."

Top Chef season 21 episode 9: "The Good Land"
"Kristen is joined by judges Tom and Gail for this week's Quickfire Challenge as the chefs are tasked to create dishes featuring cranberries in a unique way."

Top Chef season 21 episode 10: "Door County Fish Boil"
"The chefs participate in a meat raffle; guest judge Art Smith joins Kristen, Tom and Gail to determine which protein dish reigns supreme; for the Elimination Challenge, the chefs host their very own Door County fish boil to 100 hungry guests."

Top Chef season 21 episode 11: "Lay it All on the Table"
"A familiar face returns to the competition; Tom cooks up a dish that Kristen and Gail can't resist; the chefs must serve their creations directly on a tabletop to Kristen, Tom, Gail and guest judge Curtis Duffy."

Top Chef season 21 episode 12: "Goodbye Wisconsin"
"The chefs are tasked with identifying as many ingredients as they can in a blind taste test; they must create a dish that exemplifies their culinary growth throughout their time in Wisconsin; returning guest judge Paul Bartolotta."

Top Chef season 21 plot

Top Chef is a cooking competition show that invites "cheftestants" from all backgrounds to compete for the ultimate prize of being named "Top Chef." Season 21 will be set in Wisconsin. 

Here's the synopsis of Top Chef from Bravo: "Top Chef is a global phenomenon with over 100 winners across 29 international versions. Licensed by NBCUniversal Formats globally, locations include France (14 seasons), Canada (10 seasons), Middle East & North Africa (seven seasons) and Brazil (three seasons) to name a few. The original U.S. series launched in 2006 and has been sold to over 175 territories worldwide.  Last year, Top Chef Middle East was nominated for an International Emmy Award, marking the first Middle Eastern unscripted series to be recognized.  "

Top Chef season 21 judges

Per Variety, longtime judge and mentor Tom Colicchio will return along with Gail Simmons. Kristen Kish, who took home the top prize in season 10, will host Top Chef season 21. 

Top Chef season 21 contestants

The Top Chef season 21 contestants haven't been announced yet, but when we find out who the new "cheftestants" are we'll have that for you right here. 

Top Chef season 21 trailer

It's still too early for a Top Chef season 21 trailer but as soon as one is available we'll have it for you right here. 

How to watch Top Chef season 21

Top Chef airs on Bravo, with new episodes streaming the following day on Peacock

If you have cut the cord to traditional cable/satellite television, Bravo is available on live TV streaming services such as Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV

We don't have a premiere date for Top Chef in the UK but it will very likely end up on Hayu, where you can find several other Bravo series.

Sarabeth Pollock
Editorial Content Producer


Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.  

When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.