'Chef’ Gets Latin Flavor

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Bravo wants to play to a larger and more Latino crowd this summer with Top Chef 3 Miami, the third season of its competition series.

Filmed in Miami Beach, Top Chef 3 is slated to debut June 13 at 10 p.m. The show will receive a fully baked multiplatform promotional treatment under the tag “Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Kitchen,” as well as bilingual exposure in Hispanic markets through Bravo’s first-ever deal with sister network Telemundo.

“Based on the fact that we’re shooting this in Miami and that the show will have a Latin flavor to it, we looked around and said, 'Who are like-minded partners that we can look at to extend our marketing reach and really drive a whole new audience?’” said Bravo executive vice president of digital and marketing Jason Klarman. “It’s the No. 1 food show on cable [last season’s finale delivered a 3.16 rating for viewers 18-49] — the challenge is how do you make that bigger?”

To that end, Spanish-language ads will air on Telemundo and cable cousin mun2, as well as online at telemundo.yahoo.com.

The Spanish-language broadcast network will then roll out a series of three- to six-minute Webisodes, titled Sabrosazon (also airing on www.bravotv.com as Miami Spice: Hot Recipes with Latin Flavor) and featuring second season Top Chef personality Carlos Fernandez.

“It’s a content play and a digital play more than a cross-promotional platform,” said Alfredo Richard, vice president of communications and talent development at Telemundo.

Complementing the Webisodes, Fernandez will appear Wednesdays on the Telemundo talk show Cada Dia with a cooking segment, as well as write Spanish-language and English-language blogs for telemundo.yahoo.com and bravotv.com.

One episode of Top Chef 3 will also integrate Telemundo stars from existing food-oriented telenovella Dame Chocolate.

“That helps on one end obviously to promote Top Chef for Bravo to the Hispanic community and get some of the content to the viewership that they have,” Richard said. “Then on our end it works well because our stars and our talent benefit from exposure to the general market. And it serves as window for us to the advertising community as well, to increase awareness of Telemundo and what Telemundo is doing.”

Beyond its bilingual push, Bravo is promoting the show with TV, online and mobile ads, as well as with Top Chef: 4-Star All-Stars, a special episode airing Wednesday, June 6, a week ahead of the season premiere.

The one-hour appetizer features a competitive cook-off between eight Top Cheffinalists from the show’s first and second seasons, while also serving up introductions to season three contestants.

Bravo is also continuing its partnership with Food and Wine Magazine, and will sponsor Top Chef promotional events during New York’s Restaurant Week June 12 at Union Square with a quick-fire challenge and food sampling and have a presence launching Miami Spice restaurant week come August.

Klarman said the network will continue its Top Chef presence on MySpace after its first year logged 17,000 friends.

Running parallel to the Top Chef 3 Miami season will be an online portal (www.topchef online.com) featuring a recipe finder, cooking tips, videos, chef photo diaries, and drink and food blogs, as well as online cooking series Top Recipe.

“The marketing campaign is very rich,” said Klarman. “We’re advertising nationally, we’re buying satellite, we’re buying some broadcast, we’re going to have NBC Universal cross channel and we’re also buying local avails inside the premiere of The Next Food Network Star on Food Network.”

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