Universal Kids has picked up a second season of Top Chef Jr. as the network gears up for the season 1 launch of the anticipated series on Friday, October 13th at 8pm ET/7pm CST. TV personality Vanessa Lachey and Chef Curtis Stone will continue to headline as host and head judge respectively.
Produced by Magical Elves, the Emmy Award-winning team behind Bravo’s Top Chef, the inaugural season of Top Chef Jr. features 12 young chefs aged 11-14 from across the country competing for the coveted Top Chef Jr. title and a $50,000 cash prize. Episodes follow the culinary and emotional journeys of this next generation of chefs and feature some of the food world’s preeminent names as recurring guest judges – including culinary expert and Top Chef judge Gail Simmons, Top Chef Judge Graham Elliott and Top Chef alumna Tiffany Derry – along with surprise guest judges throughout the season.
“We are thrilled about the second season of Top Chef Jr., with this greenlight reflecting the quality of the show launching this week,” said Deirdre Brennan, General Manager, Universal Kids. “Top Chef Jr. stays true to the Bravo franchise and celebrates what it means to be a kid through the eyes of our young chefs. We can’t wait to introduce these extraordinarily talented - and incredibly charming - chefs to kids and families.”
Host Vanessa Lachey and head judge Curtis Stone guide the chefs through some of Top Chef’s most iconic challenges, including “Restaurant Wars”, as well as brand new kid-friendly ones created exclusively for Top Chef Jr. The 14 hour-long episodes – shot in Los Angeles –feature Quickfires, team challenges, and excursions within the city.
Vanessa Lachey is a seasoned TV host and actress, with shows including “Total Request Live”, “Top of the Pops” and “Entertainment Tonight” under her belt. As the winner of the 1998 “Miss Teen USA” pageant, Lachey (then Minnillo) was awarded the title and honor of Miss Congeniality 1998. She later went on to serve as a backstage correspondent for “The 50th Annual Miss USA Pageant”, a judge for “Miss Teen USA” and co-host of the “Miss Universe Pageant” in Mexico City. Lachey’s additional television credits include co-hosting the series “Wipeout,” as well as appearing as co-host on the reality show “True Beauty.” She also guest starred in “Hawaii Five O,” “30 Rock,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “CSI-NY,” and USA’s “Psych.” She is currently competing on “Dancing with the Stars.” Vanessa is married to Nick Lachey, and they have three young children.
Curtis Stone is an internationally known chef, restaurateur, TV host and New York Times bestselling author. He opened his first US restaurant, Maude, to much critical acclaim, and recently opened Gwen in Los Angeles, which has garnered similar reviews. In 2012, Curtis co-hosted Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates and reprised his role as host of the network’s popular culinary competition Top Chef Masters. In addition, Curtis hosted and anchored the judges’ table for the Top Chef franchise’s spin-off edition, Top Chef Duels. Curtis is married to actress Lindsay Price Stone, and they have two boys ages five and two who are already learning how to garden and cook.