Colorado foodies and fans of Bravo’s hit series Top Chef already know that Season 15 was filmed this past spring in our beautiful Centennial State. Now, at long last, we also know who the 15 contestants are and which of our celebrated local chefs will make cameos as the season progresses.
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Baird is currently the executive chef at Denver’s Bar Dough, but her Mile High resume also includes stints at Just Be Kitchen, Brazen, Euclid Hall, and Rioja. “I was very humbled and proud to be representing Colorado,” Baird says. Speaking to the premiere episode, which was filmed on Larimer Square, she recalls, “To be cooking back on my block after working at Rioja and Euclid Hall for so many years was surreal. I was also glad that I wasn’t oceanside for my season because I’m allergic to shellfish. I was really banking on meat and potatoes.”
Luck is the chef/owner of Four by Brother Luck in Colorado Springs. No stranger to cooking on television, Luck did indeed Beat Bobby Flay and has appeared on Chopped. He’s also an American Culinary Federation Certified Executive Chef, and has been cooking professionally since he was 14 years old. “Top Chef is the greatest adventure, and I’ve always wanted to do it,” Luck says. “It was a bucket list item, and it took 10 years to get there.”
10 years? Turns out, Luck applied three times to the show; the first time he didn’t receive a response and the second time, he auditioned in Denver (he was working as a hotel chef in San Antonio, Texas, at the time) to no avail. “Essentially, they said they were looking for restaurant chefs,” Luck says. “It just crushed me.” But Luck persevered, quitting his hotel job, returning to Colorado, and working in fine dining in Manitou Springs before opening his first restaurant, Brother Luck Street Eats, in Colorado Springs a few years later. Finally, a casting director approached Luck about a completely different show based on his travels through Asia, but she was also looking for contestants for Season 15 of Top Chef. Luck jumped at the chance. “The year that I stopped trying [to get on Top Chef] is the year it actually happened.”
Our fingers are permanently crossed for both Baird and Luck, and we can’t wait to watch local culinary luminaries Troy Guard, Alex Seidel, Hosea Rosenberg (Top Chef Season Five Winner), Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson, Keegan Gerhard, Jen Jasinski (Top Chef Masters Finalist), and Frank Bonanno make appearances, too, as the series travels from Denver to Boulder and Telluride to Aspen.
Tune in to Bravo starting on December 7 at 8 p.m. to show your #Coloradopride.