Yes, Top Chef is Shooting in Dallas; No, the City Didn't "Pay to Play"

Categories: Food News

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News broke a couple weeks back that Bravo's Top Chef, the king of reality food TV's very crowded hill, is busy shooting its next season in cities around Texas, including Dallas. And last week, things seemed to take a turn for the sinister, when Eater reported that a Dallas-based advertising company, TM Advertising, was helping the show shake down the Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau in exchange for the show's producers, Magical Elves Productions, shooting on location there.

Houston said no, Eater reported. "But here's the bigger question," Eater wrote. "Did Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and the state of Texas use tax dollars to fund the next season of Top Chef?"

Dallas' answer: No, we didn't pay. But we still get to play.

Jennifer Smart, spokeswoman for the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the producers did approach DCVB about ponying up cash in exchange for shooting here, but the bureau turned the show down.

Same goes for the Dallas Film Commission.

"That's pretty much how Top Chef works," Janis Burklund, the commission's director, told me this morning. She says the commission "went down a path with" the show a couple years back, and "the money they wanted was so crazy." She declined to say how much.

"They still wanted a lot on top of everything free," Burklund said. "It was really more than we can do."

This time around, they approached the DCVB , who declined. But worry not, food-TV obsessives: There's still a chance you'll get to rub Colicchio's adorable little head sometime soon. Word is the state tourism office ponied up for the producers (I'm waiting on a call back from the state to find out how much taxpayers coughed up), and that crews are shooting in town this week.

Burklund wouldn't say where or what they're shooting -- "That's the stuff they really don't want out there" -- but she said the film commission is offering some assistance. Just not the cash kind.

"It's what we do," she said.

Due to the author being a complete moron, an earlier version of this article misidentified Burklund as someone totally different. We regret the error, because getting the names of people right is definitely in the top 25 of Important Journalism-y Things.


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19 comments
Mb9260
Mb9260

I like you Kitty. Gabbahey hey you sound like you are exhausted as I am by all the fluff. Yawn. 

Marcy
Marcy

I love Top Chef. I hope one of the quickfires is creating a deep-fried monstrosity for the State Fair.

Jo Domez
Jo Domez

They were filming at our Le Cordon Bleu campus today. Word slipped out that it was a Quickfire challenge; they were using the largest and nicest kitchen in our school, which also happens to be in the very back of the building for more privacy.

Guest
Guest

Was starting to wonder why City of Ate was taking so long in reporting this...I even knew about this a couple of weeks ago. They were doing promos and a film shoot last week at some studios off of Regal Row. I heard it wasn't "too" stereotypical on the promos..but I am not holding out hope. Tom ate at Red Fork Tavern last Wednesday. The bravo executives were at Marquee on Friday.  Supposedly doing more filming in Dallas and then moving on to Austin to finish up.

Will Holston
Will Holston

Take a shot every time they include a shot of the stock yards and claim it's in Dallas, insert a 'Moo' sound effect, someone wears a cowboy hat, or the sound of a whip plays.

TLS
TLS

I can't wait to see that one episode they have every season where the contestants cook outside, you know, 'cause it is 102 freaking degrees here!  Yes, Dallas in the summer is a great idea!

Sallowest
Sallowest

Filming this week at Southfork ranch

Lance Rentzel
Lance Rentzel

Guest Judges?  Rick Perry?  Our Mayor?  Jerry Jones?  Perot Junior?  Larry Hagman?  Chuck Norris?  Erykah Badu?  Lee Harvey Oswald's ghost?

gabbahey
gabbahey

Great. An entire season of, " Padma, this is my take on downhome Texas barbecue. I smoked the brisket in an organic honey glaze, then served with a bbq creme fraiche on the side, along with an al dente corn on the cobb, and gluten free jalapeno bbq baked beans...".

eastdallasgirl
eastdallasgirl

I sure hope they show off more Texas cuisine than Barbque and Mexican food...

TLS
TLS

That is a great idea.

gabbahey
gabbahey

Yes, this season's airings will make for great drinking games...

ts
ts

Next up, outdoor challenge using the cows downtown as a backdrop.  Kill me.

Nick R.
Nick R.

Laughed out loud at "Lee Harvey Oswald's ghost?" 

Jonas M Luster
Jonas M Luster

Someone from the Bush family, our very own burgerflipper Tim Love, and some chef no one outside Dallas has heard of before but who agrees to shut down their restaurant for a day and let the contestants cook in it would be my guess.

Jamal
Jamal

Padma can do whatever she wants.  And if she happens to stop by DO headquarters, someone please have me paged.

Rozbeh S.
Rozbeh S.

I completely agree. Although if they show off the "best of", that wouldn't be to shabby

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