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‘Top Chef’ season premiere recap: Hello, Wisconsin!!!

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Five "cheftestants" line up during the season 21 premiere of "Top Chef."
David Moir
Five "cheftestants" line up during the season 21 premiere of "Top Chef."

Each week on This Bites, dining critic Ann Christenson from Milwaukee Magazine and Radio Milwaukee’s resident foodie Tarik Moody dig into the city’s culinary and restaurant culture to help you find new spots, old favorites and the best ingestibles around Milwaukee.

Did you hear?!?!? This season of Top Chef takes place in Wisconsin!

Of course you heard. Even if you’re only sort of connected to Milwaukee’s food scene, the fact that Bravo’s long-running culinary competition filmed all over the Badger State could not have escaped your notice. But we’re not talking about that in this episode — not the filming, anyway. Now it’s time to talk about the new season actually airing on TV … or streaming or however you watch it.

Since podcast recaps are all the rage these days, we decided to try our hand and focus on the season premiere of Top Chef that aired for the first time this past Wednesday. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to view it before we recorded the pod (for a very good reason you’ll hear about shortly), but Ann does a fine job flying solo on this one to let you know what you (and I) may have missed.

In short, Wisconsin came off looking quite nice in the first episode, most likely because the season wasn’t filmed during what some refer to as “gray slush season.” The state appears in all its warm-weather glory, Milwaukee chef Dan Jacobs comes out of the gate strong, and the city itself plays a big part in the premiere, with locations like Blu and Lupi & Iris featuring prominently.

Believe it or not, Top Chef wasn’t the only talk of the town this week. Here’s what else we squeeze into the podcast:

We’re still waiting for the James Beard Foundation to create a podcast category, but until then we’ll keep plugging away to bring you the latest from Milwaukee’s (and Wisconsin’s) culinary scene. Subscribe, share and rate us wherever you listen. Thanks.

Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee