Bravo’s hit TV series Top Chef will start its 11th season, Top Chef: New Orleans, on Oct. 2. To celebrate the new season, a food truck serving New Orleans food staples made a quick one-day visit to New York City, making two stops in Midtown Manhattan. The food truck was a collaboration between Bravo and Grub Street, who kept the exact locations of where to find the truck under wraps until early on the morning of Oct.1, when the truck's stops were revealed on Grub Street and Top Chef’s Twitter feeds. The word spread quickly through social media platforms, and even before the truck arrived at its 1 p.m. stop in Midtown, a long line of people had formed, eager to get a bite of the New Orleans food. The menu offered a choice of fried shrimp, roast beef, or smoked-sausage po'boys, all from Domilise's in New Orleans, as well as jambalaya, red beans, and rice.
Besides serving free po’boys, the food truck was visited by Top Chef hosts and talents Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, and Gail Simmons, giving fans a chance to take pictures and ask quick questions.
Talking about their time spent in New Orleans, all three emphasized the city’s great food scene, with gumbo and fresh seafood as some of the highlights. Colicchio and Simmons both recommended the newly opened seafood restaurant Peche, serving an extensive menu of simply prepared modernized, seafood dishes. For Lakshmi, John Besh’s restaurant August is a standout spot, which she found herself going back to for the light and fresh food, something she said is hard to find among all the hearty New Orleans cooking.
When asked what the next culinary city fit to host a possible 12thTop Chef season would be, Simmons and Lakshmi said they were hoping to take the show to a city outside the U.S., like London, Paris, Rome, or Sydney. Colicchio noted that Boston and Charleston, S.C., are the two great American food cities that definitely should be recognized, and that if should be a 12th season of Top Chef, he will "definitely be there, no doubt about it!"