Celebrity chef Graham Elliot is joining the cast of culinary characters as a judge this season on Bravo’s Top Chef. Elliot — who was previously a judge on MasterChef and MasterChef Junior — will be behind the judges’ table with Gail Simmons, Tom Colicchio, and Padma Lakshmi.The new season premieres 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, Dec. 1.
“I’ve come back full circle in a way,” Elliot, who had previously competed on Top Chef Masters, told Parade. “I can empathize with the contestants, because I know what it’s like to turn around and think, I have 10 minutes left, and it’s really 40 seconds.”
He also had some advice for contestants: “Cook your own food,” he told Parade. In other words, don’t try to cook like anyone else in order to gain recognition at the judges’ table. He also advised that when it comes to winning dishes, the simpler the better.
“The best ingredients are the ones you leave off the plate. You don’t have to put 30 other things on it.”