Top Chef Show Faces Backlash for Filming at a Former Slave Plantation

Top Chef's first episode this seasonis partially set on a seventeenth-century plantation and people are not happy

The season has barely started and the cooking show is already facing severe criticism.

Bravo’s Top Chef premiered its fourteenth season on December 1 to loud criticism. The cooking competition show — usually a favorite amongst food TV fans — set part of its first episode on a historic seventeenth-century slave plantation, and people were not happy. Charleston’s Boone Hall Plantation, which is open to the public still displays the original cabins where African-American slaves who worked there used to live. During the episode, the history of the plantation was briefly discussed, while a black contestant called the experience “surreal.”

The backlash against the episode’s filming location was almost immediate via Twitter:

People were further outraged when the black contestant lost in the final round to the white contestant:

Several days after the show aired, judge Tom Colicchio took to Twitter to publish a statement that briefly dissected the issue and apologized for any offense caused and took time to directly answer fans’ criticisms.


The Daily Meal has contacted Bravo for further comment.