Top Chef will crown its season 11 champion in a grand finale that was filmed on Maui last October. The two-part finale, set to air Jan. 29 and Feb. 5, will highlight the island’s rich bounty of celebrity chef’s, resorts, restaurants and agricultural offerings – all presented with the essence of Hawaiian culture.
Top Chef selected the newly open Andaz Maui at Wailea as its base of operation, location and for accommodations. The show’s highly confidential elimination challenges were filmed at Merriman’s Kapalua, Gannon’s Wailea and Kaana Kitchen at Andaz, the resorts signature restaurant. Acclaimed celebrity judges included Hawaii’s Sam Choy (chef/owner of Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai), and Peter Merriman.
Filming locations at the Andaz also included Studio Kitchen, a space that resembles a private home, and Laulea, an ocean-side lawn overlooking Mokapu Beach. While on the island, Bravo filmed the finale episode of Top Chef’s digital companion series, “Last Chance Kitchen.”
“Television is a fantastic visual medium for storytelling and as a destination currently undergoing an exciting culinary evolution from farm to table, fans across the country are going to experience the essence of the Hawaiian Islands incorporated into the final challenges,” said John Monahan, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau’s president and CEO. “We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Bravo and the incredible production team at Magical Elves and look forward to letting Maui’s diversity shine in this season’s Top Chef finale,”.
The show’s “chef’testants” harvested ingredients from local farms and bought local ingredients at Whole Foods Market, the official Top Chef grocery store. Several of Maui’s food and spirit producers including Kumu Farms, Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui Gold Pineapple, Maui Brewing Co., and Ocean Vodka also participated in the project.
“In every way, HVCB, MVCB and Andaz worked with Bravo and Magical Elves to showcase Maui and Hawaii,” said Monahan. “Maui gave its unwavering support throughout the production, and this project was truly a team effort and exciting for all involved.”
This is the second time Bravo and Magical Elves have partnered with HVCB and selected Hawaii as the special destination for its Top Chef season finale. The show filmed on the Big Island in 2006 during Season 2 when Ilan Hall beat Marcel Vigneron to take the title.
Photo courtesy of Bravo