Virginia Sherwood, Bravo We heard the rumors that the show was coming (and that producers tried to shut down tweets about it). We've read about the state tax breaks and the lawsuit and the omission of our biggest (and completely food-rich) city, Houston. Now the day is finally here: Top Chef: Texas, the ninth season of the cooking competition show, premieres tonight. All the episodes will take place in Austin, Dallas or San Antonio; Paul Qui of Austin's Uchiko and Andrew Curran of Austin's 24 Diner are among the 29 "cheftestants." "Everything is bigger in Texas," writes TV Guide. "And that includes Top Chef." It also includes all the Texas cliches that we'll be seeing on the show ("Saddle Up," says one of Bravo.com's pop-up ads) and in the coverage of it. The premiere (and eight of the season's 14 episodes) takes place in San Antonio, which, as the Express-News' Jennifer McInnis notes, anted up $200,000 to the show's producers via its Convention and Visitor's Bureau (the state provided twice that). Give the producers points for wit, however: the season will feature Pee Wee Herman, whose Pee Wee's Big Adventure took him to the Alamo, as a guest judge. And that particular setting is probably appropriate given that the 29 competitors will shrink to 16 by the end of next week's episode. "It's going to be quite a slaughter there," says Eater Austin, while the Los Angeles Times compared the rapid cut-down to "[Rick] Perry and his state’s tough stance on final justice."
Bravo's cooking competition reality show, which premieres tonight, spends its ninth season in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio.
Finding your way around the Capitol City.