feminized jury, “hidden brigade”, new mechanics… For its 15th season, “Top Chef” is reviewing its formula

The M6 ​​show, launched in 2010, is almost getting a new look. To discover in this new season, a legend with 13 Michelin stars and two talented chefs in a revamped jury.



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Multi-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire, May 25, 2023 at the Cannes festival (Alpes-Maritimes).  (CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP)

How to renew a show that is getting old? All major brands ask themselves the same question, Koh Lanta has Beijing Express Passing by The Voice. Top chef is no exception after 15 years of existence on M6. The culinary competition is almost getting a makeover. There are changes every year, new tests, new chefs, we sometimes change the jury… But, this year, let the viewers prepare themselves: it’s really a Top chef revamped which we will probably discover from March.

The main new thing is that there will be six jurors (and no longer four). Six jurors but not six brigades, only two: one gray and one orange. Each led by three chefs, who together have 15 stars! On one side, Philippe Etchebest, Paul Pairet and Glenn Viel. On the other, Hélène Darroze and two new additions: Stéphanie Le Quellec, winner of season 2, now double starred, and Dominique Crenn, little known to the general public, although she is a star of gastronomy, the only woman to have won three macaroons in the United States (she has lived in San Francisco for 30 years), elected best female chef in the world in 2016.

So this season, it’s a bit women against men even if, unfortunately, among the candidates, as usual, the fairer sex is very little represented. Top chef finally has an equal jury. Until now, Hélène Darroze was alone, like Ghislaine Arabian before her. And the boss’s surprise is that there will be a seventh coach. But he will remain in the shadows, at the head of a hidden brigade, he will enter the competition during the quarter-finals with a previously eliminated candidate. And it’s very heavy, since it’s Pierre Gagnaire, 13 Michelin stars, a legend!

The show now attracts the greatest chefs

Unlike the beginnings, where the chefs watched this competition out of the corner of their eyes, wondering if it was not going to damage the image of gastronomy. Alain Ducasse, Anne-Sophie Pic, Guy Savoy, and this year for the first time César and Léo Troisgros, no star refuses the invitation. Because Top chef has restored the nobility of the profession of chef, it has inspired vocations, revealed talents: 27 former candidates now have stars. And this program is a plea for eating well, for respecting the seasonality of products, and against food waste. It has undeniable educational virtues.

The show remains a flagship event on M6, even if last season was the least watched since its launch in 2010: 2.2 million viewers on average every Wednesday. However, the score is excellent for the commercial target of women responsible for purchases under 50: 27% market share. This translates into significant advertising revenue.

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