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Possible Boston-area challenges for Top Chef

It's official: Bravo's Top Chef will shoot in Boston, confirms the Boston Globe. Boston is, of course, no stranger to Top Chef personalities: Sweet Cheeks's Tiffani Faison was a competitor, and Menton's Kristen Kish won the competition.

The show is famous for putting chef competitors in city-specific, physically demanding, and mentally anguishing situations. Here are a few possibilities for Boston. When you see Tom Colicchio cowering in a tent in the wilds of Maine, S'mores dripping down his face, you'll know who to thank.


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1. Create a makeshift restaurant in 48 hours inside the empty Locke-Ober space and recreate dishes from the original Locke-Ober. Lydia Shire guest stars.

2. Design a pop-up restaurant inside the new Chestnut Hill Wegmans, using exclusively Wegmans ingredients. Judging panel includes disgruntled customers who've waited in line for over an hour to park.

3. A special "getaway" episode to Ken Oringer's rustic Maine restaurant, Earth at Hidden Pond. Menus consist entirely of campfire foods cooked over an open flame. Includes contestant flashbacks to first summer camp romances. Padma shows Tom how to pitch a tent.

4. An elite corps of contestants conceptualize and launch a Greenway food truck in less than one week. Theme: poutine tacos. Mayor Marty Walsh likes them!

5. Contestants are asked to open a meze parlor in Southie using Market Basket ingredients. Emphasis is on "approachable small plates" and "hand-crafted cocktails" that recall simpler times. Mark Wahlberg is guest judge; special appearance by Donnie and Jenny McCarthy, who loves everything.

6. Gisele and Tom are throwing a cocktail party! Just one problem: Gisele completely forgot to hire a caterer! It's Top Chef to the rescue. Tom looks uneasy; Gail smiles winningly and caresses her wine glass.

7. The Boston Red Sox just got into town, and they're hungry. They want beer and they want chicken. It's a free-for-all buffet! Special confessional booth for weepy contestant who hates to see his fried chicken mousse destroyed by Big Papi in one insensitive gulp.

8. Chefs must cater a top-secret pow wow for Barbara Lynch and Kristen Kish (could they be launching their own restaurant?) using Menton's kitchen. But nobody can find anything! And the stove mysteriously stopped working! Is something on fire? Barbara's looking antsy. Kristen wants to help, but it wouldn't be right.

9.Obligatory debriefing over riotous dim sum at Winsor. Everyone is tired and homesick. Someone is about to get divorced. One chef waxes nostalgic about his misspent semester at MIT. Romance blossoms for two young contestants over clams in black bean sauce.

10. Speaking of MIT: Chefs are challenged to cook 14th-century delicacies for a panel of discriminating students. The catch: Medieval cookery must be performed using molecular gastronomy techniques. Full access to MIT's laboratories allowed. Winner teaches his or her very own seminar at Harvard's Science and Cooking series.

11. How hard is it to mess up clam chowder? Very, it turns out. Legal Sea Foods' Roger Berkowitz guest judges.

What are your ideas?

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