November 12, 2005 12:01 AM by Joe Blackmon
Bravo has signed on Katie Lee Joel to host "Top Chef," a new reality competition series set in the pressurized environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business. The series will feature twelve aspiring chefs competing for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the prestigious title of "Top Chef."
Scheduled to premiere next year on Bravo, principal photography for the ten-episode, one-hour series commenced October 24 in San Francisco. The announcement was made recently by Frances Berwick, Senior Vice President of Programming, Bravo.
"Bravo is eager to discover exciting new talent in the culinary world, just as we did in fashion with ‘Project Runway,’ in film with ‘Project Greenlight,’ and comedy writing in ‘Situation: Comedy,’" said Berwick. "We’re delighted to have Katie Lee Joel as host. Her passion for excellent cuisine pushes our contestants to the top of their game."
Katie Lee Joel will host this inside look at the artistic and cutthroat world of the culinary arts. Married to music icon Billy Joel since 2004, Katie’s lifelong passion for good food began when she first learned to cook from her grandmother while growing up in West Virginia. Today, she enjoys cooking meals with fresh, organic ingredients and strives to consume a diet that is both healthy and pleasing to the taste buds, while taking into consideration where every ingredient comes from. Katie’s culinary experience is broad and diversified. She has taken a wide range of culinary classes, spent a semester abroad in Florence, worked in a variety of restaurants and helped open Jeff and Eddy’s Restaurant, one of the hottest dining spots in the Hamptons. Katie also started the culinary website www.oliveandpeach.com with her friend Aleishall Girard, which was born out of their shared passion for the culinary arts and appreciation for the simple nourishment that makes up a daily meal. Katie holds a degree in English and Journalism from Miami University of Ohio.
"Top Chef" is executive produced by Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves, who also produced "Project Runway" and "Project Greenlight" for Bravo and will executive produce NBC’s upcoming reality series "Treasure Hunters." Shauna Minoprio serves as co-executive producer on "Top Chef."