By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Feb 07, 2024 at 4:46 PM

Last summer, we learned about a delicious surprise on the menu: Bravo's hit food competition "Top Chef" was setting its upcoming 21st season in Wisconsin, with quickfires and challenges cooking all over Milwaukee, Madison and beyond.

And after spending the past months discreetly cooking up quickfires and challenges all over Milwaukee, Madison and beyond – and not-so-discreetly munching on some of the Badger State's biggest culinary icons – the show is finally ready to serve up its red-hot results, today revealing the premiere date for the new Sconnie-set season: Wednesday, March 20. 

The new "Top Chef" season also introduced its first trailer along with its lineup of chef-testants – a roster that will include an actual Milwaukeean in the bunch with local chef Dan Jacobs amongst the culinary competitors.

Indeed, the locales and traditions used for challenges, settings and inspirations shouldn't be the only familiar faces in the upcoming season. As it turns out, Milwaukee's culinary scene has some actual skin in the game with a competiting representative amongst the fifteen accomplished chef-testants: Dan Jacobs, chef and co-owner of Brew City's own Dandan and EsterEv restaurants. Here's to there being a home field advantage on "Top Chef!"

As for his competition, here's the full lineup of chefs vying for the title this Badger State-set season:

  • Kaleena Bliss – Chicago
  • Kevin D'Andrea – Austin
  • Alisha Elenz – Chicago
  • Danny Garcia – New York City
  • Valentine Howell Jr. – Boston
  • Dan Jacobs – Milwaukee
  • Manny Barella Lopez – Denver
  • Savannah Miller – Durham, North Carolina
  • David Murphy – San Francisco
  • Kenny Nguyen – Athens, Georgia
  • Laura Ozyilmaz – San Francisco
  • Charly Pierre – New Orleans
  • Amanda Turner – Austin
  • Rasika Venkatesa – San Francisco
  • Michelle Wallace – Houston

For full chef bios, click here.

As for the rest of the trailer, Bravo's first look features plenty of twists and surprises, from guest stars like Matty Matheson of "The Bear" fame to the reveal that quickfire challenges will no longer grant immunity for the episode. One less surprising element of the Wisconsin season's trailer? CHEESE! Of course there's no shortage of cheese references and farm footage in the preview – but thankfully there appears to be a full range of Wisconsin and Milwaukee sights and staples showing up this season, from an AmFam Field-set challenge (complete with racing sausages) to cranberry bogs, a fish boil, an Indigenous food spotlight and the Miller Caves. 

That clip's just an amuse-bouche, though. "Top Chef" fans will get to dig into the new Wisconsin-centric season – complete with new host Kristen Kish as well as super-sized 75-minute episodes this year, according to Entertainment Weekly – beginning on Wednesday, March 20, at 8 p.m. on Bravo. The competition show will then air new episodes every Wednesday, slicing down the chef-testants week by week until one talented tastemaker remains earning the $250,000 prize and more career-catapaulting honors. (For those who can't watch live, episodes will be available to stream the next day on Peacock.)

So how will Brew City chef Jacobs fare on the Bravo competition hit? Will he survive Restaurant Wars and make it to the finale? Or will he eventually have to pack up his knives and go ... or, uh, stay in Milwaukee anyways? Stay tuned to find out when the season debuts next month – and stay tuned to OnMilwaukee as we're cooking up even more "Top Chef" info, updates and fun for the new episodes!

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.