Do you love Top Chef, and yet sometimes find yourself ruminating, "Man, are the contestants old!"
Then Top Chef Junior has your name on it. Bravo announced today the development of its new competition series, where teens will compete for the Top Chef title and accompanying prizes and fame.
A docu-series is also in the works. If Jackie Warner of Workout fame gets a show about running a gym, then why shouldn't Jean-Christophe Novelli star on a show about opening a cooking school? Bravo executives think he should.
With Top Chef as the number one food show on cable, Bravo is seeking to expand their food domain. Frances Berwick, the executive vice president and general manager of Bravo Media, made the following statement:
"The love of food reaches all ages and teens today are continually expanding their culinary knowledge—from cooking classes to kids' cookbooks. 'Top Chef Junior,' which will be based on the Emmy-nominated hit culinary series 'Top Chef,' is an eight episode series where teens (likely ages 13 to 16) will compete to see if they have what it takes to become a junior 'Top Chef.' Season-to-date, Bravo's 'Top Chef' ranks in the top 15 among kids/teens 2-17 in the Wed 10-11 p.m. time period (at No. 14) versus ad supported cable entertainment networks. Magical Elves ('Top Chef,' 'Project Runway,') will produce the series, with Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serving as executive producers.
"With Top Chef Junior we're reaching a growing market and are developing a series that will teach and test the skills of younger aspiring chefs and appeal to the whole family," says Berwick.
This raises a host of questions. Will the young teens show off their knife skills? Will they butcher whole pigs? Will they go, as has been known to happen on the original Top Chef, for lengthy stretches without sleep? What about child labor laws?
The network is also developing a docu-series, the untitled Jean-Christophe Novelli Project, which will chronicle chef Novelli's move to Los Angeles as he opens a cooking school to train wannabe professional chefs. Novelli already has an eponymous cooking school in the UK, which has placed in the "Top 25 Cookery Schools in the World." He is a Michelin award-winning chef with restaurants in London, France and South Africa. But perhaps his most important television credential is his designation as "World's Sexiest Chef" by the New York Times.
The Jean-Christophe Novelli Project is produced by Mentorn USA, the people behind Work Out and Paradise Hotel for Bravo.
Does the world need more reality food TV? Will you tune in?