Top Chef Amateurs
By Jenny Nixon,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Home cooks, Top Chef vets team up in positive show.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
It takes a lot of moxie for a home cook to work alongside a Top Chef veteran, and at times the vets even admit that they're learning new techniques and flavors from the amateurs.
Positive Role Models
Contestants and judges alike come from a variety of backgrounds, many choosing to highlight their ethnicity via the dishes they create. There's a good mix of genders here as well.
Products & Purchases
The Top Chef brand is a full-blown franchise with various spin-off shows, books, and podcasts available to consumers; these are occasionally (but not excessively) referenced in the series.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Top Chef Amateurs is yet another spin-off of the long-running Top Chef franchise. The contestants are home cooks, and although the competition is fast-paced, the tone is not one of cutthroat rivalry—instead, these amateurs learn valuable tricks and tips from the veteran chefs and are largely respectful of their opponents. The overall vibe is a positive one, without much drama or questionable language to worry about.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Top Chef Amateurs
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What's the Story?
TOP CHEF AMATEURS pairs two non-professional cooking enthusiasts with past competitors from the show, who serve as their assistants -- they can help chop, sauté, and sous vide but the recipes and decisions are ultimately up to the contestant. These teams compete in head-to-head duels that are largely based on memorable past challenges from the flagship series, with a cash prize of $5,000 for the winner. Gail Simmons serves as judge alongside a rotating duo of professional chefs from the rest of the franchise, such as Eric Adjepong and Melissa King.
Is It Any Good?
This good-natured spinoff is light on drama but full of clever and tantalizing food ideas, and super-fans will enjoy seeing their fave chefs from past seasons come back to help out in the kitchen. Cooking shows have never been hotter than they are right now, and it's fun to experiment with fancy recipes and techniques at home -- but as the folks competing on Top Chef Amateurs demonstrate, it's a lot different doing so from the comfort of your own kitchen than with a tight deadline and three respected industry professionals staring you down as they wait to taste your dishes. It's impressive, though, seeing these home cooks rise to the challenge, even if some are visibly starstruck by the fan fave Top Chef alumnus they're working aside. Novice cooks and fans of food culture will find much to enjoy in this creative and positive series.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the ways cooking at home is different than cooking in a professional environment. How does Top Chef Amateurs highlight the challenges faced when cooking on a strict timeline?
Competition-based shows are often packed with high-strung contestants and brutal judges. How does Top Chef Amateurs diverge from this formula? Talk about the character strengths displayed by the contestants and their helpers, such as perseverance and teamwork.
- Premiere date: July 1, 2021
- Cast: Gail Simmons
- Network: Bravo
- Genre: Game Shows
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: January 27, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
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