Milwaukee Simmering with Excitement: Top Chef to film here, throughout the state, in its 21st season
By Clare McGinnis
Milwaukeeans are used to great dining thanks to superb culinary talent and the wonderful establishments they work in. Soon, hundreds of thousands of weekly viewers will get a taste of what we’re lucky to have.
Bravo’s Top Chef announced its 21st season will be filmed in Milwaukee and Madison. It’s no surprise that “America’s Dairyland” qualifies as an attractive location for the renowned cooking competition. But locals know that Wisconsin is much more than its cheese.
Paul Bartolotta , chef, co-founder and owner of The Bartolotta Restaurants, believes Milwaukee will pleasantly surprise viewers who aren’t familiar with the city.
“Viewers will be surprised to see the diversity and talent that Milwaukee’s culinary scene holds,” he said. “We have chefs that are influenced from all corners of the globe, introducing techniques and ingredients to our market that push us all to be better and never stop evolving.”
Providing viewers a glimpse into our culinary scene should help local restaurateurs recruit talent, according to Bartolotta.
“Because of Top Chef’s global impact, Milwaukee will be rightfully positioned as an international culinary destination which will help recruit and retain local talent,” he said. “The world will see what we have known all along – that we are a true food city competing on a global scale, right where we belong,”
VISIT Milwaukee’s Senior Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Claire Koenig agrees with Bartolotta, pointing out that exposure from Top Chef is “priceless” when it comes to positioning the city and state as culinary hotbeds.
“We’re already seeing that from the initial coverage of the announcement, and we know this will be a part of elevating Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s reputation as a premier culinary destination,” she said.
There were many that helped in bringing this opportunity to Wisconsin, Koenig explained. She said many of VISIT Milwaukee’s partners, including stellar restaurants, attractions, food-makers and venues made it possible.
“We gave them dozens of story ideas featuring local businesses and the amazing people that run them,” she said. “We we worked with our partners across the state to make sure that we as a collective presented an idea for a season that was authentic to our state but also incredibly interesting to those who might be learning about it through the show for the first time.”