Chefs go head-to-head in the Emmy-winning Bravo TV show "Top Chef." This season, their battle ground is Colorado. Judge Graham Elliot tells Colorado Matters he finds the state's culinary scene "refreshing."
"What's great is that there's nobody really putting on airs," Elliot says. "There's a lot of ego that's set aside."
For Season 15, contestants drew inspiration from the landscape and culinary scenes of Denver, Boulder, Aspen and Telluride. And two Colorado chefs were in the mix: Carrie Baird of Denver and Brother Luck of Colorado Springs.
On filming this season in Colorado:
"I think that Colorado is kind of this mix. It's capturing the culinary zeitgeist with what's going on and back to nature and great local stuff. You have the Denver cityscape with a lot of chefs coming and doing good stuff, and people [living there] that are very open to cool food. On the same token, you've got the mountains, the woods, lakes and streams, and all of that nature that chefs like to work with. So I think it's a no-brainer to come out here and do this."
On the competing chefs from Colorado:
"What's interesting with them is that they bring their own style, which I think reflects the environment here in Colorado. They're using local things, whether it's elk and lamb and ingredients like that, but also some Latin or southwest inspired ingredients to pair with their food. It really shows that they have their own style -- it's not someone in Colorado who's trying to make food that looks like it's straight out of New York City or Copenhagen."