Maui Featured in Top Chef Season Finale
By Maui Now Staff
The island of Maui takes center stage for the upcoming two-part Season 11 finale of the Top Chef culinary competition on the Bravo network.
The episodes, filmed in the South Maui resort area of Wailea, are scheduled to air on Wednesday, Jan. 29 and Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, at 8 p.m. Hawaiʻi time on Oceanic Time Warner Cable channels 40, 560, and 1560, according to a joint press release.
Filming of the Maui episodes took place in October 2013 and features agricultural offerings from the island, the natural beauty of the Valley Isle as a backdrop, and an inside look at Maui’s newest luxury resort, the Andaz Maui at Wailea, the announcement said.
Hawaiʻi chefs Peter Merriman and Sam Choy are also identified as guest judges, with Merriman’s Kapalua restaurant serving as the setting of the show’s elimination challenge.
Producers selected Gannon’s Wailea and Kaʻana Kitchen at the Andaz for the final challenges, according to visitor industry officials.
Contestants stayed in the luxury villas at the Andaz, near Mōkapu Beach. “As Maui’s newest resort, the Andaz Maui at Wailea provided the luxurious accommodations, lush scenery and every possible updated amenity that the producers of Top Chef were looking for,” said general manager Michael Stephens in a press release statement.
During the filming, contestants also visited Oʻo Farm, ʻĪao Valley, and utilized fresh ingredients from the Whole Foods Market. Additional participation came from from Maui’s Kumu Farms, Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui Gold Pineapple, Maui Brewing Co., and Ocean Vodka, according to visitor industry officials.
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau president, John Monahan said he looks forward to “letting Maui’s diversity shine in this season’s Top Chef finale.” The agency partnered with the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Andaz to negotiate the show’s selection of Hawaiʻi for the final episodes.
In an agency press release, Monahan said, “Television is a fantastic visual medium for storytelling and as a destination currently undergoing an exciting culinary evolution from farm-to-table, fans across the country are going to experience the essence of the Hawaiian islands incorporated into the final challenges.”
According to visitor industry officials, this is the second time a Hawaiʻi location was selected for Top Chef finale filming. The show previously filmed on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, for the 2006 season two finale when Ilan Hall took the title.
Last season, Hawaiʻi’s own Sheldon Simeon finished in the top three of the program. The celebrity chef opened his Migrant Maui modern local cuisine restaurant in December 2013 at Māla Wailea in South Maui.