Top Chef edits out guest judge, could more changes happen?


In an episode of Top Chef Colorado, Chef John Bess was a guest judge. Recently, Bravo edited him out of the episode. Could more changes happen this season?

As the world begins a new normal, the entertainment world has peeled back layers of poor behavior that has been long ignored. The cooking world isn’t immune from the same digressions. After the revelations about Mario Batali, Bravo and Top Chef took action to modify an episode of Top Chef Colorado. In response to previous allegations against chef and restaurateur John Besh, his appearance as a guest judge has been edited out. But, could more changes happen?

In a report by Eater, Bravo and lead Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio confirmed that Chef John Besh had been removed from an upcoming episode. According to the Eater article, Colicchio said “Bravo to Bravo for making this decision.”

Earlier this year, Besh had been accused by several women of sexual harassment as well as a hostile work environment. Besh stepped down from this organization in October, but denies certain allegations. No additional comment was provided regarding the recent Top Chef episode edits.

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This current cultural climate is bringing this topic to everyone’s attention. Companies are making changes due to people’s voices. But, that scenario hasn’t always been the case. Previously, Top Chef didn’t edit an episode that featured a contestant who was arrested for domestic violence. In 2014, Top Chef left episodes featuring Aaron Grissom on the air. Grissom was arrested on domestic violence charges prior to the episodes airing.

Unfortunately, these revelations aren’t new occurrences. The poor choices and bad behavior didn’t all of a sudden happen without warning. Many of these accusations and allegations happened years ago. Whether people turned a blind eye, put up with it or just though it was part of the culture, times are changing.

Earlier this year, Chef Beverly Kim of Parachute wrote an open letter to Eater Chicago in March 2017. The very poignant letter spoke clearly, and bluntly, on the difficulties of women chef. In that letter she hoped that many of the issues, including sexual harassment and double standards, would be addressed. Due to the current cultural changes, those issues are finally being addressed.

It is important to applaud change, give a voice and support those who come forward. But, is there an end in sight? More allegations are uncovered every day. Will more shows be edited, altered and changed in response to more allegations? ABC’s Great American Bake Off could be next with people calling for Johnny Iuzzini’s removal after more accusers came forward.

While the celebrity chef allegations get the attention, these incidents may not be the only concerns in the professional kitchen. Hopefully, bringing these topics to light and making changes on highly visible platforms will bring changes across the board. Only time will tell.