Top Chef shows why foodies need to visit Tucson

TOP CHEF -- "Cactus Makes Perfect" Episode 1913 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo)
TOP CHEF -- "Cactus Makes Perfect" Episode 1913 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo) /

As the Top Chef Season 19 finale is set to air, many people were surprised to hear that the chefs were bidding adios to Houston and preparing to visit Tucson. As one a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, the city is poised to prove to foodies that the locale needs to be the next stop on that culinary journey.

While Top Chef finales have crossed the globe, Season 19 looks at the culinary bounty that is a little closer to home. As a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, the designation celebrates a city’s culinary heritage. With less than 30 cities around the globe, the designation might be more important than how many starred restaurants are located in a particular radius.

According to Magical Elves producer Diana Schmedeman, the team believes that Tucson is a “culinary hidden gem.” “Tucson was all that and more with its majestic mountains, lush deserts and fantastic resorts, all creating an epic environment for a spectacular season finale. Having been introduced to influential culinary figures and local growers who help shape Tucson’s scene, we knew we had found everything needed to help inspire our finalists for a memorable season finale.”

While one chef will earn the coveted culinary title, the locale can inspire foodies to make that trip out west. Although many people look to innovative food trends and hot food travel destinations, Tucson looks to blend its history with modern approaches.

With over 4,000 years of food history, the stories and traditions flavor much of the culinary offerings. Although many people can think of the Mexican spices or the green chiles, that influence is only one part of the recipe.

Native American ingredients and recipes expose foodies to the traditions that have stood the test of time. This version of American food is one that needs to be explored more often.

During the Top Chef Season 19 finale, take a moment to savor the view, ingredients, and traditions that visit Tucson has to offer. It could be time to book a reservation to enjoy this culinary destination.