When Top Chef Season 20 announced that the season would be World All-Stars, the expectations were high. As previous winners and runners-up put their culinary skills to the test, only one cheftestant will earn the coveted title. Throughout the season, the iconic culinary competition has leveraged brands partnerships throughout various challenges. For the final Quickfire of the season, Top Chef and Delta showed that a great cook is also a great teacher.
When it is time to soar to a new locale, Delta will get you there. To mark the 300th Top Chef episode and the second to last episode of Season 20, the four final cheftestants flew to Paris. The French capital is set to be the home of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. While the City of Lights might be full of culinary inspiration, the first challenge put the chefestants teaching skills to the test.
Bringing back the classic wall challenge, the professional chefs had to guide four U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes to create a similar dish. While there were highs and lows through the challenge, all the participants kept climbing towards the finish line.
Although Top Chef has not created smell-o-vision, yet, the partnership with Delta encourages viewers to dream big. It could be time to book a ticket on Delta and get a taste of the Parisian delights for themselves.
As Emmakate Young, Managing Director of Brand Marketing and Sponsorships, Delta Air Lines said, “Travel and food are two of the best ways to experience cultures, and with a shared focus of connecting the world, Delta’s partnership with Top Chef this season highlighted the special connection between these two passion points. As we look toward Paris 2024, this episode’s Quickfire challenge with Team USA made next summer feel even closer. We love seeing the shared attitude of the athletes and chefs to ‘Keep Climbing’ whether in their athletic pursuits or in the kitchen – and this competition was fierce. Watching the athletes take on a new challenge outside of their norms and bring the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to the Top Chef table was an exciting preview for what’s to come in 2024.”
The U.S. athletes might not quite be ready to wear the apron fulltime, they showed that food can and does make connections. Few people might ever stand on the podium with their arms raised in victory, but they can follow their journey and cheer them along the way. In a similar way, the food scene on the show can be recreated or fans can book a trip on Delta to travel to some of the locales featured on Top Chef Season 20.
Speaking to the connection beyond the screen, Jamie Cutburth, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Content Partnerships, NBCUniversal Advertising & Partnerships, said “At NBCUniversal, we are at the forefront of innovation. We are always looking to create unique can’t miss experiences for brand partners to connect with our massive fanbase. This incredible enterprise partnership with Delta demonstrates just that. We were able to strategically pull the right marketing levers across the NBCU portfolio, while also connecting communities around the world with cultural and culinary stories that ultimately drive impact for our viewers, our partners and our One Platform.”
Top Chef’s longstanding success is more than just the culinary supremacy that it showcases. It is the stories told in between the challenges. Viewers become connected with the cheftestants as they learn more about how their backgrounds influence the food cooked in the kitchen. That appreciation for the person is one of the reasons why people seek out those Top Chef restaurants.
Although Top Chef seasons might be more frequent than the Olympic Games, people appreciate the stories behind the athletes striving for their success. Anyone who is willing to compete, do their best, and hold their head high through it all will be celebrated no matter the outcome.
As seen in this episode, the NBC and Delta collaboration was easily integrated into the storyline. As Dan Lovinger, President Olympic & Paralympic Partnerships, Advertising & Partnerships, NBCUniversal said, “Our partnership with Delta continues to demonstrate the depth and breadth of possibilities that exist when partnering with NBCUniversal’s One Platform. Not only did Delta help make an international season of Top Chef possible – we were able to close out the competition in Paris, while also leveraging and cross-promoting one of the most iconic tentpoles we have access to – the upcoming 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We could not be more thrilled being almost a year out and celebrating Team USA in a new, unique way with Delta.”
While three chefs remain in pursuit of the Top Chef World All-Stars title, Paris, its culinary delights, and the Olympic Games have a story that is still being told. Delta might encourage people to keep climbing and that sentiment is one that can fuel some of life’s most fulfilling moments. If the recent Top Chef episode created a craving, a sense of wanderlust, or just a desire to embrace the moment, it might be time to get off the couch and embrace what is possible.
Top Chef World All Stars finale airs Thursday, June 8 at 9 p.m. ET.
The Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 will be held July 26 through August 11, 2024, and August 28 through Sept. 8, 2024. NBCUniversal networks and platforms will cover.