3 Ways to Make the Teen Edition of 'Top Chef' Compelling TV

Yahoo Contributor Network

One of Bravo's flagship properties is "Top Chef," a cooking competition with a massive fan following. But not all "Top Chef" fans are excited for the next proposed link in the "Top Chef" chain: a "Junior" series where all the contestants are teenage chefs.

The dubious strength of the proposed "Top Chef Junior" idea has been debated in the past. The franchise has already been diluted with a number of spinoffs, such as "Top Chef: Just Desserts," "Top Chef Masters," and various "Top Chef" shows that focus on competitors in foreign countries. Does the world need a "Top Chef" show populated by teens?

But while many fans are quick to drop hate on the idea of a teen-infested cooking show, there are a number of ways that producers could approach such a show to ensure it would be entertaining. Here are some simple ways that the producers could make "Top Chef Junior" a must-watch series.

1. Add a celebrity component

The only teenagers that most Americans care about are famous teenagers. Take a group of former child actors, up-and-coming hip-hop stars, or the offspring of adult celebs, and you could have a very interesting series about teenagers trying to find their path in life.

Some of these famous teens would be interested in cooking as another path to celebrity status, while others might be interested in cooking as a way to build a "normal" life.

2. Award scholarships to those in need

Americans love an underdog story, especially when it comes to reality TV. "Top Chef Junior" could be a great vehicle for helping poor kids from rural and inner city environments better themselves. The finalists could all receive partial scholarships to the culinary school of their choice, with the winner getting a full ride to the Culinary Institute of America.

3. Group the kids into teams

Team challenges are always hit or miss on "Top Chef," but teams of teens actually make sense for a cooking competition, particularly if they are tasked with running a real restaurant during Restaurant Wars.

"Top Chef: Masters" experimented with round robin gameplay in its early seasons. It wasn't a great format for those chefs, but it would make perfect sense for teen chefs who were grouped into teams by school affiliation, as it would mimic how many high school sporting events are run. Grouping the kids would give fans at home a teen team to root for.

View Comments