Bravo's wildly popular food competition series is back for Top Chef season 16, and two local stars plan to show off their chops in hopes of bringing yet another championship back to Title Town.
Cultivar's Chef De Cuisine Brian Young and Adrienne Wright, Executive Chef at Boston Urban Hospitality—the group behind hotspots Deuxave, Boston Chops and dbar—are set to throw down in the kitchen when the show returns Thursday night. As the only competitors from Boston's food scene, Young and Wright quickly formed a friendship while filming in Kentucky.
Meet the Boston competitors on Top Chef season 16
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“Adrienne and I really developed a friendship,” Young tells Metro. “It was really great to have somebody you could directly relate to.”
“Bostonians have to stuck together," says Wright.
Although neither chef was born in Boston, both have come to embrace the city over the years and hope to make locals proud with their performances this season.
“I’m psyched,” says Young. “It’s always kind of Boston versus everybody for me.”
“The thing that separates Boston from everyone else is the community we have in the restaurant industry,” he adds. “We support each other.”
Hailing for Connecticut, Wright always had an appreciation for Boston, as well as her beloved Red Sox (her family even named their dog Fenway). She got her start in the kitchen at a young age, often cooking dinner for her family and submitting recipe ideas to contests as a teenager.
After college, she worked her way through kitchens from Connecticut to Maine, eventually finding a home with Boston Urban Hospitality. Wright fell in love with the city's food scene and praises its "level of quality" when it comes to the amazing ingredients and products that she gets to work with each day.
As for Young, the Nashville native was actually on track to be a rocker before becoming a chef, having worked with a number of punk bands as a singer. Young got involved in the culinary world after landing a job as a food runner at a B.B. King's Blues Club as a teen.
“Not everybody wants to hire a kid with spiked blue and black hair,” Young jokes. “But in kitchens, they didn’t care.”
Although the duo couldn’t reveal any spoilers, both did share their plans post Top Chef season 16. Wright will be back cooking up some great meals with Boston Urban Hospitality for the foreseeable future, however, she does hope to one-day return to Connecticut to open a farm to table restaurant.
Meanwhile, Young already has another big job lined up for 2019, as he’ll soon serve as the Executive Chef at The Emory on Beacon Street, which is slated to open in April. Young has nothing but love for Cultivar, but can’t wait to have fun with his new gig where he'll get to showcase “honest ingredients, simple dishes that are really focused and prepared perfectly.”
“I just want to have fun with food,” says Young. “That’s kind of the direction I’ve been leaning and I’m really excited to get to explore it.”
Top Chef season 16 premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on Bravo.