Casting With an Inclusive Lens: How ‘Top Chef’ Pioneered LGBTQ Representation in Reality TV

Four of the 15 contestants who competed in the recent “Top Chef: All Stars L.A.” season identify as queer

Few reality competition shows have showcased queer talent as consistently as “Top Chef.”

In the most recent season of the long-running, Emmy-nominated Bravo show, four of the 15 “cheftestants” identified as queer: Lisa Fernandes, Karen Akunowitz, Gregory Gourdet and this season’s winner, Melissa King. “Top Chef” has previously crowned two queer winners — Season 3’s Hung Huynh and Season 10’s Kristen Kish — and featured many more LGBTQ standouts throughout the years.

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