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EXCLUSIVE Top Chef Texas "Pay to Play" Opportunity?

Currently rumored to be taping in the Lone Star State, Top Chef Texas filming locations, according to a source close to negotiations, were a pay to play opportunity. In October of last year, the Houston Convention and Visitor's Bureau (CVB) was approached by TM Advertising to begin negotiations for a chance to underwrite a possible Houston episode.

Presented as an "investment opportunity," out of a nine-episode season: two would be out of state (presumably the finale), one would be in Dallas, one in Austin, one in Houston and the rest to be determined...all depending on who wanted to pay for the privilege.

Our source says the Houston CVB declined the offer based on the asking price (not disclosed) and the fact that it is not their policy to pay for what they deem is editorial coverage. But here's the bigger question - did Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and the state of Texas use tax dollars to fund the next season of Top Chef?

Apparently, turning down that big "investment opportunity" wasn't a bad idea, because the latest rumors have suggested that after shooting in Dallas (where they are presently) and then Austin, the show will also shoot in Houston.

· All Top Chef Texas Coverage on Eater Houston [-EHTX-]
· All Top Chef Coverage on Eater National [-E-]