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‘Top Chef’ Adds Houston Chef Michelle Wallace

The owner and pitmaster of B’tween Sandwich Co. is heading to Wisconsin

A woman in chef whites stands posed in front of a pantry full of staple foods.
Michelle Wallace dons her chef whites for the next season of Top Chef.
Stephanie Diani/Bravo
Courtney E. Smith is the editor of Eater Dallas. She's a journalist of 20 years who was born and raised in Texas, with bylines in Pitchfork, Wired, Esquire, Yahoo!, Salon, Refinery29, and more. When she's not writing about food, she co-hosts the podcast Songs My Ex Ruined.

Top Chef is heading to Milwaukee and Madison in Wisconsin for its 21st season, and along for the ride is Houston Michelle Wallace, the chef, pitmaster, and the owner of B’tween Sandwich Co., a pop-up that serves bespoke, comfort-food driven sandwiches.

If Wallace’s name sounds familiar, that may be from her time working at Gatlin’s BBQ, where she was the longtime executive chef. She also spent time behind the fires at Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers. Under her guidance, the restaurant won Best Fried Chicken award in the 2022 Eater Awards for Houston. Wallace studied at Texas Southern University and Culinary Arts Institute of Houston, and also in China.

The forthcoming season is hosted by Kristen Kish, who replaces former host Padma Lakshmi, with Tom Colicchio returning as head judge and Gail Simmons joining him on the panel. And Eater reports there will be some additional changes to the next season — namely that contestants will be able to win money in every Quickfire competition, and that episodes will now be 75 minutes long — a big jump from the previous 42.

Season 21 of Top Chef premieres March 20 on Bravo. It will be available on Peacock the next day.