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Next Season’s ‘Top Chef’ Includes Asheville’s Ashleigh Shanti

Watch the North Carolina chef, starting March 3

Young Black woman in an apron, smiling.
Ashleigh Shanti.
Tim Robison
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas.

Bravo TV’s 19th season of Top Chef will premiere March 3 with a familiar face to Asheville residents — chef Ashleigh Shanti is among the 15 new faces competing in Houston for the title of Top Chef.

Shanti, a 2020 James Beard “Rising Star of the Year” award finalist and Eater 2019 Young Gun, gained notoriety in western North Carolina during her time as chef de cuisine of Asheville’s Benne on Eagle. Shanti brought her background in Appalachian and West African flavors to the kitchen to great acclaim.

She left Benne on Eagle in late 2020 to pursue her own dining establishments and freelance under the company name Food or Death.

While Top Chef contestants can’t say much about their time on the show, Shanti will be part of the Cultivated Community dinner series in March, so depending on the date of her dinner, viewers might know how she fares in the competition by then.

Cheer on Shanti starting March 3 on Bravo.

‘Top Chef’ Trailer [Bravo]
The Past as Possibility in the Appalachian South
Rising Star Chef Ashleigh Shanti Exits Benne on Eagle
Food or Death [Official]
Cultivated Community [Official]