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Nov 19, 2008 06:12 PM

Top Chef Prize Question

Does anyone else think that $100,000 is too small of a prize?

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  1. What should it be a million????? Yes $100k is nothing to retire on, but the exposure and fame is going to make any restaurant they go and open is going to have that much more hype.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Chefsquire

      Yes considering the money the network makes off the show and what they are put through I think a million is about right

      1. re: sugarsnapp

        Not many shows give out a million bucks for a prize - TV execs are always getting rich off reality contestants. Its old news.

        1. re: sugarsnapp

          "what they are put through"

          A couple of weeks of filming and challenges? It's like a school excercise. The exposure is definitely the key here -- they still have to make it on their talent but an opening like this will shave 10 years off their normal career track.

      2. I think that if anyone expects to open a restaurant with 100k, they damned well better make it a hot dog cart!

        1. 100K is seed money. The idea is to take that money and try to get more people interested in sustaining your idea. If they had given the winners a million bucks, how many of them would have stuck with opening a restaurant? Ilan is already in semi-retirement on the 100K. The idea is to give them as start, along with the exposure from the show and help them gain a foothold. it doesn't guarantee success and siolvency yet it does give them a bopost.

          1. It's more about the exposure and showing what you can do than the actual prize money. As Phaedrus said - it's seed money to help them get their ideas for a restaurant in front of the right people who *will* finance their restaurant. The show is video proof that they can do well and are talented enough to sustain a restaurant vs. just them saying "I'm a good cook".

            1. What's worse, is that Gordon Ramsay gives a lot more than 100k for Hell's Kitchen.

              7 Replies
              1. re: shallots

                OK - now the benefits of being on Top Chef vs. being on Hell's Kitchen isn't even comparable. I'd bet almost anything that those "chefs" on HK don't have near the amount of respect in the industry that some of the TC cheftestants end up with after their various seasons.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  The winner of Top Chef gets $100k and then can go out and find investors for their restaurant if they choose to open one.The winner of Hell's Kitchen get their $250k and their "job" with Ramsey which, at least for the first 2 winners, come to nothing and they go back to obscurity.

                  1. re: KTinNYC

                    My point exactly. You still hear about cheftestants from TC1 - TC4 and people (viewers) still talk about them and what they're doing (opening a place, closing a place, where they're working). You don't hear a thing about any of the winners on HK.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Top Chef doesn't even rank in the top 20 cable shows. And even a low-ranked broadcast show like Hell's Kitchen garners more viewers than most of the top 20 cable shows. It's all about the revenues.

                      1. re: ferret

                        That's the television industry ratings. I'm was referring more to the food industry and who-knows-who.

                        The guest judges and people who are on TC are all intertwined. Colicchio put out feelers a few seasons ago asking for higher-level sous chefs from high-end chefs to apply for the show. If Wylie Dufresne can be impressed by someone on TC, the chances for that person to get a job in a Dufresne kitchen or be referred by him to someone else and continue in the industry seem to have done a LOT more for the cheftestants on TC than those who were on HK.

                        Yes - Gordon Ramsay is a well-known chef/restauranteur. I'm just saying that the CALIBER of TC cheftestants vs. some of the jamokes who end up on HK can't even be compared. I sincerely doubt that most of the high-end chefs would hire anyone from HK.

                        And the caliber of TC cheftestants is why people are still talking about them and wanting to go to their restaurants, should they open one. Don't hear anyone saying that about any of the HK contestants.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          But ultimately the prize money is tied into value to the advertiser. The $100K comes from Glad (the bag manufacturer) and they get fewer eyeballs on Bravo than they would on Fox.

                          1. re: ferret

                            But the ultimate prize from being on Top Chef is being recognized as a talented young chef who now has the name recognition to be the face of a restaurant. This wins you investors which is worth more than the additional $150k you win from being on Hell's Kitchen.