Details are beginning to emerge on the underpinnings of the deals struck between a host of entities involved in Top Chef Texas being filmed in the great state.
Allow us to sort through this complicated affair. We all remember back in October when Magical Elves aka Mission Productions sued Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to prevent release of financial documents relevant to their receiving of monies to shepherd the production of Top Chef Texas to various Texas cities.
Houston, Dallas and Austin were all rumored to be site locations for the filming. As we all know now, Houston was left out in the cold due to their city refusing to “pay to play”. Food critic Alison Cook went to bat for her city-we responded here http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/7/11/Why-Alison-Cook-Is-Wrong-About-Austin-Not-Measuring-Up-To-Houston?adminview=true
Austin too refused to pay money to Magical Elves but the city is such a boisterous presence on the national food scene that Top Chef elected to come anyway.
San Antonio, the deep pocketed River City, laid out quite a bit of money and in exchange Top Chef gave them the lion’s share of publicity.
The details of the deals struck between Top Chef and San Antonio are now coming into light.
Here’s what we now know:
1] Apparently the lawsuit is off.
2] San Antonio’s investment of 200k appears to be money well spent. They get 8 out of the 14 episodes filmed in their city.
3] In addition to the 8 episodes San Antonio’s CIA chapter will be featured prominently in one show. This should bear extended fruit for the city as young would be chefs may start showing up on the campus with suitcases filled with cash and big dreams in their heads.
4] One particularly humorous part of the agreement forbids Tom, Padma and the contestants from doing any underage drinking, illegal gambling or illegal drug use. We’d really hoped to see all of the above, all at the same time at some point during the season but apparently these hopes are for naught.
5] The “brand integration” fee of 600k is then revealed
6] The word “Texas” will be added by Bravo to the series title. That strikes us as huge. As far as we know this has never been done by the network before. This should help casual viewers who’ve never heard of Texas before grasp where this tv show is emanating from.
That brings us to the end of the highlights of the documents [11 pages]. There was quite a bit of dry legalese to wade through to get to the good stuff.
Here’s a link to the original lawsuit http://www.scribd.com/doc/67504150/Magical-Elves-vs-Texas-AG which now appears to be off.
all our Top Chef Texas articles here http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/Top-Chef-Texas
We’ve watched Top Chef periodically over the years and it’s typically pretty entertaining. This year, due to Texas’ connection we are all over it.
If you have any suggestions for more and/or better coverage please let us know.