Tom Colicchio has been cooking since he was a child. A passion that started at home with his mother and grandmother turned into a drive to excel. He went on to open restaurants in several cities, including Gramercy Tavern and Craft in New York City. He earned national attention as the lead judge in Bravo’s Emmy Award–winning series Top Chef. Alongside host Padma Lakshmi and fellow judge and food critic Gail Simmons, for 11 seasons Colicchio has been putting chefs to the test in grueling challenges that highlight cooking skills, creativity and knowledge of food combinations in order to find the best chef. As Colicchio tells TV Formats Weekly, the audience loves learning new dishes and witnessing the drama of the competition. Top Chef is also a successful format that has been garnering high ratings in France, Canada, Finland, Spain and several other countries in Europe and the Middle East.