With the new season of Top Chef officially underway, James sat down with Architectural Digest to discuss the design elements behind the hit show's brand-new Charleston kitchen. Top Chef is now in it's 14th season, and it's new Charleston, SC set is a perfect compliment to the city's rich architectural and cultural history. Read on to learn more about James' architectural trip and the many design ingredients that went into the new kitchen. Gallery below!
The city’s fine dining scene was also an inspiration for the kitchen. “Examining what the restaurants are doing in terms of their designs was really important,” Connelly says. “Then I looked at what's really local and iconic to Charleston.” The color palette includes a dark Charleston green that has been used throughout the city since the Civil War, cool grays, and warm coppery tones. The materials and design elements also reference the city’s architectural signatures, such as pressed tin, wrought iron, and brick.
Local carpenters helped with the construction of the sets. “Sometimes those are the best moments,” Connelly says. “The locals bring a whole new level of detail, even with just the history of the last projects they did in Charleston.” The set dressing showcases the ingredients the chefs will use but also gives a nod to the city’s culinary specialties, such as the barrels used for storing its famous boiled peanuts."