New season of ‘Top Chef’ to be filmed in Saudi Arabia’s NEOM: MBC GROUP

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The highly anticipated eighth season of ‘Top Chef’ will be filmed in Saudi Arabia’s NEOM, MBC GROUP announced on Monday.

The latest season is currently in production and is set to premier later this year.

For more news on Saudi Arabia, visit our dedicated page.

MBC GROUP – the largest leading media organization in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – has joined forces with premier global media hub NEOM Media Industries to launch the production of the region’s version of the popular cooking show.

Bringing a new creative direction to the acclaimed reality TV series in the region, the latest season of “Top Chef” marks a partnership that promises a fusion of competitive culinary arts with ultra-modern urban development, according to a statement from the media organization.

“NEOM offers a visionary setting for the culinary excellence demonstrated in ‘Top Chef’. Bringing the show to NEOM is not merely a change of location; it is a significant step in redefining the future of filming in the Kingdom,” Samar Akrouk, MBC GROUP’s Director of Production and General Manager of MBC STUDIOS, said.

This eighth season will merge the high-energy competition that viewers expect, with a strong emphasis on ecological awareness and sustainable living, reflecting the core values of NEOM as a city of the future, according to Akrouk.

Originally launched by Bravo in the United States, “Top Chef” centers around chefs competing against each other in various culinary challenges.

The contestants are judged by a panel of professional chefs and other notable personalities from the food and beverage industry, with one or more contestants eliminated at the end of each episode.

In the region, the Arabic version by MBC GROUP has so far been filmed in locations across the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia.

“The latest season’s contestants will be taking on challenges that require innovative thinking and a sustainable approach, echoing the principles upon which NEOM is built,” Akrouk said.

“These challenges have been designed to inspire contestants to think about food in its relation to the environment. For example, from using locally sourced ingredients to integrating energy-efficient cooking methods, each episode will contribute to a narrative of planetary stewardship.”

Neom Media Village

Production of the new season of “Top Chef” will take place in the NEOM Media Village, home to four world-class sound stages and resort-style lodgings for cast and crew.

In addition to the bootcamp-style concept, the program will also feature special appearances by a series of international and regional guest judges, including those who run some of the world’s top Michelin-star restaurants. Their expertise and discerning palates are expected to add an extra layer of excitement to each episode.

“NEOM has cemented its position as the regional hub for non-scripted formats, attracting top global talent to create unmissable TV content,” Wayne Borg, Managing Director for Media Industries, NEOM, said.

“NEOM’s unparalleled range of sound stages, backlots, offices, workshops, support services, and other facilities meet the evolving needs of large-scale formats.”

In just two years, NEOM has facilitated over 40 productions encompassing Hollywood, Bollywood, Arabic, and Saudi feature films, alongside TV documentaries, non-scripted entertainment, scripted productions, and commercials.

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