Bon Appétit Joins Reality Foodie Fray With New Bravo Show, Best New Restaurant | Adweek Bon Appétit Joins Reality Foodie Fray With New Bravo Show, Best New Restaurant | Adweek
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Bon Appétit Joins Reality Foodie Fray With New Bravo Show

Best New Restaurant is mag’s first foray into broadcast

Chef, TV host Tom Colicchio Photo: Dale Berman/Bravo

For the first time in its 58-year history, Condé Nast’s Bon Appétit is hitting the airwaves. This January, the magazine will partner with Bravo on a new competition series, Best New Restaurant, which pits 16 different restaurateurs against each other in hopes of winning a grand prize that includes $100,000 cash, a feature in Bon Appétit and a spot at the magazine’s annual Vegas Uncork’d food festival. Editor in chief Adam Rapoport and restaurant and drinks editor Andrew Knowlton will join the show’s host and judge Tom Colicchio as resident experts.

While it seems like every food magazine has its own television tie-in—Food & Wine is prominently featured on Top Chef, Saveur editor James Oseland is a judge on Top Chef Masters, and Food Network Magazine has, well, an entire network to work off of—Bon Appétit has managed to avoid dipping into the broadcast space until now.

“We had moments along the way where we were approached for different opportunities, but we held back because we didn’t feel like it was the right fit or the right moment,” said vp, publisher Pamela Drucker Mann. “What won us over [for this series] was that we were part of the process and not just a media partner.” 

For Bravo, working with Bon Appétit offered the opportunity to reach a new audience. “We really wanted to partner with a different kind of magazine for the show, one that reaches an affluent audience, that has a trendy vibe and a high sheen. Bon Appétit brings that lifestyle, almost fashion angle,” said Maria DeLuca, svp, consumer and trade marketing for Bravo. It was also a way to help differentiate Best New Restaurant from Top Chef. “Because Tom [Colicchio] is a part of both series, we wanted to create a distinction between the two to avoid confusion among viewers,” DeLuca added. (Bravo plans to continue working with Food & Wine on the Top Chef franchise.)  

While the format of the series is based on the U.K. show Ramsay’s Best Restaurant, it’s also a nod to Bon Appétit’s Best New Restaurant editorial franchise, which has been a staple of the magazine for more than 15 years. It was expanded in 2012 to include an annual list of 50 nominees, from which the 10 winners are chosen.

Beginning in November, Bon Appétit will promote the new show across its various print, digital and live events platforms. There are already plans for in-book advertising inserts and editorial coverage, social media chats, viewing parties and even mobile city guides featuring the series’ competing restaurants.

“I applaud Bon Appétit for this partnership because it feels right, it’s organic to their brand, and from an advertiser perspective, it provides additional touchpoints to connect with consumers,” said Brenda White, evp and managing director at Starcom USA. “The brand is already robust, and this makes it even more so.”

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