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The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

Behind-the-scenes: Top Chef Live

Chef+Paul+Bartolotta+%28L%29+and+local+chef+and+restaurateur+Dan+Jacobs+%28R%29+listen+as+MATC+students+ask+questions+about+the+profession+and+what+its+like+to+be+on+Top+Chef+during+their+visit+to+the+Downtown+Campus+at+the+end+of+March.
Photo by Zanaia Joshua
Chef Paul Bartolotta (L) and local chef and restaurateur Dan Jacobs (R) listen as MATC students ask questions about the profession and what it’s like to be on Top Chef during their visit to the Downtown Campus at the end of March.

MATC students got to hear what it was like to be a judge and a contestant on the popular TV series Top Chef.

Students heard from MATC alumnus and world-renowned chef Paul Bartolotta and local chef and restaurateur Dan Jacobs. Bartolotta was a guest judge on the national show that was filmed mainly in Milwaukee and Madison in the summer of 2023. Jacobs, the only contestant from Wisconsin this season, is among the group of 15 chefs competing for the title of Top Chef on the competitive cooking show.

Jacobs and his partner chef Dan Van Rite are co-owners of the local restaurants Dan Dan and EsterEv. One of the reasons Jacobs wanted to compete on the show is to inspire people with disabilities. Jacobs has Kennedy’s Disease, which is a rare and progressive neuromuscular disorder. It is his hope that this season will inspire those with disabilities to pursue their passions, especially in the culinary world where physical constraints can be a sizable barrier.

During the visit to MATC’s Downtown Campus, just before Spring Break, the chefs shared their experiences on the show and discussed their pivotal moments and experiences that shaped their journey as a chef. They gave students advice on how to approach a dish, menu development, and key lessons learned through the tough times. They were unable to discuss specifics about shows that have aired or are yet to air.  

MATC students listen to chef Paul Bartolotta and chef Dan Jacobs during a recent visit to MATC’s Downtown Campus. (Photo by Zanaia Joshua)
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