Bravo has announced it has renewed Top Chef for a fourth season that will film in Chicago.

Top Chef 4's nationwide casting tour began in Atlanta on Sunday and will continue with stops in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles over the next few weeks.  More information about Top Chef 4's casting calls is available via Bravo's website.

Given the strong ratings that Top Chef's currently-airing third edition has drawn thus far, the show's renewal isn't a big surprise.  Bravo's June 13 premiere of Top Chef 3 Miami -- the first Top Chef edition to film outside of California -- averaged 2.024 million total viewers and 1.407 million viewers in the Adults 18-49 demographic.  Through its first four broadcasts, Top Chef 3 Miami has averaged 2.069 million total viewers.

In addition to Top Chef's fourth season, Bravo also revealed that Top Chef 3 Miami's 14-episode run will cuminate with a live finale this fall.  The broadcast will mark the first time in Bravo's history that the cable network will air a live finale for one of its reality competition series.

Although Bravo didn't reveal any reason for doing away with the pre-taped finale format that Top Chef's first two editions used, the decision to broadcast a live Top Chef 3 Miami finale may be a reaction to spoilers that prematurely revealed Top Chef 2's winner.  Last season, Food & Wine magazine -- one of Top Chef's prize sponsors -- posted an online interview that revealed Ilan Hall to be the show's second season winner two days before the pre-taped finale aired on Bravo.
About The Author: Christopher Rocchio
Christopher Rocchio is an entertainment reporter for Reality TV World and has covered the reality TV genre for several years.