Earlier this week Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau president Tom Norwalk caused a significant uproar amidst food nerds locally and nationally when he let fly to KIRO’s Josh Kerns the fact that Seattle is a finalist to host the next season of Top Chef.

Norwalk confirmed to Seattle Met that our city is indeed one of two remaining contenders for the culinary competition reality show: “We got close last year and didn’t get the nod.” He says the final decision should come within the next few weeks.

At issue for this season, and any season, is whether the host city can pony up enough money to help cover production costs, an estimated $200,000 to $300,000. In exchange, Seattle would be the setting for at least 10 episodes of chef competition, culinary hijinx, restaurant wars, man buns, and the occasional on-camera meltdown. A Seattle-based season would guarantee lots of Space Needle, fish-throwing, and local chef cameos on millions of TV screens around the country.

Top Chef won’t share the identity of the other city vying for hosting rights, says Norwalk, though we’re hearing some (highly unconfirmed) rumors that Portland was also under consideration.

If Seattle doesn’t make the cut again this year, at least we’re still in for some local restaurant television action with the upcoming premiere of Check, Please! Northwest. There’s also the Top Chef season nine finale in Vancouver.