The Big Brunch: Release Date, Celebrity Host, And More - What We Know So Far

From HBO Max, the network that brought to you "Selena + Chef," comes a brand new cooking competition that promises at long last to address the relatively uncharted territory of the weekend meal that falls somewhere between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., while also centering "local culinary heroes of America who deserve a spotlight." That's how Emmy Award-winning actor slash multi-hyphenate Dan Levy put it in a statement (via Variety).  And he would know, because "The Big Brunch" is his brainchild. 

Together with Boardwalk Pictures, the multimedia production company behind Netflix's "Chef's Table" and "Street Food," the beloved former "Schitt's Creek" star and son of comedic genius Eugene Levy has come up with a way to help boost the careers of talented but as-yet-unknown cooks from across the country while by challenging them to come up with delicious and innovative ways to "redefine" the meal known as brunch. As the competing chefs take on challenges intended to pump some much-needed life back into this under-loved meal, their stories and dreams will be told, and, perhaps more importantly (to them), they'll be competing for a chance at a "life-altering prize," per Variety. Here is everything we know so far about "The Big Brunch," including its release date, celebrity hosting duties, cast members, and more. 

When is The Big Brunch release date?

Just weeks after Variety reported that Dan Levy, the co-creator and breakout star of the hit series "Schitt's Creek," inked a development deal with Netflix that will include an as-yet untitled rom-com that Levy is slated to be writing, producing, directing, and starring in, it has been revealed that Levy has still more new and exciting programming up his sartorially superior sleeve. On November 1, it was announced that Levy, in collaboration with the production company Boardwalk Pictures — which has become known for its hit docuseries programming including "Chef's Table" and "Sex, Love & goop" — will be producing a brunch-centric cooking competition, "The Big Brunch," which will air on HBO Max. 

HBO has not yet revealed the specific release date of this programming, how you might be able to watch it, or if there will be a way to stream "The Big Brunch" on platforms other than HBO Max. However, according to a November 1 report, Variety suggests that the series premiere is targeted for 2022.

Who will take on hosting duties for "The Big Brunch"?

One absolute necessity for any televised cooking competition is a compelling host who can pick up the slack when the proverbial souffle doesn't rise. Actor, producer, director, and major fashionista Dan Levy is not merely the brains behind "The Big Brunch," which is expected to premiere on HBO Max in 2022. Levy is also the host of the show. That makes sense, given that Levy is not just interested in exploring the vast culinary abyss of the meal that is both breakfast and lunch while also being neither. Rather, thanks to Levy's "almost obsessive love for food," as he put it in a statement to Variety, he's ended up crossing paths with a number of culinary wunderkind whose talents Levy feels deserve to be appreciated on a much "larger scale." 

"Everybody has a friend, a family member, or a co-worker that is extraordinary at what they do, they just need a leg up," Levy explained. "I've been lucky enough to come across many of those people in the culinary world — friends working out of cafes or food trucks, revolutionizing the menus at local diners — those special humans who create communities around their cooking, hoping to take their skills to the next level." Levy created "The Big Brunch" to give such people the platform he feels they duly deserve.

Who will be the contestants on "The Big Brunch"?

News that Dan Levy's cooking competition "The Big Brunch" will be coming to HBO Max sometime in 2022 is so fresh that we can't even tell you who its contestants are. That is because auditions are only now underway, according to Variety, to which one commentator replied, "Ya need a Canadian in the mix." "Sign me up please. Brunch is my favorite meal. I am a former chef, current pizza delivery person." said another, in response to Deadline's announcement of the show.

"Whether you're the owner of a neighborhood gem making an impact in the community, a sous or executive chef with entrepreneurial dreams, or a food truck or private chef changing the lives of everyone you feed," the show's casting page teases, "come join us in a friendly competition that will raise a toast to talented chefs and celebrate the underdog of meals...BRUNCH!" Contestants must also be U.S. residents over the age of 21, so if that's you, or someone you know, now is the time to try to secure an audition because the deadline to apply is December 17.

What is this life-altering prize for winning "The Big Brunch"?

The ink on Dan Levy's deal to produce and host the upcoming HBO Max reality series "The Big Brunch" is barely dry, which is why there is no word yet on the contest's format or what the eventual victor stands to gain, according to Daily Excelsior. In other words, it's not yet known whether the chef-testants will be competing individually or on teams, how challenges will be assigned, or really anything about the format of the contest. Nor is it known what's even at stake. Money?  A chance to work with a celebrity chef? The opportunity to open a new "bruncheria" in some trendy space in some city's hip downtown area? 

What is known is that we're going to be seeing brunch, which HBO Max's head of original content Sarah Aubrey noted is "the best meal to indulge in decadent sweet and savory dishes that are fueled by cocktails and caffeine" (via Variety). Indeed, the morning-ish meal will finally be receiving some of the appreciation that Levy and others connected with the upcoming series believe it deserves. And some of those others come with some very impressive credentials. The show's executive producers include Andrew Fried, executive producer of the highly rated, Emmy-nominated "Chef's Table," (via IMDb), Sarina Roma, an executive producer on Padma Lakshmi's "Taste The Nation" (via IMDb), and Faye Stapleton, a co-executive producer on "Hell's Kitchen" (via IMDb).

What's the advance word on "The Big Brunch"?

If the response to Levy's November 1 tweet — in which he announces that "The Big Brunch" is a go and that a "casting notice" is forthcoming — is any indication, then "The Big Brunch" would certainly appear to have "legs," as they say in showbiz, and legs for days at that. In the less-than-48 hours since Levy's tweet, over 10.4 thousand tweeps have hit the "like" button, and the exuberant comments keep coming. 

"Omgggg my two favorite things!" one person replied, "Cooking shows and Dan Levy!!" "This is amazing," replied someone else who is clearly looking forward to spending some quality viewing time with Levy in the not-too-distant future. "There is so much good happening in our world with everyday peeps," they continued. "The news is always so bad, we never have the opportunity to shine the light on so many who make a difference every day – no matter what their gifts are." Stay tuned for more information on "The Big Brunch" as it becomes available.