The Best Episodes of Top Chef

Mentors

#1 - Mentors 8.21

Season 9 - Episode 14

In this week’s Quickfire, the chefs must use their sense of touch, smell and taste to navigate through the pantry to gather ingredients for a dish while blindfolded. In a twist, the winning chef from Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen will re-enter the competition and join the remaining four chefs in the elimination challenge, where the chefs must create a delicious dish that will impress their mentors. Host Padma Lakshmi, along with Hugh Acheson, Gail Simmons and head judge Tom Colicchio will determine which final four chefs will advance to the finale.

Finale

#2 - Finale 8.19

Season 9 - Episode 17

For the final challenge, each chef will take over a restaurant in Vancouver where they will have the chance to design a four-course meal for the judges and unbeknownst to them, friends and family.

Fit For an Evil Queen

#3 - Fit For an Evil Queen 8.16

Season 9 - Episode 11

The Quickfire is on the move, except it's the ingredients that are moving—by train. Next, the chefs must access the darkness inside of them when they are asked to create "evil" on a plate.

Last Supper

#4 - Last Supper 8.14

Season 8 - Episode 15

Game On

#5 - Game On 8.13

Season 9 - Episode 7

The contestants must cook for an all-star table of chefs whose avocation is hunting.

The Heat Is On

#6 - The Heat Is On 8.13

Season 9 - Episode 2

Night two of heats for the coveted contestant spots starts with 10 competitors, 10 ingredients, and only five chef coats left. Once again, those who excel in the challenge get a coat immediately, and those who bomb are sent home. The remaining hopefuls on the "bubble" participate in a cook-off for the last coats against last week's four still waiting for their second chance. Also, tonight the first chefs are awarded an opportunity to get back into the race when they are sent to the sister series Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen.

Finale

#7 - Finale 8.12

Season 8 - Episode 16

The remaining two chefs have no time to digest what just happened as their final challenge is immediately announced. The 2 finalists choose their sous-chefs... blindfolded!

Everything's Bigger in Texas

#8 - Everything's Bigger in Texas 8.12

Season 9 - Episode 1

29 chefs gather at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, to compete for 16 slots in the 9th season of Top Chef. Tonight they are divided into three groups and must master their challenge to move forward. Some will know their fate immediately and receive a chef coat or be sent home. Others will be on the "bubble" and must compete and be judged again before they know their fates. Yes, it's bigger in Texas, but it's also hotter and harder, too. Group 1 Qualifying Challenge: Prepare a Dish Using One Cut of a Pig Group 2 Qualifying Challenge: Prepare a Dish Using the Same Ingredient

Bike, Borrow & Steal

#9 - Bike, Borrow & Steal 7.99

Season 9 - Episode 13

In this week’s Quickfire, Pee-wee Herman stops by and the chefs are tasked to create his favorite breakfast dish – pancakes! But this isn’t any old pancake. The Chefs are challenged to be as creative as possible when making their batter, toppings and presentation. In "Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” Pee-wee learned a lot about searching the streets and asking for help. For the elimination challenge, the chefs are set loose in downtown San Antonio with a bike and $100, where they must find their ingredients and create a dish for Pee-wee’s dinner party. Pee-wee Herman joins Gail Simmons, head judge Tom Colicchio, and host Padma Lakshmi at judges’ table.

BBQ Pit Wars

#10 - BBQ Pit Wars 7.97

Season 9 - Episode 9

The chefs combine learning with cooking tonight when they use Nathan Myhrvold's Modernist Cuisine to influence their Quickfire dishes. Next, they team up for a barbecue cook-off where the diners determine the winning team.

Don't Be Tardy for the Dinner Party

#11 - Don't Be Tardy for the Dinner Party 7.97

Season 9 - Episode 5

The chefs must create a dish using what they can find in a standard survival kit, then they have to shift gears and cater dinner to high society.

Finale (2)

#12 - Finale (2) 7.93

Season 6 - Episode 15

The final three chefs attempt to earn the title of 'Top Chef.'

Finale (2)

#13 - Finale (2) 7.91

Season 3 - Episode 15

The Top Chef is chosen.

Oui Si a Challenge

#14 - Oui Si a Challenge 7.89

Season 11 - Episode 13

Chef Jacques Pepin tests the contestants; the contestants create French and Spanish dishes.

All Stars Dinner

#15 - All Stars Dinner 7.89

Season 6 - Episode 11

Past chefs recount their favorite moments from the series.

Red Hot Chili Cook Off

#16 - Red Hot Chili Cook Off 7.87

Season 9 - Episode 4

The contestants provide food for the local rodeo and its audience.

Culinary Games

#17 - Culinary Games 7.85

Season 9 - Episode 15

The final 4 chefs arrive in Whistler, British Columbia, for a Top Chef twist on the Olympic games. From cooking on the world’s fastest gondola to a biathlon that requires marksman like precision to get the best ingredients, the chefs will need to have the concentration of a true culinary Olympian to advance to the next round in Vancouver.

Higher Steaks

#18 - Higher Steaks 7.84

Season 9 - Episode 6

The contestants prepare steak for some of Texas' most discerning palates, at least beef-wise, the attendees of the Cattle Baron's Ball.

Even the Famous Come Home

#19 - Even the Famous Come Home 7.83

Season 10 - Episode 6

The chefs cater a homecoming party for two married celebrities, but first they must apply the Golden Rule to the holidays in a Quickfire based on their families and whether they can share.

Directors: 180
Like Mama Made

#20 - Like Mama Made 7.83

Season 11 - Episode 10

The chefs must make dishes that remind them of home; Actor Anthony Mackie joins the judges.

Battle Before the War

#21 - Battle Before the War 7.82

Season 10 - Episode 10

The pressure is on in this Quickfire as the cheftestants must impress culinary icon Wolfgang Puck with one of his favorite ingredients. In the Elimination Challenge, Restaurant Wars begins! The chefs will be cooking up new concepts for more than 200 people at the city’s premier food event, Bite of Seattle. Legendary restaurateur Danny Meyer joins as guest judge alongside Gail Simmons, head judge Tom Colicchio, and host Padma Lakshmi.

Glacial Gourmand

#22 - Glacial Gourmand 7.82

Season 10 - Episode 15

Adventure awaits the chefs in a glacial-theme test. Later, a meal prepared by Emeril Lagasse and guest judge Roy Choi sets the stage for an elimination challenge.

Leaving New Orleans

#23 - Leaving New Orleans 7.81

Season 11 - Episode 15

The chefs compete for a special prize in the Quickfire, and then they must show how New Orleans has affected their cooking.

Mano a Mano

#24 - Mano a Mano 7.81

Season 12 - Episode 15

The final chefs take an early-morning hot-air balloon ride in the Season 12 finale. They then face off by creating a four-course menu, after which the winner is revealed.

Past Suppers

#25 - Past Suppers 7.77

Season 10 - Episode 9

Blades are drawn in this week’s Quickfire Challenge, and we’ll find out which cheftestants’ knife skills are truly on the cutting edge. In the Elimination Challenge, tribute is paid to the most memorable moments in Top Chef history, and sabotage is afoot when two chefs cook to save their lives. Judge Wolfgang Puck returns and is joined by culinary super stars Wylie Dufresne, Jonathan Waxman, and Chris Cosentino, as well as head judge Tom Colicchio and host Padma Lakshmi.