Top Chef

Into the Fire

Season 2, Ep 1, Aired 10/18/06
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  • Episode Description
  • New host Padma Lakshmi introduces a fresh slate of fifteen contestants for Top Chef's second season in Los Angeles. Guest Judge: Harold Dieterle. QuickFire Challenge: Create a Dish Using the FlambĂ© Technique. Elimination Challenge: Create a Dish Using all Five Mystery Box Ingredients. Round One.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Gail Simmons


  • Harold Dieterle

    Guest Judge

  • Rich Buhrman

  • Gary Snoonian

  • Craig Spirko

  • Fan Reviews (4)
  • New judge/hostess!

    By JPPT1974, Jun 01, 2008

  • In this episode we are introduced to a new cast of wannabe Top Chefs as well as a new Host Padma Lakshmi. Old favorites Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons return for a second course along with guest judge Harold Dieterle, season one's winner.

    By gabfan31, Nov 24, 2006

  • Not as exciting as the last season opener.

    By tec2030, Oct 27, 2006

  • Good solid season premire

    By tiredoldguy, Oct 26, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (4)

    • Suyai: I was just psyched when the flame went up, and I was, like, awesome! I was just, 'Oh, flambee.'

    • Betty: (to Harold after a good review) I love you!

    • (After Suyai has told him how poorly she's doing) Tom Colicchio: Do you think it's a good idea to sort of tip your hand right now, and let me know this?

    • Elia: (about American Cheese) It's just this funky product that... shouldn't exist.

    Notes (3)

    • Season two Executive Producers for Bravo: Frances Berwick Andrew Cohen Dave Serwatka

    • Season Two Promotional Consideration: Aquafina Calphalon Charlie's Fixtures Cuisinart Glad Kenmore New Chef Fashions, Inc. Restaurant Depot Sears Sointu USA, Inc. and Global Knives Sprint Toyota Motor Sales, USA

    • In season two, Tom Colicchio's title varies from "Head Chef/Judge" to "Head Judge/Chef," depending on what part of the episode the graphic is shown.

    Trivia (5)

    • Elimination Challenge Dishes: Carlos - Artichoke potato cake & escargot, coconut sambal peanut sauce. Frank - Escargot & American cheese ravioli, potato bell pepper peanut sauce. Marisa - Pate brisee tart with snail garnish. Michael - Shoestring potatoes with artichoke cheese sauce & peanut pesto snails. Elia - Buttery escargot with artichoke & American cheese. Ilan - Baked escargot in the shell. Suyai - Braised potatoes & artichokes, garlic escargot with cheese sauce. Marcel - Frog leg lollipop, chicken liver puree, garlic & parsley sauces. Betty - Frog leg & chicken liver cake, salad & peanut vinaigrette. Sam - Turmeric & cereal crusted frog leg with eggplant & caper saute & duo of sauces. Josie - Frog leg nugget with chicken liver peanut butter & eggplant jelly. Cliff - Braised frog leg, eggplant chip & cornflake chicken liver. Emily - Cornflake & peanut butter crusted frog leg with grilled eggplant. Otto - Frog leg & chicken liver, rice, vegetable sautĂ© & peanut sauce. Mia - Chicken fried frog leg with garlic mashed eggplant & wilted arugula.

    • QuickFire Challenge Dishes Shown: >Marcel - Banana & avocado tart with corn chips, ice cream, & rum cocktail. >Elia - Strawberries with red wine & chocolate flambe sauce. >Betty - Spicy coconut curry, steamed mussels & mango couscous. >Suyai - Spicy tequila lime shrimp with chunky mango & avocado salsa. >Sam - Espresso shrimp flambeed with sambuca, roasted hazelnut & peanut paste. >Carlos - Creole shrimp flambeed with Spanish brandy. >Emily - Sliced pork chops in apple sauce, red plums, Granny Smith apples.

    • Padma says in her blog for the episode "Seven" that while she has no input in the Judging for the QuickFire Challenge, she does taste all of the food. Then she takes everything she experiences to the final Judges' Table, where each Judge's opinion has equal weight, and tells the other Judges what she thought about the chefs' performances in the earlier Challenge. Tom does the same thing with what he sees during his walk through.

    • Suyai's out.

    • When Ilan wins the elimination challenge, Chef Tom points out that Harold won the first challenge in season one, and then went on to win the Top Chef title.

    Allusions (1)

    • Show: Into the Fire The episode title shares its name with a show from Food Network that aired from 2003-2004.

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