Each of the last two chefs takes over a Vancouver restaurant where he or she is responsible for a four-course dinner that will be served to the judges and some surprise guests. But first, 11 chefs vie for the eight sous chef spots by cooking a dish to entice the finalists in a blind tasting.
Quickfire Challenge: Create a Dish to Earn Spot As Sous Chef for the Final Cook
Elimination Challenge: Create Four-course Tasting Menu & Restaurant of Your Dreams
Pee Wee Herman drops by for breakfast and lunch today. First, the chefs must show their creativity with a pancake stack in the Quickfire. Then, they are armed with just $100 and a bicycle to navigate San Antonio's streets where they must purchase ingredients and negotiate prep space in strange kitchens, all for dishes to wow Pee Wee in the Elimination.
Guest Judge: Pee-Wee Herman
Quickfire Challenge: Make Pancakes in 20 Minutes
Elimination Challenge: Make a Family Lunch for Pee-Wee Herman
From Quickfire teams to Elimination head-to-head challenges, this will not be an easy day for the remaining chefs. First up is a timed Quickfire mise en place race where teams must not only prep, but also cook their ingredients. Then they are off to a charity block party where one-to-one cook-offs leave everyone vulnerable to elimination.
Guest Judge: Cat Cora
Quickfire Challenge: Prep All Ingredients & Make a Dish with the Remaining Time
Elimination Challenge: Create the Best Dish for a Healthy Choice Block Party
The chefs travel back to San Antonio, which is fitting because the Quickfire is on the move, too, except it's the ingredients that are moving. Next, the chefs must access the darkness inside of them when they are asked to create "evil" on a plate.
Guest Judges: Eric Ripert, Charlize Theron
Quickfire Challenge: Create a Sophisticated Dish Using 3 Ingredients from Conveyor Belt
Elimination Challenge: Create a Dish for a 7 Course Gothic Fest Fit for a Queen
The most brutal challenge is back with a few additions. Tonight the teams not only have to conceptualize, decorate and execute a menu for their restaurants, they must also design signs, logos and other accessories never before required in the challenge. Plus, for the first time, the challenge will be gender-based, and the women's preoccupation with Beverly could derail everything.
Guest Judge: None
Quickfire Challenge: None
Elimination Challenge: Create a 3 Course Menu for 100 Guests
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 sleepless barbecue challenge.
Guest Judge: Nathan Myhrvold
Quickfire Challenge: Create a Dish That Illustrates Modernist Cuisine
Elimination Challenge: Cook Barbeque for 300 Guests at the Salt Lick
The contestants hit the road again, this time for the capital. Once they arrive at Austin's Le Cordon Bleu's kitchen, the chefs must adapt quickly in the Quickfire when their cooking mashes up with social networking and they receive challenge twists via Twitter. Later, they will each be able to pay homage to the person who inspired him or her to become a chef when they are asked to create dishes in their honor.
Guest Judge: Patti LaBelle
Quickfire Challenge: Top Chef Fans "Tweet" Instructions for Chefs
Elimination Challenge: Make a Dish to Honor Your Cooking Inspiration
The chefs begin the day with shots of tequila, and then must cook for an all-star table of chefs when they cater a game night event for Tim Love's friends. Unfortunately, the random pairing of teams may work against some as tonight's twist is a double elimination.
Guest Judge: Tim Love
Quickfire Challenge: Create a Dish That Pairs with the Tequila of Your Choice
Elimination Challenge: Cook One Course for a Game Dinner
The contestants settle into their new home kitchen at Dallas' Le Cordon Bleu. The collegial atmosphere seems appropriate, since the Quickfire asks them to regress to sauciers. Next, they must prepare steak for some of Texas' most discerning palates, at least beef-wise, the attendees of the Cattle Baron's Ball.
Guest Judge: Dean Fearing
Quickfire Challenge: Personalize Your Mother Sauce
Elimination Challenge: Create a Four Course Steak Dinner for Cattle Baron's Ball
The contestants begin the day on the road as they travel to Dallas, and Padma decides to test their creativity with canned goods in the roadside Quickfire just to keep things in theme. Then it goes from rags to riches as the chefs must shift gears to cater a dinner party in an exclusive Dallas suburb.
Guest Judge: John Besh
Quickfire Challenge: Create a Dish Using the Ingredients Inside the Survival Kits
Elimination Challenge: Create a Course for a Progressive Dinner Party
The contestants spend two long, spicy and Texas-themed days cooking. First up is a dish that uses chili pepper, but the chefs must choose carefully- the winning dish is awarded a cash prize based on the heat of the pepper used. Next, they divide into teams to create unique chilis that will satisfy the Tejas Rodeo Company participants. Of course, this means a scramble for space, ingredients and cooking appliances back at the house.
Guest Judges: Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger
Quickfire Challenge: Create a Dish Highlighting One Chili Pepper
Elimination Challenge: 1. Team Chili Cook-off 2. Repurpose Losing Chili into Winning Dish
Tonight the chefs are asked to create a dish using rattlesnakes. Later, they will cater a girl's quinceañera celebration.
Guest Judge: Johnny Hernandez
Quickfire Challenge: Create a Dish Using Rattlesnake
Elimination Challenge: Cook for Family & Friends at Blanca's Quinceañera Party