Top Chef (season 1)
|Top Chef: San Francisco|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||12|
March 8– May 24, 2006
|Host(s)||Katie Lee Joel|
|No. of contestants||12|
Top Chef: San Francisco is the first season of the American reality television series Top Chef. It was first filmed in San Francisco, California, before concluding in Las Vegas, Nevada. The season premiered on March 8, 2006 and ended on May 24, 2006. Twelve chefs from around the United States lived together in a house for approximately 21 days competing in a series of culinary challenges. The prizes for the winner of the competition included a feature in Food & Wine Magazine, a showcase at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, a Kenmore Elite kitchen set, and US$100,000. The series was hosted by Katie Lee Joel in her only season as a host and judged by chef Tom Colicchio and food writer Gail Simmons.
12 chefs were selected to compete in Top Chef: San Francisco.
|Stephen Asprinio||Las Vegas, Nevada||24|
|Andrea Beaman||New York, New York||38|
|Harold Dieterle||New York, New York||28|
|Tiffani Faison||Las Vegas, Nevada||28|
|Brian Hill||Los Angeles, California||37|
|Candice Kumai||Pasadena, California||23|
|Ken Lee||Los Angeles, California||31|
|Dave Martin||Long Beach, California||40|
|Miguel Morales||New York, New York||27|
|Lisa Parks||Los Angeles, California||45|
|Cynthia Sestito||East Hampton, New York||52|
|Lee Anne Wong||New York, New York||28|
|Lee Anne||Stephen||Tiffani||Lee Anne||Andrea||Stephen||Harold1||Lee Anne1||Harold1||N/A||N/A|
^Note 1 : The chef did not receive immunity.
^Note 2 : Cynthia withdrew from the competition due to her father's illness.
^Note 3 : Andrea was brought back in Episode 3, after being eliminated once, when Cynthia chose to leave.
^Note 4 : The judges felt nobody had distinguished themselves in the Elimination Challenge, so no winner was named.
- (WINNER) The chef won the season and was crowned "Top Chef".
- (RUNNER-UP) The chef was a runner-up for the season.
- (WIN) The chef won the Elimination Challenge.
- (HIGH) The chef was selected as one of the top entries in the Elimination Challenge, but did not win.
- (IN) The chef was not selected as one of the top or bottom entries in the Elimination Challenge and was safe.
- (LOW) The chef was selected as one of the bottom entries in the Elimination Challenge, but was not eliminated.
- (OUT) The chef lost the Elimination Challenge and was out of the competition.
- (WD) The chef voluntarily withdrew from the competition.
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Who Deserves to Be Here?"||March 8, 2006|
Elimination Challenge: The chefs had to prepare a signature dish to be served to the other Top Chef contestants.
|2||"Food of Love"||March 15, 2006|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs chose from a large selection of fruit to prepare a plate judged solely on presentation. The winner received immunity from elimination.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs had to make a sexy dessert for a fetish party at Mr. S, a sex boutique in San Francisco, co-hosted by Paige White.
|3||"Nasty Delights"||March 22, 2006|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs prepared octopus in one hour. The winner received immunity from elimination.
Elimination Challenge: Working in two teams, the chefs prepared monkfish for a group of children who would rate the food.
|4||"Food on the Fly"||March 29, 2006|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs created dishes in 30 minutes using $20 worth of ingredients from a gas station store. The winner received immunity from elimination.
Elimination Challenge: Each chef created a gourmet entrée that could be reheated in a microwave. They then served their dishes to a group of Junior League women who would rate their meals.
|5||"Blind Confusion"||April 5, 2006|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs had to identify a variety of ingredients by taste while blindfolded for five minutes. The winner received immunity from elimination.
Elimination Challenge: Working in teams of two, the chefs created dishes fusing Latin American cuisine with one other ethnic cuisine. Dave and Tiffani had Moroccan, Andrea and Miguel had Indian, Lee Anne and Stephen had Chinese, and Harold and Lisa had Japanese. They then had to distribute the dish from a cart in the Mission District of San Francisco.
|6||"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"||April 12, 2006|
Quickfire Challenge: Each chef created an appetizer in 20 minutes using $3 worth of ingredients, priced by the ounce.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs had to create a seven-course dinner party for guest judge Ted Allen. Each chef was able to choose the course they wanted to execute. However, the producers later introduced a random knife-block draw, forcing each chef to work on another chef's recipe.
|7||"Restaurant Wars"||April 19, 2006|
Quickfire Challenge: Each chef was asked to make a sandwich in 30 minutes using any of the available ingredients. The winning sandwich would be put on the menu at the San Francisco location of Tom Colicchio's 'wichcraft restaurant. From this point on, immunity was no longer awarded to the winner of a Quickfire Challenge.
Elimination Challenge: Working in two teams of three, the chefs transformed raw restaurant spaces, including the decor and menu. Twenty-four hours later, the diners arrived, choosing which restaurant to dine in, and rated their experience.
|8||"Wedding Bell Blues"||April 26, 2006|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs designed a wedding reception menu in 90 minutes and pitched it to the wedding couple. The winner's menu would be used for the upcoming Elimination Challenge.
Elimination Challenge: Working as a team, the chefs were required to cater a wedding reception for 100 guests using the menu chosen in the Quickfire Challenge. The reception started in 16 hours.
|9||"Napa's Finest"||May 3, 2006|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs were asked to recreate a classic junk food element into a gourmet dish in 45 minutes. The winner's performance counted in the overall assessment of the week's challenges. The winner also received a bottle of Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon.
Elimination Challenge: All of the remaining chefs traveled to the Napa Valley's Copia to prepare a dish incorporating expensive black Périgord truffles to be served with 2001 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon wine. Each chef's dish would be served to a group of top professional chefs from Northern California.
|10||"Reunion"||May 10, 2006|
|11||"Vegas Finale - Part 1"||May 17, 2006|
Quickfire/Elimination Challenge: The three finalists met at the MGM Grand where they competed in a series of three elimination-style Quickfire Challenges to determine which two chefs would remain to compete in a final challenge for the grand prize of Top Chef. For each challenge, the chefs had to prepare hotel room service meals in 30 minutes for different customers: first, a room of high rollers, including eliminated competitors Lee Anne, Miguel, and Stephen; then, a table of poker players including Phil Hellmuth; lastly, performers from Cirque du Soleil. Each group of patrons decided on their favorite dish. The three groups' favorites were taken into consideration during the judging process.
|12||"Vegas Finale - Part 2"||May 24, 2006|
Elimination Challenge: The two finalists each prepared a five-course tasting meal to be served to a table of eight luminaries from the culinary world. Each finalist was also assisted by two sous chefs, consisting of the four most recently eliminated contestants: Dave, Lee Anne, Stephen, and Miguel. Harold was assisted by Lee Anne and Miguel, while Tiffani was assisted by Stephen and Dave. Though not required, Tiffani chose to make two preparations of each course.