Top Chef: New Orleans
|Top Chef: New Orleans|
|Hosted by||Padma Lakshmi|
|No. of contestants||19|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||17|
|Original release||October 2, 2013 –|
February 5, 2014
Top Chef: New Orleans is the eleventh season of the American reality television series Top Chef. The season was announced on May 10, 2013. Filming took place from early May through late July, beginning in New Orleans, Louisiana and concluding in Maui. The season premiered on October 2, 2013. State and local tourism offices in Louisiana sponsored the season, paying a total of $375,000. The state contribution came from a recovery fund established by BP after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In addition to the return of the Last Chance Kitchen, Bravo launched a new web series called Padma's Picks. Debuting on August 14, 2013, the competition, presided over by host Padma Lakshmi, featured ten New Orleans chefs competing for the chance to join the official lineup of contestants and represent the city.
The final episode of the season generated controversy after head judge Tom Colicchio appeared to successfully sway the other judges into awarding the title of Top Chef to Nicholas Elmi, a contestant who had been nearly eliminated in several episodes and had temper control issues. Fan outrage led Colicchio to release the judges' scores on Twitter to justify their decision to give Elmi the victory over eventual runner-up Nina Compton, who was considered a front runner in the competition. Compton was later voted Fan Favorite.
The cast of Top Chef: New Orleans originally consisted of 17 chefs. At the conclusion of Padma's Picks, Lakshmi selected Justin Devillier and Michael Sichel to join the regular lineup of contestants. Benedetto Bartolotta had previously competed in the fifth season of Top Chef Masters as the sous-chef of Odette Fada. Stephanie Cmar was also a previous contestant, briefly appearing in Top Chef: Seattle during the qualifying rounds.
|Contestant||Elimination Challenge Results|
^Note 1 : The chef(s) did not receive immunity for winning the Quickfire Challenge.
^Note 2 : As the winners of Padma's Picks, Justin and Michael were given immunity for the first Elimination Challenge.
^Note 3 : Aaron was eliminated by placing last in the Quickfire Challenge.
^Note 4 : Team Lakshmi consisted of Bene, Brian, Carlos, Nicholas, Nina, Patty, and Travis.
^Note 5 : Louis won Last Chance Kitchen and returned to the competition.
- (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.
|Title||Original air date|
|157||1||"Soiree in the Swamp"||October 2, 2013|
Quickfire Challenge: None
Elimination Challenge: In a surprise visit from Tom Colicchio & Padma Lakshmi at the house the chefs were informed there would be no Quickfire. The contestants were randomly assigned one of three Louisiana delicacies: alligator, turtle, or frog by catching Mardi Gras beads, thrown by Padma and Tom, representing the animal. The chefs were given information on where to source their protein and then sent to shop. They had 2 hours to prep in the Top Chef kitchen and then an additional 2 hours at the swamp (the first part of which they spent setting up equipment). The guests at the party voted for their favorite meals by presenting a string of Mardi Gras beads to the chefs whose dishes they liked the most. The three chefs who collected the most beads were eligible to win, while the three chefs with the least amount were put up for elimination. Judges - Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Curtis Stone & Padma Lakshmi.
|158||2||"Rebuilding New Orleans"||October 9, 2013|
Quickfire Challenge: Before the chefs could leave the stew room Padma informed them they were being given an entire night, at the house, to prepare a gumbo inspired by their heritage. Then they would have 15 minutes in the Top Chef Kitchen to finish their dishes before presenting them to Leah Chase. The winner would be given immunity. Guest judge - Leah Chase.
|159||3||"Commander's Palace"||October 16, 2013|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs arrive at the Top Chef Kitchen to be greeted by Padma & Emeril, who are rapidly joined by Dana Cowin of Food & Wine Magazine. They are challenged to create a dish that reinvents one of four popular food trends: "eggs over everything", kale, bacon, or smoked foods. The contestants drew knives to select their trends. Revealed to be an Elimination Quickfire, the chef with the judges' least favorite dish would be sent home. The chef with the best dish will earn immunity. Chefs have 30 minutes to create their dish.
|160||4||"Captain Vietnam"||October 23, 2013|
Quickfire Challenge: There was no Quickfire, instead the chefs were greeted by Emeril and Eddie Huang. They were then taken on a tour focusing on the Vietnamese influence on New Orleans cuisine. Stops included Dong Phuong Bakery & Restaurant, D. Ditcharo dock and Kim Anh's Noodle House.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs were separated into three teams, by Emeril, to create a menu inspired by the Vietnamese influence on the shrimping industry in New Orleans. At least one dish on the menu had to feature shrimp. Chefs were then taken to Hong Kong Market where they were given $200 per team and 30 minutes to shop. Then they had 2 hours to cook at Tan Dinh Bistro. Emeril & Eddie did the walkthrough to check on the chefs. At dinner: Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Eddie Huang. Judges: Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Padma Lakshmi, Eddie Huang.
|161||5||"Lea Michele's Halloween Bash"||October 30, 2013|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs enter the Top Chef Kitchen to find a throwback to the Top Chef: Seattle Reynolds Wrap challenge, all ingredients and cooking utensils are completely wrapped in aluminum foil. Padma & Gail await them, to be soon joined by their mothers, Vijaya Lakshmi and Renée Simmons. The contestants are split into two teams by Padma. Vijaya and Renee then have 5 minutes to shop for the chefs' ingredients and equipment. The chefs then had 30 minutes to create three dishes, as a team, incorporating every ingredient. The winning team split $10,000. Judges: Padma, Vijaya, Gail and Renee.
|162||6||"Campfires, Cream Cheese and Countryside"||November 6, 2013|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs are surprised at the house by Padma and John Besh. Padma instructs the chefs to pack an overnight bag and then directs them to a vehicle where they proceed to Covey Rise Farms. Once there they are instructed that they have 20 minutes to create a dish highlighting the Creole tomato. Their pantry equipment has been transported by John & Padma. The winner will have immunity.
|163||7||"Jazz Hands"||November 13, 2013|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs were greeted by Padma and Kermit Ruffins as they entered the Top Chef Kitchen. Their challenge was improvisation, in a version of musical chairs. Each station contained some of Kermit's favorite ingredients and cooking tools. Every time Kermit played the chefs rotated stations, when they stopped they had to continue and then eventually complete the dishes that they found. The chefs had 30 minutes total time for the challenge. The winner gets immunity. Nicholas was sick and did not participate.
|164||8||"Piggin' Out"||November 20, 2013|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs arrive at the Top Chef Kitchen to find Padma waiting with Dr. John. Padma informs them that they will not be making a dish instead they will have 45 minutes to prepare their own hot sauce.
|165||9||"Restaurant Wars"||December 4, 2013|
Elimination Challenge: Upon arrival at the Top Chef Kitchen Padma is waiting alone for the chefs. She explains there will be no Quickfire Challenge as it is time for Restaurant Wars. She then introduces their guest judge David Chang (Chef/Owner, Má Pêche). The chefs draw knives to determine which team they are on. They are then given 24 hours to create a pop-up restaurant. They have to choose someone to run front of house and an executive chef. It is their responsibility to set up both the dining area and the kitchen area and executed a multi-course dinner service for guest including some VIP Chase Sapphire Cardmembers. The VIP guests are the only ones dining at both restaurants besides the judges and they will be joined by Danny Meyer. One member from the losing team was eligible for elimination. At dinner: Tory McPhail (Executive Chef, Commander's Palace), Danny Meyer (CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group), Judges: Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, David Chang.
|166||10||"Like Mama Made"||December 11, 2013|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs created dishes featuring Dunkin' Donuts coffee. The winner received $10,000.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs created dishes that reminded them of home.
|167||11||"Giving It the College Try"||December 18, 2013|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs created dishes using drumsticks. The winner received immunity.
|168||12||"Mississippi Mud Bugs"||January 1, 2014|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs prepared their own version of a crawfish étouffée. The winner received immunity.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs had to create a dish highlighting two different types of seafood.
|169||13||"Oui Si a Challenge"||January 8, 2014|
Quickfire Challenge: Padma and renowned chef Jacques Pépin are awaiting the chefs when they enter the Top Chef Kitchen. After a demonstration, the chefs are given 35 minutes to replicated chef Pepin's dish of Dover Sole with Artichokes and Asparagus.
|170||14||"Po' Boy Smackdown"||January 15, 2014|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs arrive at the kitchen to find Padma awaiting them with food truck guru Roy Choi. The chefs are given 30 minutes to make a unique and personalized gourmet po'boy that represents them on the plate. Chef Choi was very displeased with the chefs' performance overall saying they were thinking too much as chefs and there was not enough soul in their food. The winner received immunity.
|171||15||"Leaving New Orleans"||January 22, 2014|
Quickfire Challenge: The challenge occurred in two stages. In the first, the chefs made a one-bite dish that featured a combination of sweet, savory, sour, and spicy flavors. The chefs with the two best dishes advanced to the second stage, where they created a dish highlighting either bell pepper or eggplant. Instead of immunity, the winner received a brand new Toyota Corolla.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs created dishes inspired by their time in New Orleans.
|172||16||"Maui Wowie"||January 29, 2014|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs made dishes using Spam. Instead of immunity, the winner received $10,000.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs made dishes featuring canoe plants. Two chefs were eliminated.
|173||17||"Finale"||February 5, 2014|
Elimination Challenge: The finalists, with the assistance of three sous chefs of their choosing (Jason, Louis, and Brian for Nicholas, and Shirley, Stephanie, and Travis for Nina)had to cook the best four-course meal of their lives.
Last Chance Kitchen
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Ramon vs. Jason vs. Aaron vs. Bret vs. Janine"||October 23, 2013|
Challenge: The chefs were allowed to cook any dish.
|2||"Janine vs. Michael"||October 30, 2013|
Challenge: The chefs were challenged to make risotto.
|3||"Janine vs. Bene"||November 6, 2013|
Challenge: The chefs made dishes using frozen and canned vegetables.
|4||"Janine vs. Patty"||November 13, 2013|
Challenge: The chefs created dishes highlighting onions. They were required to chop up a tub of onions before they could start on the challenge itself. In addition, they could not do any additional prep work once they started cooking.
|5||"Janine vs. Louis"||November 20, 2013|
Challenge: The chefs were given $25 to spend at a farmers' market. They were allowed to keep only three of their purchased ingredients, and given only 20 minutes to prepare a dish.
|6||"Louis vs. Sara"||December 4, 2013|
Challenge: The chefs made savory dishes featuring mascarpone. They were blindfolded for 10 minutes in the middle of the challenge and had to instruct a sous-chef (Jason for Louis, Janine for Sara) on how to continue preparing their dishes.
|7||"Louis vs. Travis"||December 11, 2013|
Challenge: The chefs made dishes highlighting Asian ingredients, including three out of the following: tripe, sea cucumber, Humboldt squid, chicken feet, duck feet, pork tongue, dried shrimp, and Chinese sausage. They were given 45 minutes for the challenge.
|8||"Louis vs. Justin"||December 18, 2013|
Challenge: The chefs made dishes highlighting ingredients from their opponent's home region; Louis used ingredients from Louisiana, while Justin used ingredients from Northern California.
|9||"Louis vs. Carrie"||January 1, 2014|
Challenge: The chefs prepared dishes using broccoli.
|10||"Louis vs. Stephanie"||January 8, 2014|
Challenge: The chefs each prepared a savory and a sweet beignet.
|11||"Louis vs. Brian"||January 15, 2014|
Challenge: The chefs made dishes using the skin and bones from various animals. They had 45 minutes to prepare their dishes.
|12||"Louis vs. Carlos"||January 22, 2014|
Challenge: The chefs made dishes showcasing a fresh Hawaiian fish. They had an hour to prepare their dishes, which were tasted blind by Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, and the three finalists (Nicholas, Nina, Shirley).
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