Top Chef (season 9)
|Top Chef: Texas|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||18|
November 2, 2011– March 7, 2012
|No. of contestants||29|
Top Chef: Texas is the ninth season of the American reality television series Top Chef. The season was filmed in various cities in Texas, including San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin, before moving on to British Columbia for the finale. The season premiered on November 2, 2011. This season of Top Chef featured a much larger number of contestants than any previous season, with 29 chefs.
Top Chef: Texas also introduced a new competition to the series; in addition to the Quickfire and Elimination Challenges featured in televised episodes, the Last Chance Kitchen competition allowed eliminated contestants to compete head-to-head in a series of webisodes, with the winner eventually returning to the main competition.
The cast of the ninth season of Top Chef initially consisted of 29 contestants. After the qualifying challenges in the first two episodes, the pool of chefs was narrowed down to 16.
Eliminated in qualifying rounds
|Jonathan Baltazar||Long Beach, California||36|
|Molly Brandt||Hollywood, Florida||30|
|Chaz Brown||New York, New York||29|
|Kimberly Calichio||New York, New York||27|
|Andrew Curren||Austin, Texas||32|
|Berenice deAraujo||Miami, Florida||33|
|Janine Falvo||Atlanta, Georgia||37|
|Simon Pantet||Seattle, Washington||30|
|Colin Patterson||Seattle, Washington||37|
|Laurent Quenioux||Los Angeles, California||51|
|Tyler Stone||Sacramento, California||22|
|Nina Vicente||Seattle, Washington||29|
|Ashley Villaluz||Seattle, Washington||25|
|Nyesha Arrington||Los Angeles, California||28|
|Lindsay Autry||West Palm Beach, Florida||29|
|Ty-Lör Boring||Brooklyn, New York||34|
|Chris Crary||Los Angeles, California||29|
|Richie Farina||Chicago, Illinois||28|
|Sarah Grueneberg||Chicago, Illinois||29|
|Chris Jones||Chicago, Illinois||30|
|Beverly Kim||Chicago, Illinois||32|
|Edward Lee||Louisville, Kentucky||38|
|Whitney Otawka||Cumberland Island, Georgia||30|
|Paul Qui||Austin, Texas||31|
|Keith Rhodes||Wilmington, North Carolina||39|
|Grayson Schmitz||New York, New York||28|
|Heather Terhune||Chicago, Illinois||39|
|Chuy Valencia||Chicago, Illinois||25|
|Dakota Weiss||Los Angeles, California||35|
^Note 1 : The chef(s) did not receive immunity.
^Note 2 : Due to the qualifying rounds, the show did not use its traditional elimination format until the third episode.
^Note 3 : Beverly won Last Chance Kitchen and returned to the competition.
^Note 4 : As a reward for winning the Quickfire Challenge, Sarah was given the choice to receive either a new car or a pass to the next round as her prize. Sarah opted for the pass, allowing her to sit out the Elimination Challenge.
- (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.
|No.||Title||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|1||"Everything's Bigger in Texas"||November 2, 2011||1.59|
Qualifying Challenge: The first group of chefs created a feast with an entire pig, which had only been partially butchered. Each chef had to use one part of the pig; the group had collective responsibility over butchering down to their assigned cuts. Based on the results, the chefs either landed a spot in the Top 16, were eliminated from the competition, or placed "on the bubble". Those put "on the bubble" were given a second chance at earning a Top Chef coat.
Qualifying Challenge: The second group of chefs created dishes using a collectively-decided ingredient. The chefs chose rabbit.
|2||"The Heat Is On"||November 9, 2011||1.64|
Qualifying Challenge: The third group of chefs each chose an ingredient from a provided assortment. Unbeknownst to the chefs, each ingredient also had an associated time limit of either 20 minutes, 40 minutes, or 60 minutes.
Qualifying Challenge: The contestants put "on the bubble" had 45 minutes to cook any dish.
|3||"Quinceañera"||November 16, 2011||1.45|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs cooked dishes using rattlesnake. The winner received immunity and $5,000.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs, divided into two teams, catered a quinceañera with upscale Mexican food.
|4||"Red Hot Chili Cook-Off"||November 23, 2011||1.67|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs made dishes using an assortment of chiles, ranging from mild to hot on the Scoville scale. The winner received immunity, as well as a cash prize associated with each ingredient. The hotter the chile used, the higher the possible prize.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs participated in a Texas chili cook-off. The contestants were randomly divided into five teams of three and had all night to cook. The dishes were cooked at the house where the contestants resided rather than the Top Chef kitchen, limiting the cooking supplies available. Winners were selected by crowd vote. The members of the losing team then competed against one another to rework their losing chili into a winning dish.
|5||"Don't Be Tardy for the Dinner Party"||November 30, 2011||1.86|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs prepared dishes using only the ingredients provided in backpack survival kits. The winner received immunity and a $5,000 cash prize.
Elimination Challenge: Each chef had to create a dish for a course in a progressive dinner party in the exclusive Dallas neighborhood of Highland Park. The chefs were divided into three teams: appetizers, entrées and desserts. Each team was given $250, 30 minutes to shop, and two hours to prepare their meals.
|6||"Higher Steaks"||December 7, 2011||1.70|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs were given 90 minutes to prepare a dish that incorporated their own interpretation of one of Auguste Escoffier's five "mother sauces": béchamel, espagnole, hollandaise, tomate, or velouté. The winner received immunity.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs worked as a team to cater a four-course steak dinner for 200 at the annual Cattle Baron's Ball. Two of the courses had to contain steak. They had 30 minutes to plan the menu, 45 minutes to shop, and three hours to prep on the first day. On the day of the event, the chefs had three hours to cook and serve at Southfork Ranch in Dallas. The winner received a 2011 Toyota Venza.
|7||"Game On"||December 14, 2011||1.74|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs were shown several varieties of tequila. They were then given 30 minutes to create a dish that pairs well with the tequila of their choice. Instead of immunity, the winner received $5,000.
Elimination Challenge: Working in teams of two, the chefs served a game dinner. Each team had 30 minutes to shop, three hours to prep, and 90 minutes to cook and serve at Tim Love's restaurant. The chefs decided among themselves which three teams had the least successful dishes. The judges then selected one of the teams to be eliminated. The winning team split $10,000.
|8||"Tribute Dinner"||December 21, 2011||1.69|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs prepared dishes that incorporated fan suggestions sent in via Twitter during the challenge. Instead of immunity, the winner received $10,000.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs were tasked with making dishes honoring their cooking influences as part of a tribute dinner. They had 30 minutes to shop, then two hours the next day to cook and serve their meals to the judges at the Driskill Hotel in Austin.
|9||"BBQ Pit Wars"||January 4, 2012||1.94|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs were given 45 minutes to create a dish that best illustrated Modernist Cuisine, an encyclopedia and guide to the science of contemporary cooking. The winner received immunity and a copy of Modernist Cuisine.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs, separated into three teams, catered a barbecue meal for 300 guests. Each team was required to use brisket, pork ribs, and chicken in their dishes, in addition to serving two side dishes. The chefs were able to cook through the night and had access to individual pits, a smoker, and a trailer kitchen. The winning team split $15,000.
|10||"Restaurant Wars"||January 11, 2012||1.82|
Elimination Challenge: The chefs, working in two teams divided by gender, had to create a pop-up restaurant and execute a three-course dinner service. Each chef was responsible for at least one dish on their team's menu. One member from the losing team was eligible for elimination. The winner received a 3-liter bottle of EPISODE wine from Terlato Family Vineyards and a trip for two to tour their Napa Valley vineyard.
|11||"Fit for an Evil Queen"||January 18, 2012||2.00|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs had to make sophisticated dishes that incorporated three ingredients from a random assortment provided by a quickly moving conveyor belt. The winner received immunity.
Elimination Challenge: Each chef prepared a dish inspired by the 2012 gothic film adaptation of the "Snow White" fairy tale, Snow White and the Huntsman.
|12||"Block Party"||January 25, 2012||1.83|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs paired off for a mise en place relay, where they had 30 minutes to both prepare ingredients for the judges' inspection and combine them into one dish. The prep tasks included making fresh pasta, shelling and deveining shrimp, and husking corn. The winning team received $10,000. From this point onward, immunity was no longer offered.
Elimination Challenge: In the same pairs as the Quickfire, the chefs catered a neighborhood block party. Each pair decided together on a common main dish and side dish, but were competing against each other to separately prepare their own versions. As a twist, after selecting their dishes, the chefs were told that they had to prepare healthy, low-fat, low-sodium dishes. The crowd's favorite for each pair was eligible for the win, while the crowd's least favorite was eligible for elimination. The winner received $15,000.
|13||"Bike, Borrow & Steal"||February 1, 2012||N/A|
Quickfire Challenge: Each chef made their own creative version of pancakes. The winner received $5,000.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs were given bikes to shop for their own ingredients, and had to find their own cooking spaces somewhere in the environs around The Alamo.
|14||"Mentors at Work?"||February 8, 2012||N/A|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs selected ingredients from the pantry while blindfolded and incorporated all of them into one dish. The winner received a choice between either a Toyota Prius V or an automatic pass into the finals.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs each prepared a dish inspired by a chef for whom they had previously worked for. These mentors acted as the guest judges.
|15||"Culinary Games"||February 15, 2012||N/A|
Elimination Challenge: The competition moved to Whistler Olympic Park in British Columbia, where the four remaining chefs were confronted with a series of three Olympic-themed challenges, in honor of Vancouver's hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The winner of each challenge received $10,000 and the right to move on in the competition.
|16||"Fire and Ice"||February 22, 2012||N/A|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs were each paired in a tag team challenge with a previous Top Chef Masters contestant: Takashi Yagihashi, Anita Lo, and Floyd Cardoz. The teammates were unable to speak to each other during the challenge, and only one was able to cook in the kitchen at a time. Each chef had two ten-minute rounds to cook. The winner received $20,000.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs catered a "fire and ice"-themed event, where they prepared a dish and cocktail that incorporated a hot and cold element. The winner received a trip for two to Costa Rica.
|17||"Finale"||February 29, 2012||1.85|
Elimination Challenge: The two finalists were asked to lead their own restaurants and create a four-course tasting menu. They could select four sous chefs from candidates who were either master chefs (Marco Canora and Barbara Lynch) or other contestants eliminated earlier in the Top Chef competition. The finalists chose their sous chefs by tasting the dishes that they had prepared, without prior knowledge of who prepared each dish. Paul was assisted by Barbara Lynch, Chris C., Keith, and Ty-Lör, while Sarah was assisted by Heather, Grayson, Nyesha, and Tyler.
|18||"Reunion"||March 7, 2012||1.04|
Last Chance Kitchen
The Last Chance Kitchen is a web series featuring challenges in which the ousted chefs compete for a chance to re-enter the main competition. Each week, two or more chefs compete against each other in the Top Chef kitchen, with the results judged solely by Tom Colicchio. The winner of each week moves on to face the next eliminated Top Chef contestant(s), while the loser is eliminated from the competition for good. The champion of the Last Chance Kitchen returns to compete in the season finale.
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Andrew vs. Janine"||November 9, 2011|
Challenge: The final two chefs to be eliminated during the qualifying rounds were given 30 minutes to cook a pizza.
|2||"Andrew vs. Keith"||November 16, 2011|
Challenge: The chefs were given 10 minutes to prep and cook a dish containing six ingredients, including clams, lemons, onions, and peppers.
|3||"Keith vs. Richie"||November 23, 2011|
Challenge: The chefs were asked to prepare a dish using at least three ingredients provided from the leftovers of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
|4||"Keith vs. Chuy"||November 30, 2011|
Challenge: Colicchio directed the chefs to Bolner's Meat Market in San Antonio, where they were given an entire rib rack of beef. The contestants were then given 45 minutes to butcher five bone-in ribeyes, and cook one of them into a "perfect" medium-rare steak.
|5||"Chuy vs. Whitney"||December 7, 2011|
Challenge: The chefs created a classic American burger with one of two assigned proteins in 30 minutes.
|6||"Whitney vs. Dakota vs. Nyesha"||December 14, 2011|
Challenge: The chefs cooked dishes with cactus as the main ingredient, using only a wok, in 30 minutes.
|7||"Nyesha vs. Heather"||December 21, 2011|
Challenge: The chefs had 30 minutes to create a dish using three different cooking techniques: frying, injecting, and foaming.
|8||"Nyesha vs. Chris C."||January 4, 2012|
Challenge: The chefs had 30 minutes to create a dish using ingredients found in a gas station with a budget of $20.
|9||"Nyesha vs. Ty-Lör"||January 11, 2012|
Challenge: The chefs had 30 minutes to make a pastry dessert with the help of a sous-chef. Assistants were chosen from the remaining eliminated cheftestants. Nyesha chose Heather, and Ty-Lör chose Chris C.
|10||"Nyesha vs. Beverly"||January 18, 2012|
Challenge: The chefs had 30 minutes to create a dish using black drum. The chefs were only allowed to go through the Top Chef kitchen once to gather all necessary ingredients and equipment. With 23 minutes remaining, Colicchio instructed the chefs to switch stations and surrender all ingredients to their opponent.
|11||"Beverly vs. Chris J."||January 25, 2012|
Challenge: The chefs had 30 minutes to make a dish that incorporated all of the ingredients found in a "mystery box", which could not be opened until the timer started. As the challenge progressed, the chefs were given two additional ingredients to use in their final dish.
|12||"Beverly vs. Grayson"||February 1, 2012|
Challenge: The chefs had 30 minutes to cook a dish worthy of competing in the finale.
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