Top Chef

10 Best Episodes of Top Chef

An American reality competition show in which chefs compete against each other in culinary challenges and are judged by a panel of professional chefs and other notables from the food and wine industry with one or more contestants eliminated in each episode.

Written by Sophie and last updated on feb 06, 2023.

PS: The following content contains spoilers!

PPS: I will admit that parts of this page was written with the help of AI - it makes my work so much easier to not start from a blank page!

Top Chef - S8E9

#15 - Feeding Fallon (Season 8 - Episode 9)

The episode was rated 7.73 from 48 votes.

Top Chef - S11E13

#14 - Oui Si a Challenge (Season 11 - Episode 13)


Chef Jacques Pepin tests the contestants; the contestants create French and Spanish dishes.

The episode was rated 7.74 from 77 votes.

Top Chef - S9E14

#13 - Mentors (Season 9 - Episode 14)

In this week’s Quickfire, the chefs must use their sense of touch, smell and taste to navigate through the pantry to gather ingredients for a dish while blindfolded. In a twist, the winning chef from Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen will re-enter the competition and join the remaining four chefs in the elimination challenge, where the chefs must create a delicious dish that will impress their mentors. Host Padma Lakshmi, along with Hugh Acheson, Gail Simmons and head judge Tom Colicchio will determine which final four chefs will advance to the finale.

The episode was rated 7.74 from 43 votes.

Top Chef - S8E3

#12 - New York's Finest (Season 8 - Episode 3)


A mise-en-place relay race; chefs cook in four of New York's finest restaurants.

The episode was rated 7.75 from 53 votes.

Top Chef - S9E7

#11 - Game On (Season 9 - Episode 7)

The contestants must cook for an all-star table of chefs whose avocation is hunting.

The episode was rated 7.77 from 47 votes.

Top Chef - S9E11

#10 - Fit For an Evil Queen (Season 9 - Episode 11)


The Quickfire is on the move, except it's the ingredients that are moving—by train. Next, the chefs must access the darkness inside of them when they are asked to create "evil" on a plate.

The episode was rated 7.79 from 53 votes.

Top Chef - S8E15

#9 - Last Supper (Season 8 - Episode 15)

The episode was rated 7.81 from 42 votes.

Top Chef - S19E11

#8 - Family Vacation (Season 19 - Episode 11)


The chefs head to the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston, Texas; chef Shota Nakajima is here to present them with their next Quickfire Challenge, using the freshest gulf shellfish to create a seafood tower with one hot and one cold dish.

The episode was rated 7.82 from 51 votes.

Top Chef - S18E1

#7 - First Impressions (Season 18 - Episode 1)

“Top Chef” is back with 15 of the country’s best chefs ready to compete in Portland, Oregon. For their first Quickfire Challenge, the cheftestants are immediately thrown into teams and tasked with combining their favorite ingredients together in one cohesive dish for Padma and Portland local Gregory Gourdet. For their Elimination Challenge, the chefs will try not to “quack” under pressure as they’re asked to create a dish featuring one of Portland’s iconic local birds. Their dishes will be served in a blind tasting for the judges and the new dining panel of “Top Chef” all-star winners, finalists and favorites. Season 17 winner Melissa King joins Padma, Tom and Gail at the judges’ table to help decide who will be the first chef to pack their knives and go.

The episode was rated 7.85 from 65 votes.

Top Chef - S9E17

#6 - Finale (Season 9 - Episode 17)


For the final challenge, each chef will take over a restaurant in Vancouver where they will have the chance to design a four-course meal for the judges and unbeknownst to them, friends and family.

The episode was rated 7.89 from 46 votes.

Top Chef - S12E15

#5 - Mano a Mano (Season 12 - Episode 15)

The episode was rated 7.90 from 52 votes.

Top Chef - S18E3

#4 - Pan African Portland (Season 18 - Episode 3)


The pressure is laid on the chefs in the Quickfire Challenge as they are tasked to make a layered dessert. Carrie Baird joins Padma to pick the winner, who will get their dish turned into a Talenti gelato to be sold nationwide. Gregory Gourdet and Kwame Onwuachi take the chefs on a tour of restaurants in Portland that feature food from the African diaspora. For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs must make dishes inspired by their tour for the judging and dining panel, as well as the restaurant’s owners.

The episode was rated 7.94 from 68 votes.

Top Chef - S19E14

#3 - The Final Plate (Season 19 - Episode 14)

Aspiring chefs compete for their shot at culinary stardom.

The episode was rated 8.00 from 52 votes.

Top Chef - S17E14

#2 - Finito! (Season 17 - Episode 14)


In an epic Italian showdown, the final three All Stars cook the meal of their lives in an effort to take home the ultimate title and prize. To win, all they’ll need to impress not only the judges - Tom, Padma, Gail and Nilou Motamed, but also culinary superstars Mauro Colagreco, Clare Smyth, Marcus Samuelsson, Janice Wong, Tony Mantuano, Eighth Generation Italian Butcher Dario Cecchini and Food & Wine magazine’s Hunter Lewis. It’s a fight to the bitter end, but only one will be have their second chance to finally be crowned Top Chef.

The episode was rated 8.03 from 64 votes.

Top Chef - S8E16

#1 - Finale (Season 8 - Episode 16)

The remaining two chefs have no time to digest what just happened as their final challenge is immediately announced. The 2 finalists choose their sous-chefs... blindfolded!

The episode was rated 8.08 from 50 votes.

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