Padma Lakshmi and Buzz Aldrin

Cheers to Top Chef: D.C. for following up its first-ever Emmy victory over The Amazing Race with one of its most amazing episodes ever.

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The five remaining chef-testants were charged with creating a dish to be pigged out on... in space! Freeze-dried, that is, and sent on the freakin' Space Shuttle to the International Space Station where it would be served in zero gravity. Seriously, how cool is that?

The judges were even cooler — real-life astronauts like Buzz Aldrin (who came across much more gracefully here than on Dancing with the Stars), NASA "food scientists" (who knew?) and the delightful guest-judge combo of Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert. Reversing their usual roles, Bourdain played Mr. Nice Guy, even declaring himself "a slut for [loser Tiffany's] fish sauce," while Ripert played the heavy, earning the teasing nickname "the Ripper" from the Kitchen Confidential bad boy himself. And now, the Final Four blast off for Singapore! Top that, Phil Keoghan. (Oh, and did I forget to mention the episode aired on Padma Lakshmi's 40th birthday?)

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