13 Episodes 2006 - 2007
In the second season of this reality series, 15 talented chefs go to Los Angeles to compete for the title of "Top Chef" and the $100,000 cash prize. New host Padma Lakshmi joins this season, with judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons returning. The chefs compete in two challenges per episode. First, the Quickfire Challenge, where the competitors test their skills in a short amount of time. Next, in the Elimination Challenge, the competitors fight to continue on the show. Challenges this season include chefs creating a 500-calorie meal; cooking dishes using canned food in under 15 minutes; and making an amuse-bouche dish using $10 of ingredients from a vending machine.
Into the Fire
Wed, Oct 18, 2006 60 mins
Fifteen diverse cooks take to the kitchen to vie for culinary honors. In the first challenge, they must create a flambé dish. Then, they must whip up original cuisine using five designated ingredients found in a mystery box.
Wed, Oct 25, 2006 60 mins
The contestants endure a rude early-morning wake-up call to buy fresh produce at a fish market. They then have 30 minutes to prepare a sushi plate. Later, the group must create Korean and Vietnamese cuisine. Sushi expert Hiroshi Shima and celebrity chef Ming Tsai are guest judges.
Food for the People
Wed, Nov 1, 2006 60 mins
The remaining chefs make ice cream. Then, the heat is on when they create favorite childhood foods with the help of a firehouse staff.
Less Is More
Wed, Nov 8, 2006 60 mins
The chefs are required to create amuse-bouche---bite-sized morsels similar to hors d'oeuvres. Then, in the second challenge, the group visits a weight-loss camp. Suzanne Goin serves as guest judge.
Wed, Nov 15, 2006 60 mins
Talents are truly tested when the chefs must create delectable fare from disgusting leftover animal parts, including chicken feet, pigs' blood and lamb hearts. Chef Michelle Bernstein serves as guest judge.
Wed, Nov 22, 2006 60 mins
The contestants cook up Thanksgiving dinner and are challenged to prepare cuisine using only canned goods. Anthony Bourdain serves as guest judge.
The Raw and the Cooked
Wed, Dec 6, 2006 60 mins
The chefs are challenged to whip up cuisine without the benefit of modern-day technology. Rafael Lunetta serves as guest judge.
Wed, Dec 13, 2006 60 mins
In a holiday-themed episode, the budding chefs must whip up a party appetizer and complement it with a cocktail. Mixologist Kristin Woodward is the guest judge.
Wed, Jan 3, 2007 75 mins
Actress Debi Mazar makes an appearance in this colorful installment, which finds the chefs serving up a savory three-item creation using one of the hues of the rainbow. Ted Allen ("Queer Eye") and chef Robert Ivan are guest judges.
Wed, Jan 10, 2007 60 mins
The chefs work on a late-night snack. San Francisco restaurateur Mike Yakura is the guest judge.
Sense and Sensuality
Wed, Jan 17, 2007 60 mins
A dessert storm brews when the remaining chefs dip into chocolate to create a sweet or savory dish. Eric Ripert serves as guest judge.
Finale: Part 1
Wed, Jan 24, 2007 75 mins
Part 1 of 2. The final four cooks journey to the Big Island of Hawaii. While there, they must prepare regional cuisine using the island's native ingredients---from fish to fruit---and stage a bountiful luau. Alan Wong is the guest judge.
Wed, Jan 31, 2007 60 mins
Conclusion. One of the final two cooks is crowned Top Chef on the Big Island of Hawaii. Here, the two are under fire as they must whip up the meal of their lives before a formidable table of culinary judges. One of the prizes: $100,000 in seed money to start a cooking career.