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Top Chef Season 5 Episodes

15 Episodes 2008 - 2009

Padma Lakshmi is once again hosting the reality show about chefs competing against each other in various culinary challenges; she's joined by veteran judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, and new entry Toby Young. Season 5 is set in New York, with the final episode set in New Orleans, Louisiana. Competing for the $100,000 prize are 16 chefs from all over the country and one from Italy. This season, Quickfire Challenges and Elimination Challenges include creating a special version of the classic New York hot dog, cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the Foo Fighters, and preparing a four-course meal for judge Gail Simmons' bridal shower.

Episode 1

Melting Pot

Wed, Nov 12, 2008 75 mins

The culinary-arts competition gets cooking with its Season 5 opener, featuring 17 new chefs descending on New York City. Their inaugural challenge: to serve up dishes based on ethnic flavors of the city's various districts.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 1 image

Episode 2

Show Your Craft

Wed, Nov 19, 2008 60 mins

The culinary contestants must create and serve lunch fare to actual customers at a restaurant founded by head judge Tom Colicchio. Celebrity restaurateur Donatella Arpaia is the guest judge.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 2 image

Episode 3

Foo Fighters Thanksgiving

Wed, Nov 26, 2008 60 mins

In a Thanksgiving-themed episode, the gastronomes try to rise to the top of the food charts by creating cuisine for the rock band Foo Fighters. Restaurateur Grant Achatz is the guest judge.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 3 image

Episode 4

Today Show

Wed, Dec 3, 2008 60 mins

The heat is on when the 14 remaining foodies compete in a speedy culinary challenge to win a booking on "Today." Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito serves up a guest-judge turn.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 4 image

Episode 5

Gail's Bridal Shower

Wed, Dec 10, 2008 75 mins

The chefs cook up culinary courses at a bridal shower for series judge Gail Simmons. Magazine editor Dana Cowin is the guest judge.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 5 image

Episode 6

12 Days of Christmas

Wed, Dec 17, 2008 75 mins

A holiday-themed outing is on the menu, with domestic guru Martha Stewart overseeing the quickfire challenge. Then, the cooks cater a Christmas cocktail party hosted by actress and guest judge Natasha Richardson, with proceeds benefiting AIDS research.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 6 image

Episode 7

Focus Group

Wed, Jan 7, 2009 60 mins

The epic epicurean odyssey continues with a sweet feat: The chefs must create a sweet dish---without using sugar. Chef and restaurateur Jean-Christophe Novelli is the guest judge.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 7 image

Episode 8

Down on the Farm

Wed, Jan 14, 2009 60 mins

The backdrop switches from urban to rural when the chefs journey to the country to gather fresh ingredients. They then serve up a food-fare feast to farm workers. Chef Dan Barber is the guest judge.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 8 image

Episode 9

Restaurant Wars

Wed, Jan 21, 2009 75 mins

The remaining chefs participate in the show's traditional and all-encompassing "restaurant wars" challenge, in which they must create all aspects of an eatery in only 24 hours. Restaurateur Stephen Starr is the guest judge.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 9 image

Episode 10

Super Bowl Chef Showdown

Wed, Jan 28, 2009 75 mins

The Super Bowl is saluted when the foodies go the extra yard in a football-themed culinary cook-off against former series players, including Season 4's Andrew and Spike, Season 3's Camille and Season 2's Josie. Chef Scott Conant is the guest judge.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 10 image

Episode 11

Le Bernardin

Wed, Feb 4, 2009 60 mins

It's a pressure cooker when the chefs showcase their culinary skills while cooking in an acclaimed New York City eatery. Chef Eric Ripert is the guest judge.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 11 image

Episode 12

The Last Supper

Wed, Feb 11, 2009 60 mins

Chef Wylie Dufresne and celebrity cook Jacques Pepin are the guest judges when the remaining foodies prove their culinary mettle while cooking for famed master chefs, including Dufresne, Pepin, Marcus Samuelsson and Lidia Bastianich.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 12 image

Episode 13

Finale Part 1

Wed, Feb 18, 2009 75 mins

In Part 1 of the two-part Season 5 finale, the final chefs journey from New York City to New Orleans. It won't be easy in the Big Easy: The chefs must kick it up a notch when celeb chef and guest judge Emeril Lagasse appraises their culinary moves.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 13 image

Episode 14

Season Finale Part 2

Wed, Feb 25, 2009 60 mins

The winning chef is revealed in the conclusion of the Season 5 finale, which is set in New Orleans. Appearing: musician Branford Marsalis; culinary figures Susan Spicer, John Besh, Rocco DiSpirito and Hubert Keller.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 14 image

Episode 15

Reunion

Wed, Mar 4, 2009 60 mins

Host Andy Cohen serves up a reunion edition, in which Season 5's chefs and series principals Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Toby Young gather together to dish on the season's savory triumphs and bitter-tasting dramas. The culinary contingent also fields viewer inquiries.

Where to Watch
Top Chef, Season 5 Episode 15 image