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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.