Top Chef: New Orleans
Season 11
Hosted byPadma Lakshmi
JudgesTom Colicchio
Gail Simmons
Emeril Lagasse
Hugh Acheson
No. of contestants19
WinnerNicholas Elmi
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes17
Original networkBravo
Original releaseOctober 2, 2013 (2013-10-02) –
February 5, 2014 (2014-02-05)
Season chronology
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Top Chef: New Orleans is the eleventh season of the American reality television series Top Chef. The season was announced on May 10, 2013.[1] Filming took place from early May through late July, beginning in New Orleans, Louisiana and concluding in Maui.[2][3] The season premiered on October 2, 2013.[4] State and local tourism offices in Louisiana sponsored the season, paying a total of $375,000. The state contribution came from a recovery fund established by BP after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.[5] In addition to the return of the Last Chance Kitchen, Bravo launched a new web series called Padma's Picks. Debuting on August 14, 2013, the competition, presided over by host Padma Lakshmi, featured ten New Orleans chefs competing for the chance to join the official lineup of contestants and represent the city.[6]

The final episode of the season generated controversy after head judge Tom Colicchio appeared to successfully sway the other judges into awarding the title of Top Chef to Nicholas Elmi, a contestant who had been nearly eliminated in several episodes and had temper control issues.[7] Fan outrage led Colicchio to release the judges' scores on Twitter to justify their decision to give Elmi the victory over eventual runner-up Nina Compton, who was considered a front runner in the competition.[7] Compton was later voted Fan Favorite.[8]


The cast of Top Chef: New Orleans originally consisted of 17 chefs.[9][10][11] At the conclusion of Padma's Picks, Lakshmi selected Justin Devillier and Michael Sichel to join the regular lineup of contestants.[12] Benedetto Bartolotta had previously competed in the fifth season of Top Chef Masters as the sous-chef of Odette Fada. Stephanie Cmar was also a previous contestant, briefly appearing in Top Chef: Seattle during the qualifying rounds.

Name Hometown Current Residence Age
Benedetto "Bene" Bartolotta Astoria, New York New York, New York 27
Ramon Bojorquez Rio Rico, Arizona San Diego, California 31
Janine Booth Perth, Australia New York, New York 25
Shirley Chung Beijing, China Las Vegas, Nevada 36
Jason Cichonski Bucks County, Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 27
Stephanie Cmar Boston, Massachusetts Boston, Massachusetts 28
Nina Compton Saint Lucia New Orleans, Louisiana 34
Aaron Cuschieri Livonia, Michigan Chicago, Illinois 29
Justin Devillier Dana Point, California New Orleans, Louisiana 32
Nicholas Elmi West Newbury, Massachusetts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 32
Carlos Gaytan Huitzuco, Guerrero, Mexico Chicago, Illinois 42
Brian Huskey Pasadena, California Los Angeles, California 32
Sara Johannes Milwaukee, Wisconsin Minneapolis, Minnesota 36
Louis Maldonado Ukiah, California Healdsburg, California 32
Travis Masar La Junta, Colorado Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 27
Carrie Mashaney Carpenter, Iowa Seattle, Washington 35
Bret Pelaggi Norwood, Massachusetts Miami, Florida 34
Michael Sichel Valhalla, New York New Orleans, Louisiana 46
Patricia "Patty" Vega Gurabo, Puerto Rico New York, New York 29

Shirley Chung competed in Top Chef Duels, and later returned to compete in Top Chef: Charleston.[13][14] Stephanie Cmar returned for Top Chef: All-Stars L.A.[15]

Contestant progress

Episode # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Quickfire Challenge
N/A Carrie Shirley N/A Team
Nina Brian Brian N/A Shirley Carrie Shirley Nicholas Shirley Carlos1 Nicholas1 N/A
Contestant Elimination Challenge Results
14 Michael IN2 IN IN IN OUT
15 Janine IN IN IN OUT
16 Bret IN LOW OUT
17 Aaron LOW HIGH OUT3
18 Jason IN OUT
19 Ramon OUT

^Note 1 : The chef(s) did not receive immunity for winning the Quickfire Challenge.
^Note 2 : As the winners of Padma's Picks, Justin and Michael were given immunity for the first Elimination Challenge.
^Note 3 : Aaron was eliminated by placing last in the Quickfire Challenge.
^Note 4 : Team Lakshmi consisted of Bene, Brian, Carlos, Nicholas, Nina, Patty, and Travis.
^Note 5 : Louis won Last Chance Kitchen and returned to the competition.

  (WINNER) The chef won the season and was crowned "Top Chef".
  (RUNNER-UP) The chef was a runner-up for the season.
  (WIN) The chef won the Elimination Challenge.
  (HIGH) The chef was selected as one of the top entries in the Elimination Challenge, but did not win.
  (IN) The chef was not selected as one of the top or bottom entries in the Elimination Challenge and was safe.
  (LOW) The chef was selected as one of the bottom entries in the Elimination Challenge, but was not eliminated.
  (OUT) The chef lost the Elimination Challenge.


Main article: List of Top Chef episodes

No. in
TitleOriginal air date
1571"Soiree in the Swamp"October 2, 2013 (2013-10-02)

Quickfire Challenge: None

Elimination Challenge: In a surprise visit from Tom Colicchio & Padma Lakshmi at the house the chefs were informed there would be no Quickfire. The contestants were randomly assigned one of three Louisiana delicacies: alligator, turtle, or frog by catching Mardi Gras beads, thrown by Padma and Tom, representing the animal. The chefs were given information on where to source their protein and then sent to shop. They had 2 hours to prep in the Top Chef kitchen and then an additional 2 hours at the swamp (the first part of which they spent setting up equipment). The guests at the party voted for their favorite meals by presenting a string of Mardi Gras beads to the chefs whose dishes they liked the most. The three chefs who collected the most beads were eligible to win, while the three chefs with the least amount were put up for elimination. Judges - Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Curtis Stone & Padma Lakshmi.

  • Bene - Turtle Croquette with Cauliflower Puree & Shitake Mushrooms
  • Nina - Curried Turtle Meatball, Chayote Slaw & Chutney with Raisins
  • Janine - Bacon & Alligator Confit with Tomato Jam & Lemon Frisee
  • Aaron - Pickled Eggplant with Turtle Confit & Turtle Ragout with Tagliatelle Pasta
  • Shirley - Turtle Soup with Goji Berry & Chinese Broth
  • Carrie - Poached Frog Legs with Oyster Emulsion & Cold Zucchini Salad
  • Carlos - Alligator Rillettes with Fennel & Pickled Red Onion Relish
  • Michael - Fried Alligator with Sauce Piquant & Slaw
  • Sara - Deep Fried Alligator with Smoked Chilis, Sweet & Sour Sauce & Pickled Vegetables
  • Ramon - Braised Turtle with Thai Dashi
  • Patty - Cajun Style Alligator with Yuca Puree
  • Jason - Frog Leg Croquette with Roasted Eggplant, Fennel Salad & Pickled Cherry Puree
  • Stephanie - Frog Leg Butter Confit with Spinach & Watercress Puree
    • Dishes from Justin, Nick, Brian, Louis, Travis and Bret were not shown but at one point Brian mentioned a lettuce wrap.
      • WINNER: Nina (Curried Turtle Meatball, Chayote Slaw & Chutney with Raisins)
      • ELIMINATED: Ramon (Braised Turtle with Thai Dashi)
1582"Rebuilding New Orleans"October 9, 2013 (2013-10-09)

Quickfire Challenge: Before the chefs could leave the stew room Padma informed them they were being given an entire night, at the house, to prepare a gumbo inspired by their heritage. Then they would have 15 minutes in the Top Chef Kitchen to finish their dishes before presenting them to Leah Chase. The winner would be given immunity. Guest judge - Leah Chase.

  • Michael - Drunken Chicken Gumbo with Dirty Rice
  • Janine - Australian Curry Gumbo with Macadamia Nuts & Coconut Milk
  • Aaron - Hot & Sour Asian-Style Gumbo with Prawns & Sushi Rice
  • Justin - Pork Rib Gumbo with Okra, Shrimp & Deviled Egg
  • Patty - Puerto Rican Mofongo Style Gumbo with Sofrito & Pork Belly
  • Bret - New England & Miami Inspired Gumbo with Fried Clams & Butter-Poached Lobster
  • Carrie - Iowan-Trinidadian Gumbo with Coconut, Green Mango & Corn Crumble
  • Carlos - Albondigas Chipotle Gumbo with Bone Marrow
  • Jason - Polish Inspired Gumbo with Whipped Potato, Cabbage & Shaved Beets
  • Nina - Plantain & Yuca Based Gumbo with Poached Egg
  • Louis - Morrocan-Inspired Gumbo with Lamb Shank, Root Vegetables & Sumac
  • Shirley - Braised Pork Belly Gumbo with Mexican Rice and Italian Salad
  • Sara - Crab & Silken Tofu Gumbo with Toasted Forbidden Rice
    • Dishes from Bene, Stephanie, Nick, Brian, Travis were not shown.
    • Bottom three - Jason, Michael, Patty
    • Top three - Aaron, Carrie, Shirley
      • WINNER: Carrie (Iowan-Trinidadian Gumbo with Coconut, Green Mango, and Corn Crumble)

Elimination Challenge: Padma & Leah are joined by Susan Spicer. The chefs were separated into four teams by Padma and worked in food trucks to serve lunch for Habitat for Humanity volunteers. They had 30 minutes and $1500 to shop. The judges broke into pairs to visit the two work sites, Padma & Susan and Tom & Gail. Judges - Susan Spicer, Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi & Gail Simmons.

  • Red Team: Bene, Janine, Justin, Michael, Nina
    • Janine - Green Gazpacho with Pickled Shrimp
    • Justin - Lobster & Crab Fritters with Corn Puree & Bacon Jam
    • Nina & Bene - Jerk Chicken Sandwich with Mango & Crispy Plantains
    • Michael - Ricotta with Brunt Honey, Stone Fruit & Toasted Coconut
  • Green Team: Louis, Sara, Shirley, Stephanie
    • Stephanie - Crispy Chickpeas with Watercress & Radish Salad
    • Sara - Tuna Burger with Sprouts, Avocado & Watermelon Rind Pickles
    • Shirley - Spicy Grilled Lamb Salad with Cucumber & Asian Pear
  • Blue Team: Bret, Jason, Nicholas, Patty
    • Jason - Salmon Hand Roll with Quinoa, Honey Mustard Miso & Cucumber
    • Nick - Grilled Shrimp with Melon-Sungold Salad & Crushed Wasabi Peas
    • Bret - Coconut Ceviche with Red Snapper & Bay Scallops
    • Patty - Tuna Slider with Crispy Pancetta, Avocado & Tomato
  • Yellow Team: Aaron, Brian, Carlos, Carrie, Travis
    • Travis & Brian - Dorado & Shrimp Ceviche with Tomato
    • Carrie & Aaron - Beef & Pork Empanandas with Watercress & Mango
    • Carlos & Aaron - Tilapia Tacos with Chipotle Aioli & Cabbage
      • WINNER: Carrie (Beef & Pork Curry Empanadas with Watercress & Mango)
      • ELIMINATED: Jason (Salmon Hand Roll with Quinoa, Honey Mustard Miso & Cucumber)
1593"Commander's Palace"October 16, 2013 (2013-10-16)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs arrive at the Top Chef Kitchen to be greeted by Padma & Emeril, who are rapidly joined by Dana Cowin of Food & Wine Magazine. They are challenged to create a dish that reinvents one of four popular food trends: "eggs over everything", kale, bacon, or smoked foods. The contestants drew knives to select their trends. Revealed to be an Elimination Quickfire, the chef with the judges' least favorite dish would be sent home. The chef with the best dish will earn immunity. Chefs have 30 minutes to create their dish.

  • Nick - Quail Egg, Scallop, Truffle Juice & Duck Egg Vinaigrette
  • Nina - Quail Egg on Confit Potatoes with Leek & Potato Puree
  • Carrie - Soft Boiled Eggs with Chili Flakes & Lemon Zest on Green Beans
  • Shirley - Rice Congee with Shirred Egg, Soy Sauce & Sesame Oil
  • Sara - Tuna Tataki with Arbol Chile Vinaigrette
  • Michael - Cold-Smoked Oysters with Mignonette
  • Janine - Roasted Pork Loin with Chipotle Smoked Caramelized Apples
  • Louis - Smoked Trout with Lime & Olive Oil Vinaigrette
  • Bene - Seared Tuna in Bacon with Honey, Vinegar, Jalapenos & Corn
  • Brian - Bacon with Scallop, Ginger, Honey & Sugar Snap Peas
  • Travis - Bacon Pho Broth with Seared Scallop & Sweet Corn Puree
  • Carlos - Bacon & Halibut with Apples, Tomatoes, Avocados & Bacon Vinaigrette
  • Stephanie - Pasta with Lightly Candied Bacon & Flash Fried Sweet Potatoes
  • Patty - Kale with Toasted Garlic, Chili Flakes & Shaved Parmesan
  • Justin - Kale Steamed with Lemon, Anchovy Syrup & Parmesan
  • Aaron - Fried Kale Dredged in Soy, Mirin, Rice Vinegar & Yuzu Sauce
  • Bret - Kale Juice & Gazpacho with Kale Salad
    • Bottom three - Bret, Aaron, Louis
      • ELIMINATED: Aaron (Fried Kale Dredged in Soy, Mirin, Rice Vinegar & Yuzu Sauce)
    • Top three - Nina, Shirley, Stephanie
      • WINNER: Shirley (Rice Congee with Shirred Egg, Soy Sauce & Sesame Oil)

Elimination Challenge: After being treated to dinner at Commander's Palace, the chefs are divided into groups with each chef responsible for replicating one of 4 dishes from the Commander's Palace menu the next day. Tory McPhail, the executive chef, explains that this challenge will test the chefs' palates, attention to detail and ability to replicate. At dinner were Emeril Lagasse, Lally Brennan (Proprietor, Commander's Palace), Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Ti Martin (Proprietor, Commander's Palace), Dana Cowin, Paul Prudhomme, Hugh Acheson, Tory McPhail. Judges: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Emeril Lagasse, Hugh Acheson.

  • Dish One: Shrimp & Tasso Henican by Chef Jamie Shannon
    • Nina, Travis, Bene, Michael
  • Dish Two: Black Skillet Seared Trout by Chef Paul Prudhomme
    • Carlos, Louis, Nick & Janine
  • Dish Three: Veal Chop Tchoupitoulas by Chef Emeril Lagasse
    • Shirley, Bret, Brian, Patty
  • Dish Four: Strawberry Trio by Chef Tory McPhail
    • Sara, Stephanie, Justin, Carrie
      • WINNER: Justin (Strawberry Trio)
      • ELIMINATED: Bret (Veal Chop Tchoupitoulas)
1604"Captain Vietnam"October 23, 2013 (2013-10-23)

Quickfire Challenge: There was no Quickfire, instead the chefs were greeted by Emeril and Eddie Huang. They were then taken on a tour focusing on the Vietnamese influence on New Orleans cuisine. Stops included Dong Phuong Bakery & Restaurant, D. Ditcharo dock and Kim Anh's Noodle House.

Elimination Challenge: The chefs were separated into three teams, by Emeril, to create a menu inspired by the Vietnamese influence on the shrimping industry in New Orleans. At least one dish on the menu had to feature shrimp. Chefs were then taken to Hong Kong Market where they were given $200 per team and 30 minutes to shop. Then they had 2 hours to cook at Tan Dinh Bistro. Emeril & Eddie did the walkthrough to check on the chefs. At dinner: Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Eddie Huang. Judges: Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Padma Lakshmi, Eddie Huang.

  • Green Team: Bene, Janine, Sara, Stephanie, Travis
    • Bene & Janine - Fresh Gulf Shrimp Ginger Vietnamese Tomato Sauce
    • Travis - Grilled Pork Sausage Lettuce Wraps with Pineapple Shrimp Paste
    • Sara & Stephanie - Oxtail Rice Wrap with Pork & Shrimp Rice Wrap
    • Stephanie - Coconut Macaroon with Vietnamese Coffee Flavors
  • Orange Team: Brian, Carlos, Louis, Michael, Nicholas
    • Nicholas - Black Pepper Squid with Cabbage & Peanuts
    • Carlos - Fish Head Soup with Pineapple, Tomato & Tamarind
    • Brian - Gulf Shrimp & Pork Belly Spring Roll
    • Louis - Beef Broth Pho with Raw Eye Round & Oxtail
  • Red Team: Carrie, Justin, Nina, Patty, Shirley
    • Shirley - Vietnamese BBQ Shrimp with Creole Spice Butter
    • Justin - Beef Pho with Rice Noodles & Lettuce
    • Nina & Carrie - Raw Beef Salad with Pickled Vegetables
    • Carrie - Lemon Custard with Caramelized Banh Mi
      • WINNER: Shirley (Vietnamese BBQ Shrimp with Creole Spice Butter)
      • ELIMINATED: Janine (Fresh Gulf Shrimp with Ginger Vietnamese Tomato Sauce)
1615"Lea Michele's Halloween Bash"October 30, 2013 (2013-10-30)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs enter the Top Chef Kitchen to find a throwback to the Top Chef: Seattle Reynolds Wrap challenge, all ingredients and cooking utensils are completely wrapped in aluminum foil. Padma & Gail await them, to be soon joined by their mothers, Vijaya Lakshmi and Renée Simmons. The contestants are split into two teams by Padma. Vijaya and Renee then have 5 minutes to shop for the chefs' ingredients and equipment. The chefs then had 30 minutes to create three dishes, as a team, incorporating every ingredient. The winning team split $10,000. Judges: Padma, Vijaya, Gail and Renee.

  • Team Lakshmi: Bene, Brian, Carlos, Nicholas, Nina, Patty, Travis
    • Carlos & Travis - Clams Poached in Fish Sauce with Coconut Cream
    • Nicholas & Patty - Snapper & Branzino Papillote with Mustard Vinaigrette
    • Bene, Brian & Nina - Soup with Beans, Carrots, Chilies & Okra with Cherry Chutney
  • Team Simmons: Carrie, Justin, Louis, Michael, Sara, Shirley, Stephanie
    • Sara & Stephanie - Lamb & Fonduta with Sharp Cheddar & Roasted Mushrooms
    • Justin & Michael - Red Snapper Papillote with Rice Pilaf
    • Carrie, Louis & Shirley - Compressed Burrata with Pickled Apples & Balsamic Sabayon
      • WINNER: Team Lakshmi

Elimination Challenge: Padma is joined by Lea Michele and they inform the chefs they will be catering a spooky Halloween costume party the next night. The chefs separated into pairs with the chef to the right of them. Each team is responsible for creating two dishes. All the chefs are given 5 minutes to speak with Lea where they find out she eats mostly Vegan but likes to indulge with cheese if she is going to do so. She also likes pasta and spice but does not particularly care for sweets. After shopping the chefs have 2 hours to prep in the Top Chef Kitchen. The next day they head to Mardi Gras World to finish their dishes before service. The judges divided into pairs for the tasting: Tom & Lea, Padma & Hugh. Judges: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Lea Michele & Hugh Acheson.

  • Carrie & Stephanie - Doomed Shrooms: Mushrooms with Black Garlic & Radicchio; Freaky Leeky: Ash Coated Vegetables with Fontina Fonduta
  • Nicholas - Fall Theme: Butternut Squash Cannoli with Ricotta Salata; Patty- Fall Theme: Lemon Arancini with Smoked Mozzarella
  • Brian - Spooky Spa: Crispy Quinoa Salad & Mushrooms Espuma; Bene - Spooky Spa: Heirloom Tomato Salad with Wilted Kale
  • Nina - Candy Corn: Ricotta Gnocchetti with Kale Pesto; Michael - Bloody Eye: Yellow Arancini with Saffron & Tomato Jam
  • Travis - Dia De Los Muertos: Vegetable Ceviche; Carlos - Dia De Los Muertos: Goat Cheese Fondue with Fried Zucchini
  • Louis - Severed Thumb: Braised Quinoa & Onions with Potato Puree; Shirley - Worm Salad: Hand Cut Noodles & Fresh Daikon Radish
  • Justin - Blood Pasta: Beet Pasta with Green Tomatoes; Sara - Evil Eye: Arancini with Moroccan Tomato Chutney
    • WINNERS: Carlos and Travis (Dia de los Muertos: Goat Cheese Fondue with Fried Zucchini; Vegetable Ceviche)
    • ELIMINATED: Michael (Bloody Eye: Yellow Arancini with Saffron & Tomato Jam)
1626"Campfires, Cream Cheese and Countryside"November 6, 2013 (2013-11-06)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs are surprised at the house by Padma and John Besh. Padma instructs the chefs to pack an overnight bag and then directs them to a vehicle where they proceed to Covey Rise Farms. Once there they are instructed that they have 20 minutes to create a dish highlighting the Creole tomato. Their pantry equipment has been transported by John & Padma. The winner will have immunity.

  • Bene - Chilled Tomato Watermelon Soup
  • Carlos - Olive Oil Poached Tomato with Red Onions, Cilantro & Basil
  • Stephanie - Creole Tomato Steaks with Vinaigrette & Olive Oil
  • Nina - Chilled Watermelon Tomato Soup with Jalapeno, Fresh Basil & Shaved Zucchini
  • Nicholas - Caramelized Melon, Cherry Vinegar, Tomatoes with Watermelon Cucumber
  • Justin - Tomato Skin Tartare with Squash Blossoms & Olive Oil
  • Travis - Seared Creole Tomato with Steak, Feta & Wilted Arugula
  • Louis - Tomato Seed Bouillion, Marinated Tomato, Watermelon Cucumber & Zucchini
  • Brian - "Toad in the Hole" Creole Tomato with Andouille Sausage
  • Patty - Roasted Tomatoes Marinated in Olive Oil & Cherry Vinegar with Arugula & Asparagus
    • Bottom Three - Patty, Stephanie, Travis
    • Top Three - Nina, Carlos, Louis
      • WINNER: Nina (Chilled Watermelon Tomato Soup with Jalapeño, Fresh Basil & Shaved Zucchini)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs got to spend the night at the farm before returning. The next day they would have 90 minutes to cook at John's restaurant La Provence where they would be serving the executive chefs from his 8 New Orleans restaurants. Their task was to make a family-style dish using farm-fresh ingredients and featuring Philadelphia cream cheese. The only dairy they would have available is fresh milk, cream and cream cheese. The contestants draw knives to determine their portion of the meal: appetizer, entrée, or dessert with the Quickfire winner being allowed to choose their course. The winner of the challenge received $10,000. John does the walkthrough check on the chefs during cooking. At dinner: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Padma Lakshmi, John Besh, Michael Gulotta (Executive Chef, August), Kelly Fields (Executive Pastry Chef, August & Borgne), Matt Regan (Executive Chef, Luke), Alon Shaya (Executive Chef, Domenica), Octavio Mantilla (Partner, Besh Restaurant Group), Jeff Mattia (Executive Chef, American Sector), Brian Landry (Executive Chef, Borgne), Lisa White (Pastry Chef, Domenica), Drake Leonard (Sous Chef, La Provence. Judges: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, John Besh.

  • Appetizers
    • Patty - Snapper Crudo with Cream Cheese Vinaigrette
    • Brian - Summer Squash & Zucchini Tagliatelle with Poached Oysters & Emulsified Cream Cheese
    • Carlos - Poached Beets & Pickled Carrots with Peach, Habanero & Cream Cheese Sauce
    • Nina - Crispy Zucchini Blossoms with Eggplant & Cream Cheese Puree
    • Sara - Island Spiced Lamb Chop Stuffed with Cream Cheese & Curry Powder
  • Entrees
    • Bene - Roasted Chicken Breast Filled with Caramelized Onions & Tarragon Cream Cheese
    • Carrie - Vinegar-Braised Chicken in Cream Cheese Sauce with Chilled Cucumber
    • Justin - Roasted Duck Breast with Eggplant Vinaigrette, Chanterelle Mushroom & Corn Puree
    • Travis - Seared Lamb Chops with Moroccan Succotash & Cream Cheese Aioli
  • Dessert
    • Louis - Graham Cracker with Blackberries & Cream Cheese Mousse
    • Nicholas - Funnel Cake & Carrot Cake with Peach Flavored Cream Cheese
    • Shirley - "Philadelphia" Steamed Egg Custard with Macerated Blueberries
    • Stephanie - Cream Cheese, Peach & Cherry Mousse with Cream Cheese Short Dough
  • WINNER: Nina (Crispy Zucchini Blossoms with Eggplant & Cream Cheese Purée)
  • ELIMINATED: Bene (Roasted Chicken Breast Filled with Caramelized Onion & Tarragon Cream Cheese)
1637"Jazz Hands"November 13, 2013 (2013-11-13)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs were greeted by Padma and Kermit Ruffins as they entered the Top Chef Kitchen. Their challenge was improvisation, in a version of musical chairs. Each station contained some of Kermit's favorite ingredients and cooking tools. Every time Kermit played the chefs rotated stations, when they stopped they had to continue and then eventually complete the dishes that they found. The chefs had 30 minutes total time for the challenge. The winner gets immunity. Nicholas was sick and did not participate.

  • Justin (finishing on a station worked by Shirley, Patty, Shirley) - Marinated Tofu Salad with Crispy Bacon & Cucumber
  • Travis (Carlos, Carrie, Carlos) - Asian inspired Steak & Potatoes with Soy Reduction
  • Sara (Carrie, Justin, Carrie) - Trout with Cabbage & Pepper Slaw & Deep Fried Cannellini Beans
  • Brian (Sara, Nina, Sara) - Duck & Mussels with Flavors of Asia
  • Patty (Louis, Stephanie, Louis) - Pork Chops, Tamarind Sauce, Shaved Red Onions, Mint & Jalapeno
  • Nina (Travis, Sara, Travis) - Liver with Serrano Chilies, Celery Salad & Coconut Curry Mustard Sauce
  • Stephanie (Brian, Carlos, Brian) - Braised Chicken & Clams with Red Bean Sauce, Green Apple & Red Onion Slaw
  • Carlos (Nina, Travis, Nina) - Pan Seared Redfish with Cucumber Slaw, Red Beans & Butter Sauce
  • Shirley (Patty, Louis, Patty) - Shrimp Boil & Herb Salad with Parsley, Ponzu & Olive Oil
  • Louis (Stephanie, Brian, Stephanie) - Rosemary Okra, Rendered Pork, Confit Potatoes with Frog Legs & Queso Fresco
  • Nicholas did not cook due to illness and Carrie's completed dish was not shown
    • Bottom - Louis, Justin
    • Top - Carlos, Brian, Patty
      • WINNER: Brian (Duck & Mussels with Flavors of Asia)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs are challenged, to work with a team of their own choosing. Their task to create a cohesive potluck style menu to be served at Kermit's restaurant, Kermit's Treme Speakeasy, for a group of musicians. The next day the chefs would have 2 hours to cook in the Top Chef Kitchen and then 30 minutes to finish their dishes at the restaurant. Kermit invited the chefs to see him perform that evening at Vaughan's Lounge and try his red beans and rice. At dinner: Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Kermit Ruffins, Ben Ellman (Saxophonist, Galactic), Mark Samuels (Owner, Basin Street Records), Davis Rogan (Musician), Sue Zemanick (Executive Chef, Gautreau's), Gail Simmons, Jason Marsalis (Jazz Drummer), Aaron Wilkinson (Honey Island Swamp Band), Charmaine Neville (Lead Singer, Charmaine Neville Band). Judges: Gail Simmons, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Sue Zemanick.

  • Blue Team: Justin, Louis, Sara, Shirley
    • Justin - Hominy Grits with Brown Shrimp, Roasted Okra, Fava Beans & Smoked Bacon
    • Louis - Grilled & Pickled Vegetables with Crispy Sunflower Seeds & Mustard Vinaigrette
    • Shirley & Sara - Glazed Beefs with Charred Onions, Melon Pickles & Pickled Ginger Vinaigrette
  • Gray Team: Brian, Nicholas, Patty, Travis
    • Brian & Travis - Togarashi Fried Chicken with Bee Pollen & Ponzu
    • Patty - Tomato Watermelon Salad, Szechuan Pepper & Goat Cheese Espuma
    • Nicholas - Barramundi & Red Drum Fricassee with Zucchini, Truffle & Yuzu Kosho
    • Travis & Brian - Caramel Glazed BBQ Ribs, Dehydrated Potatoes & Peanut Gremolata
  • Green Team: Carlos, Carrie, Nina, Stephanie
    • Stephanie - Fried Baby Artichoke, Preserved Lemon & Anchovy Aioli
    • Nina - Semolina Gnocchetti with Sausage
    • Carrie & Carlos - Summer Tiramisu with Nectarines, Pistachios & Cheese
  • Winning Team: Green
    • WINNER: Stephanie (Fried Baby Artichoke, Preserved Lemon & Anchovy Aioli)
  • Bottom Team: Gray
    • ELIMINATED: Patty (Tomato Watermelon Salad, Szechuan Pepper & Goat Cheese Espuma)
1648"Piggin' Out"November 20, 2013 (2013-11-20)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs arrive at the Top Chef Kitchen to find Padma waiting with Dr. John. Padma informs them that they will not be making a dish instead they will have 45 minutes to prepare their own hot sauce.

  • Brian - Jalapeno & Serrano Hot Sauce with Lime & Yuzu Juices
  • Shirley - Hot Sauce with Habaneros, Serrano Chilies, Ginger & Pineapple
  • Carrie - Trinidadian Inspired Pepper Sauce with Habaneros & Green Mango
  • Nicholas - Sweet & Sour Hot Sauce with Smoked Apricots, Vinegar & Coffee
  • Louis - Fresno Chili, Distilled Vinegar, Maple Syrup & Chili Powder
  • Stephanie - Peach Vinegar & Habanero Hot Sauce
  • Carlos - Yucatan Style Sauce with Mango, Passion Fruit & Habanero
  • Nina - Caribbean Hot Sauce with Habaneros, Ginger & Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Justin - Pepper Hot Sauce with Fermented Anchovies
  • Hot Sauces from Sara and Travis were not shown
    • Bottom three - Nicholas, Carrie, Nina
    • Top three - Brian, Justin, Carlos
      • WINNER: Brian (Jalapeño & Serrano Hot Sauce with Lime & Yuzu Juices)

Elimination Challenge: A whole pig is rolled into the kitchen by Toby Rodriguez and Donald Link. Padma explains that the chefs will be preparing a dish in the spirit of a Cajun boucherie, or communal slaughtering. The chefs have to work together to butcher the pig before going to shop. That evening Chef Rodriguez treats them to dinner. The next day they have 5 hours to cook in an outdoor kitchen at Bayou Barn for over 250 guests. Between them the chefs the must use all of the parts of the pig. Judges tasted in pairs: Padma & Donald, Tom & Hugh. Judges: Hugh Acheson, Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Donald Link.

  • Brian - Porchetta with Oyster Mushrooms
  • Sara - Pork Dim Sum with Crab & Shrimp Har Gow
  • Justin - Wood-Roasted Pork Breast Taco with Pork Liver Salsa Verde
  • Carlos - Pozole Verde with Fried Chorizo Tacos
  • Shirley - Jiaozi Dumpling with Pork, Grilled Kidney & Crispy Pork Fat Salad
  • Louis - Slow-Grilled Pork Leg with Spring Onions, Shitake Mushrooms, Melted Corn & Popcorn
  • Stephanie - Pork Brodo with Braised Pork Belly & Summer Vegetable Pickle
  • Travis - Cajun-Style Pork Ramen with Pork Bone Broth & Collard Green
  • Carrie - Crispy Trotters with Snap Peas & Pickled Onions
  • Nicholas - Tete De Cochon with Summer Beans, Lemongrass Vinaigrette & Wheat Berries
  • Nina - Braised Pig's Head Ragu, Roasted Corn & Mustard Greens
    • WINNER: Carlos (Pozole Verde with Fried Chorizo Tacos)
    • ELIMINATED: Louis (Slow-Grilled Pork Leg with Spring Onions, Shiitake Mushrooms, Melted Corn & Popcorn)
1659"Restaurant Wars"December 4, 2013 (2013-12-04)

Elimination Challenge: Upon arrival at the Top Chef Kitchen Padma is waiting alone for the chefs. She explains there will be no Quickfire Challenge as it is time for Restaurant Wars. She then introduces their guest judge David Chang (Chef/Owner, Má Pêche). The chefs draw knives to determine which team they are on. They are then given 24 hours to create a pop-up restaurant. They have to choose someone to run front of house and an executive chef. It is their responsibility to set up both the dining area and the kitchen area and executed a multi-course dinner service for guest including some VIP Chase Sapphire Cardmembers. The VIP guests are the only ones dining at both restaurants besides the judges and they will be joined by Danny Meyer. One member from the losing team was eligible for elimination. At dinner: Tory McPhail (Executive Chef, Commander's Palace), Danny Meyer (CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group), Judges: Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, David Chang.

  • Fin: Brian, Carrie, Nicholas, Stephanie, Travis
    • First Course: Brian - Scallop Crudo, Corn & Squash Relish with Purple Corn Gel
    • Second Course: Carrie - Sautéed Gulf Shrimp, Chickpea Purée, Oregano & Lemon; Stephanie - Linguini with Caviar, Oyster Cream & Fennel;
    • Third Course: Nicholas - Roasted Black Drum, King Trumpet Mushrooms, Oxtail, Kale & Hibiscus Reduction
    • Fourth Course: Travis - Olive Oil Cake with Greek Yogurt, Cherries & Pistachios
  • Found: Carlos, Justin, Nina, Sara, Shirley
    • First Course: Carlos - Red Snapper Crudo, Avocado Mousse, Pickled Baby Carrots & Fried Platano; Justin - Roasted Parsnip Agnolotti, Mississippi Rabbit & Collard Greens Broth
    • Second Course: Shirley - Olive Oil Poached Cobia, Blanched Ong Choy & Salsa Verde;
    • Third Course: Nina - Pork Tenderloin with Sunchokes & Trumpet Royale Mushrooms
    • Fourth Course: Sara - Summer Nectarine Brown Butter Cake with Moscato Nectarine Salsa
  • Winning Team: Fin
    • WINNER: Nicholas (Roasted Black Drum, King Trumpet Mushrooms, Oxtail, Kale & Hibiscus Reduction)
    • ELIMINATED: Sara (Summer Nectarine Brown Butter Cake with Moscato Nectarine Salsa)
16610"Like Mama Made"December 11, 2013 (2013-12-11)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs created dishes featuring Dunkin' Donuts coffee. The winner received $10,000.

  • Travis - Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, Coffee Ponzu & Coffee Roasted Eringi Mushrooms
  • Carrie - Coffee Custard with Candied Coffee Beans & Cocoa Nibs
  • Brian - Coffee Risotto with Andouille Sausage & Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carlos - Coffee & Macadamia Sponge Cake with Mascarpone Coffee Sauce
  • Nicholas - Roasted Sockeye Salmon with Hazelnut Coffee Caramel & Hon-Shimeji Mushrooms
  • Shirley - Coffee Crusted Tenderloin with Garlic Purée & Coffee Brown Butter Sauce
  • Stephanie - Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese Coffee Crepe with Ham & Bacon Coffee Jam
  • Dishes from Nina and Justin were not shown.
    • Bottom Two - Brian, Nicholas
    • Top Three - Shirley, Carrie, Stephanie
      • WINNER: Shirley (Coffee Crusted Tenderloin with Garlic Purée & Coffee Brown Butter Sauce)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs created dishes that reminded them of home.

  • Carlos - Cochinita Pibil with Black Beans, Orange Pico de Gallo, & Corn Tortilla
  • Brian - Korean BBQ New York Strip with Potato Salad
  • Travis - Biscuits with Maple Sage Sausage Gravy & Sour Plum Jam
  • Nicholas - Ricotta Gnudi with Pancetta, Peas, Lemon & Parmesan
  • Shirley - Beijing Noodles, Fermented Bean & Pork Sauce with Pickled Radish
  • Stephanie - Mussels with Spicy Pickled Peppers & Tomatoes
  • Justin - Louisiana Rice with Chicken Thigh Gravy, Pickled Mirliton & Jalapeno
  • Carrie - Creamed Asparagus over Toast & Poached Egg
  • Nina - Curried Chicken with Fried Bakes
    • WINNER: Nicholas (Ricotta Gnudi with Pancetta, Peas, Lemon & Parmesan)
    • ELIMINATED: Travis (Biscuits with Maple Sage Sausage Gravy & Sour Plum Jam)
16711"Giving It the College Try"December 18, 2013 (2013-12-18)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs created dishes using drumsticks. The winner received immunity.

  • Carrie - Squab Legs Marinated in Thyme, Juniper & Cocoa Powder with Fig Mostarda
  • Brian - Chicken Soup, Chicken Skin Crackling with Parsley & Thai Basil
  • Shirley - Crispy Duck Leg with Szechuan Chili Salt & Mint
  • Nina - Jerked Guinea Hen Charred with Juniper Berries & Scotch Bonnet Peppers
  • Stephanie - Fried & Grilled Turkey Leg with Sriracha & Sour Cream Buttermilk Dressing
  • Nicholas - Twice Fried Quail Eggs with Sesame Sauce Rolled in Gomaiso
  • Justin - Chicken Drumettes with Smoked Aioli, Herb Salad & Sorghum Vinaigrette
  • Carlos - Fried Goose Leg with Cranberries & Apple Salad
    • Bottom Three - Nicholas, Justin, Carlos
    • Top Three - Carrie, Nina, Brian
      • WINNER: Carrie (Squab Legs Marinated in Thyme, Juniper & Cocoa Powder with Fig Mostarda)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs served lunch to 500 freshman students at Louisiana State University. The winner received a brand new Toyota RAV4.

  • Shirley - Roast Beef with Potato Purée & Fire Roasted Tomato Relish
  • Nina - Fried Chicken with Sweet Corn Purée & Pickled Onions
  • Brian - Shrimp Cake & Spinach with Chipotle Aioli
  • Nicholas - Roasted Pork, Parmesan Grits & Bacon Brown Sugar Gravy
  • Carrie - Broccoli Salad with Herbed Yogurt Sauce & Pita Bread
  • Justin - Marinated Gulf Shrimp, Cauliflower, Asparagus & Garlic Purée
  • Stephanie - Spicy Tomato Soup with Pimento Cheese Sandwich
  • Carlos - Seared Tilapia with Chile Ancho & Mexican Coleslaw
    • WINNER: Shirley (Roast Beef with Potato Purée & Fire Roasted Tomato Relish)
    • ELIMINATED: Justin (Marinated Gulf Shrimp, Cauliflower, Asparagus & Garlic Purée)
16812"Mississippi Mud Bugs"January 1, 2014 (2014-01-01)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs prepared their own version of a crawfish étouffée. The winner received immunity.

  • Nina - Italian Style Étouffée with Pici Pasta & Tomato Crawfish Broth
  • Carrie - Spanish Style Étouffée with Crawfish Broth, Chickpeas & Almonds
  • Nicholas - Crawfish with Shrimp Mousse Stuffed in Napa Cabbage with Brandy & Corn
  • Shirley - Singapore Chili Crab Étouffée with Crawfish Stock, Cucumber & Egg
  • Brian - Étouffée with Gochujang, Corn, Peppers, Crabmeat, Crawfish, Andouille, & Pasta
  • Carlos - Soup with Crawfish, Guajillos, Garlic, Corn, Potatoes, & Crispy Chorizo
  • Stephanie - Crawfish Bisque with Parisian Gnocchi & Poached Crawfish
    • Bottom Four - Carrie, Nicholas, Stephanie, Carlos
    • Top Three - Brian, Nina, Shirley
      • WINNER: Shirley (Singapore Chili Crab Étouffée with Crawfish Stock, Cucumber & Egg)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs had to create a dish highlighting two different types of seafood.

  • Brian - Grilled Swordfish, Shrimp & Sweet Onion Purée with Fennel Daikon Relish
  • Nicholas - Oyster Leek Soup, Champagne Emulsion, Green Apple Yogurt & Cured Amberjack
  • Carrie - Flounder Croquettes with Oyster Emulsion & Pickled Cucumbers
  • Shirley - Tuna & Amberjack Ceviche with Aged Soy Sauce, Lime Dressing & Toasted Pecans
  • Nina - Marinated Wahoo with Salsa Verde, Tonnato Sauce & Pickled Vegetables
  • Carlos - Amberjack Ceviche with Rustic Peach & Shrimp Relish
  • Stephanie - Fried Louisiana Oysters with Tuna & Pickled Beech Mushrooms
    • WINNER: Stephanie (Fried Louisiana Oysters with Tuna & Pickled Beech Mushrooms)
    • ELIMINATED: Carrie (Flounder Croquettes with Oyster Emulsion & Pickled Cucumbers)
16913"Oui Si a Challenge"January 8, 2014 (2014-01-08)

Quickfire Challenge: Padma and renowned chef Jacques Pépin are awaiting the chefs when they enter the Top Chef Kitchen. After a demonstration, the chefs are given 35 minutes to replicated chef Pepin's dish of Dover Sole with Artichokes and Asparagus.

  • Bottom three - Brain, Stephanie, Carlos
  • Top - Shirley, Nicholas
    • WINNER: Nicholas (Poached Dover Sole with Mushroom Duxelle Stuffed Artichoke & Sautéed Asparagus)

Elimination Challenge: Dominique Crenn and Julian Serrano join Padma and Jacques Pepin. The chefs are divided into two teams, by knife draw, to prepare a five-course tasting menu influenced by French or Spanish cuisine, respectively. Both menus had to highlight olives, almonds, mussels, chicken, and chocolate. The French team was advised by Dominique Crenn and the Spanish team by Julian Serrano. Chefs had their mentors for the rest of the day both for shopping and in the kitchen, but would be on their own to cook the next day at Restaurant R'Evolution. At dinner are Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, John Pulse (executive chef, Restaurant R'evolution), Dominique Crenn, Jacques Pepin, Julian Serrano, Rick Tramonto (Executive chef, Restaurant R'evolution), Emeril Lagasse. Judges - Emeril Lagasse, Jacques Pepin, Tom Colicchio & Padma Lakshmi.

  • French Team: Nicholas, Shirley, Stephanie
    • First Course - Shirley - Snapper Ceviche with Dehydrated Olives & Ice Cream
    • Second Course - Stephanie - Pickled & Poached Mussels, Crustacean Jus & Tomate
    • Third Course - Shirley & Stephanie - Chicken Liver Mousse with Roasted Chicken Bouillon
    • Fourth Course - Nicholas - Cornish Game Hen & Spiced Chocolate with Corn Silk Nest
    • Fifth Course - Nicholas - Almond Flan, Plum & Dark Cocoa
  • Spanish Team: Brian, Carlos, Nina
    • First Course - Nina - Ensaladilla Rusa with Green Olives, Gulf Shrimp & Potatoes
    • Second Course - Nina - Ajo Blanco with Almonds, Crab & Cherries
    • Third Course - Carlos - Mejillones a la Romesco with Crispy Leeks
    • Fourth Course - Brain & Carlos - Pollo Con Arroz: Chicken & Saffron Rice
    • Fifth Course - Brian - Flan de chocolate & Strawberries

  • WINNER: Nina (Ensaladilla Rusa with Green Olives, Gulf Shrimp & Potatoes; Ajo Blanco with Almonds, Crabs & Cherries)
  • ELIMINATED: Stephanie (Pickled & Poached Mussels, Crustacean Jus & Tomate; Chicken Liver Mousse with Roasted Chicken Consomme)
    • There was some controversy about the elimination because it was the dishes prepared by Nicholas that landed the French team in the bottom. Chef Pepin even asked Nicholas if he should give up his immunity and resign instead of letting one of his teammates be eliminated because of his mistakes. He chose to hold on to his immunity.
17014"Po' Boy Smackdown"January 15, 2014 (2014-01-15)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs arrive at the kitchen to find Padma awaiting them with food truck guru Roy Choi. The chefs are given 30 minutes to make a unique and personalized gourmet po'boy that represents them on the plate. Chef Choi was very displeased with the chefs' performance overall saying they were thinking too much as chefs and there was not enough soul in their food. The winner received immunity.

  • Nicholas - Fried Shrimp Po' Boy with Mayo, Sriracha, Fennel & Pancetta
  • Shirley - Sauteed Catfish Po' Boy with Mirin, Ginger, Garlic Glaze & Cabbage Slaw
  • Nina - Fried Mahi Po' Boy with Mojo Aioli & Pickled Onions
  • Brian - Asian Inspired Lobster Po' Boy, Gochujang, Aioli & Yuzu with Pickled Napa Cabbage
  • Carlos -Al pastor Po' Boy with Guajillo Chilies, Pineapple, Onions & Roasted Garlic
    • WINNER: Shirley (Sauteed Catfish Po'Boy with Mirin, Ginger, Garlic Glaze & Cabbage Slaw)

Elimination Challenge: Padma & Roy are joined by Jon Favreau. The chefs are asked to make dishes that represented a turning point in their career when they found their own culinary voice. Chefs will have 2 1/2 hours to cooks the next day at Café Reconcile, a local charity teaching culinary skills to at-risk youths. That evening though they join Padma, Gail Simmons, Emeril Lagasse and Favreau to visit some of the local food trucks in New Orleans. Favreau joins Tom Collichio during his normal walkthrough to check on the chefs during their cooking time. Judges: Emeril Lagasse, Tom Collichio, Gail Simmons, Padma Lakshmi, Jon Favreau.

  • Shirley - Seared Snapper with Crustacean Broth, Silken Tofu & Napa Cabbage
  • Nicholas - Yellowfin Tuna, Several Preparations of Carrot & Fennel Pollen Dust
  • Nina - Fettucine with Charred Calamari, Pine Nut Gremolata & Crab Meat
  • Carlos - Braised Pork Belly with Sweet Potato Puree & Chipotle Tamarind Glaze
  • Brian - Chicken Anticucho with Twice Cooked Potatoes & Feta Walnut Pesto
    • WINNER: Shirley (Seared Snapper with Crustacean Broth, Silken Tofu & Napa Cabbage)
    • ELIMINATED: Brian (Chicken Anticucho with Twice Cooked Potatoes & Feta Walnut Pesto)
17115"Leaving New Orleans"January 22, 2014 (2014-01-22)

Quickfire Challenge: The challenge occurred in two stages. In the first, the chefs made a one-bite dish that featured a combination of sweet, savory, sour, and spicy flavors. The chefs with the two best dishes advanced to the second stage, where they created a dish highlighting either bell pepper or eggplant. Instead of immunity, the winner received a brand new Toyota Corolla.

  • Round One
    • Carlos- Grilled Mango with Shrimp & Chili Glaze
    • Nicholas- Beef Deckle with Aged Balsamic & Purple Potato Chips
    • Shirley- Tataki Style Flank Steak with Black Pepper Cherry & Crispy Onions
    • Nina- Shrimp Escabèche with Potato Aioli & Pickled Shallots
  • Round Two
    • Carlos- Fried Red Bell Pepper Soup with Fennel, Basil & Onion
    • Nicolas- Roasted Eggplant with Sesame Seed Sriracha Tahini & Chili Threads
      • WINNER: Carlos (Grilled Mango with Shrimp & Chili Glaze; Fried Red Bell Pepper Soup with Fennel, Basil & Onion)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs created dishes inspired by their time in New Orleans.

  • Nina- Speckled Trout with Baby Vegetables & Barbecue Sauce
  • Nicholas- Charred Cobia, Roasted Bass & Tuna Confit with Crispy Rice & Shrimp Consommé
  • Carlos- Steamed Seafood Tamal with Saffron Cream Sauce & Pickled Okra
  • Shirley- Black Drum with Zhenjiang Vinegar Butter Sauce, Braised Celery & Mushrooms
    • WINNER: Shirley (Black Drum with Zhenjiang Vinegar Butter Sauce, Braised Celery & Mushrooms)
    • ELIMINATED: Carlos (Steamed Seafood Tamal with Saffron Cream Sauce & Pickled Okra)
17216"Maui Wowie"January 29, 2014 (2014-01-29)

Quickfire Challenge: The chefs made dishes using Spam. Instead of immunity, the winner received $10,000.

  • Shirley- Deconstructed Spam Musubi with Spam-Infused Rice, Nori & Cucumber Slaw
  • Louis- Spam Mousse with Garlic, Chives, Scallions, Snap Peas, Beech Mushrooms & Togarashi
  • Nicholas Spam Broth with Pancetta, Seaweed, Dried Shrimp, Clam Juice & Quail Egg
  • Nina- Breadfruit & Teriyaki Spam Croquette with Sour Orange & Mango Slaw
    • WINNER: Nicholas (Spam Broth with Pancetta, Seaweed, Dried Shrimp, Clam Juice & Quail Egg)

Elimination Challenge: The chefs made dishes featuring canoe plants. Two chefs were eliminated.

  • Louis- Grilled Opah with Sweet Potato & Coconut Sauce
  • Nina- Grilled Opah with Taro Root & Coconut Purée
  • Nicholas- Opakapaka with Jalapeño & Crispy Chicken Skin
  • Shirley- Honey-Glazed Pork with Sweet Potato & Turmeric Purée
    • WINNER: Nicholas (Opakapaka with Jalapeño & Crispy Chicken Skin)
    • ELIMINATED: Louis (Grilled Opah with Sweet Potato & Coconut Sauce) and Shirley (Honey-Glazed Pork with Sweet Potato & Turmeric Purée)
17317"Finale"February 5, 2014 (2014-02-05)

Elimination Challenge: The finalists, with the assistance of three sous chefs of their choosing (Jason, Louis, and Brian for Nicholas, and Shirley, Stephanie, and Travis for Nina)had to cook the best four-course meal of their lives.

  • Nina:
    • Amuse-bouche: Breadfruit with Whipped Foie Gras Butter
    • First Course: Tuna & Escolar Tartar with Tomato Water & Jalapeño
    • Second Course: Roasted Goat Sugo with Orecchiette, Cherry Tomato Confit & Goat Cheese
    • Third Course: Swordfish with Squash Purée, Braised Kale & Smoked Onion Jus
    • Intermezzo: Compressed Dragon Fruit & Frozen Papaya Skewer
    • Dessert: Chocolate Zeppole with Macadamia Nuts & Passion Fruit Anglaise
  • Nicholas:
    • First Course: Hamachi & Tuna with Green Apple Wasabi, Celery & Maui-Meyer Lemon
    • Second Course: Sweet Shrimp Bisque, Scallop & Daikon Noodles with Thai Basil
    • Third Course: Kombu Cured Duck Breast with Kabocha Squash, Hijiki & Ginger
    • Dessert: Caramelized White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Almond Cocoa Crumble & Tropical Fruit
      • WINNER: Nicholas
      • RUNNER-UP: Nina

Last Chance Kitchen

Main article: Top Chef § Last Chance Kitchen


No. Title Original air date
1"Ramon vs. Jason vs. Aaron vs. Bret vs. Janine"October 23, 2013 (2013-10-23)

Challenge: The chefs were allowed to cook any dish.

  • Aaron: Balsamic Marinated Rabbit Leg with Corn Fricasee & Creole Tomatoes
  • Bret: Seared Bass with Ratatouille & Mascarpone Polenta
  • Janine: Fried Oysters with Southern Vegetables & Creole Mustard Aioli
  • Jason: Suzuki Crudo with Corn, White Chocolate & Yuzu Nectarine
  • Ramon: Grilled Lemongrass Prawns with Kale, Nori & Peach Salad
    • WINNER: Janine
2"Janine vs. Michael"October 30, 2013 (2013-10-30)

Challenge: The chefs were challenged to make risotto.

  • Janine: Mushroom Risotto with Mascarpone & Rosemary
  • Michael: Pine Nut & Thyme Risotto with Parmesan Crisp
    • WINNER: Janine
3"Janine vs. Bene"November 6, 2013 (2013-11-06)

Challenge: The chefs made dishes using frozen and canned vegetables.

  • Bene: Duo of Swordfish with Sweet Pea Asparagus Purée, Pine Nuts & Raisins
  • Janine: Seared Scallop with Pancetta, Minted Pea & Corn Purées
    • WINNER: Janine
4"Janine vs. Patty"November 13, 2013 (2013-11-13)

Challenge: The chefs created dishes highlighting onions. They were required to chop up a tub of onions before they could start on the challenge itself. In addition, they could not do any additional prep work once they started cooking.

  • Janine: Pork Loin with Apple Rolls, Goat Cheese, Bacon & Caramelized Onion
  • Patty: Grilled Pork Loin with Confit Potatoes, Andouille Sausage & Onions
    • WINNER: Janine
5"Janine vs. Louis"November 20, 2013 (2013-11-20)

Challenge: The chefs were given $25 to spend at a farmers' market. They were allowed to keep only three of their purchased ingredients, and given only 20 minutes to prepare a dish.

  • Janine: Catfish with Potato, Asparagus & Saffron Sauce
  • Louis: Olive Oil Poached Prawns with Tomato & Fennel Bisque
    • WINNER: Louis
6"Louis vs. Sara"December 4, 2013 (2013-12-04)

Challenge: The chefs made savory dishes featuring mascarpone. They were blindfolded for 10 minutes in the middle of the challenge and had to instruct a sous-chef (Jason for Louis, Janine for Sara) on how to continue preparing their dishes.

  • Louis: Mascarpone Poached Snapper with Beech Mushrooms, Snap Peas & Potato
  • Sara: Mascarpone Polenta with Agrodolce Mushrooms & Swiss Chard
    • WINNER: Louis
7"Louis vs. Travis"December 11, 2013 (2013-12-11)

Challenge: The chefs made dishes highlighting Asian ingredients, including three out of the following: tripe, sea cucumber, Humboldt squid, chicken feet, duck feet, pork tongue, dried shrimp, and Chinese sausage. They were given 45 minutes for the challenge.

  • Louis: Braised Tripe, Dried Shrimp & Chinese Sausage with Bamboo Shoots & Bok Choy
  • Travis: Bitter Melon Soup with Squid Cakes
    • WINNER: Louis
8"Louis vs. Justin"December 18, 2013 (2013-12-18)

Challenge: The chefs made dishes highlighting ingredients from their opponent's home region; Louis used ingredients from Louisiana, while Justin used ingredients from Northern California.

  • Justin: Grilled Sardine with Roasted Corn & Sherry Vinaigrette
  • Louis: Redfish Almondine with Corn Puree & Crawfish Sauce
    • WINNER: Louis
9"Louis vs. Carrie"January 1, 2014 (2014-01-01)

Challenge: The chefs prepared dishes using broccoli.

  • Carrie: Roasted Broccoli Raviolini with Bagna Cauda
  • Louis: Scottish Salmon, Anchovy Vierge with Broccoli Three Ways
    • WINNER: Louis
10"Louis vs. Stephanie"January 8, 2014 (2014-01-08)

Challenge: The chefs each prepared a savory and a sweet beignet.

  • Louis: Crab & Black Garlic Beignet; Persimmon & Pine Nut Beignet
  • Stephanie: Andouille & Corn Beignet; White Chocolate & Cherry Beignet
    • WINNER: Louis
11"Louis vs. Brian"January 15, 2014 (2014-01-15)

Challenge: The chefs made dishes using the skin and bones from various animals. They had 45 minutes to prepare their dishes.

  • Brian: Seared Eggplant with Chicken Broth, Oyster Mushrooms & Chicken Skin
  • Louis: Bouillon, Crispy Chicken Skin, Roasted Vegetables & Olive Oil Poached Egg Yolk
    • WINNER: Louis
12"Louis vs. Carlos"January 22, 2014 (2014-01-22)

Challenge: The chefs made dishes showcasing a fresh Hawaiian fish. They had an hour to prepare their dishes, which were tasted blind by Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, and the three finalists (Nicholas, Nina, Shirley).

  • Carlos: Mahi Mahi with Mole Manchamanteles & Taro Root
  • Louis: Braised Yellowfin Tuna with Mushrooms, Kale & Cabbage
    • WINNER: Louis


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