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Top Chef Masters
Season 2
No. of tasks19
No. of contestants22
WinnerMarcus Samuelsson
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes10
Original networkBravo
Original releaseApril 7 (2010-04-07) –
June 9, 2010 (2010-06-09)
Additional information
Filming datesNovember 2009 (2009-11)[1][2] –
December 2009 (2009-12)[3][4]
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 1
Next →
Season 3

The second season of the American reality competition show Top Chef Masters was announced on October 22, 2009. In addition, it was announced that Gail Simmons would be added as a critic. The season premiered on April 7, 2010 with 22 chefs competing against each other in weekly challenges. In the season finale that premiered on June 9, 2010, Marcus Samuelsson was crowned Top Chef Master.


Master Contestants

22 chefs competed in Top Chef Masters. In elimination order the contestants were:

Preliminary Rounds

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Champions' Round

Top Chef Master

Masters' progress

Preliminary Rounds

Episode Winner(s) 2nd Place 3rd Place 4th Place 5th Place 6th Place
1 Susan Feniger
Tony Mantuano
16½ Stars
Jerry Traunfeld
Ana Sortun
15 Stars
Govind Armstrong
Jimmy Bradley
12½ Stars
2 Carmen Gonzalez
15½ stars
Marcus Samuelsson
14½ stars
Monica Pope
13 stars
Thierry Rautureau
11 stars
David Burke
10 stars
3 Jonathan Waxman
18½ stars
Rick Moonen
16 stars
Wylie Dufresne
14½ stars
Graham Elliot Bowles
13½ stars
Ludo Lefebvre
11 stars
Mark Peel
9½ stars
4 Susur Lee
19½ stars
Jody Adams
14½ stars
Maria Hines
13½ stars
Rick Tramonto
13 stars
Debbie Gold
10½ stars
  (QF WIN) The team or chef won that episode's Quickfire challenge.
  (HS WIN) The chef won a High Stakes Quickfire and won a guaranteed spot in the Champions' Round.

Note: The chefs who received first and/or second place in the Preliminary Rounds move onto the Champions' Round.

Champions' Round

Episodes 5 6 7 8 9 Finale Cumulative Winnings
Rick Susan Rick Marcus None
Jonathan HIGH LOW LOW LOW OUT $17,500
Susan IN IN WIN OUT $32,500
Tony IN IN OUT $15,000
Jody WIN OUT $17,500
Carmen OUT $10,000

^1 Susur Lee and Rick Moonen tied for second with 17 stars each.

  (WINNER) The chef won the season and was crowned Top Chef: Master.
  (RUNNER-UP) The chef was a runner-up for the season.
  (WIN) The chef won that episode's elimination challenge.
  (HIGH) The chef had one of the highest scores, but was not named the winner.
  (IN) The chef was declared safe and wasn't eliminated, moved on in Champions' Round.
  (LOW) The chef had one of the lowest scores, but was not eliminated.
  (OUT) The chef lost that week's challenge and was eliminated.


In each episode, the chefs compete to win money for their charity. The Elimination Round winners are awarded cash donations ($10,000) for their charities. For each of the first four episodes, five or six chefs compete out of the twenty-two and two chefs of their group move forward to the Champions Round. Episode format: Each episode consists of a Quickfire and an Elimination challenge. The Quickfire is a short, simple challenge that can vary from cooking, tasting or a food-related task (e.g., peeling a certain amount of apples to certain quality standard in a limited amount of time). The Elimination challenge is a more complex challenge which usually requires cooking a meal for many people with certain requirements. The chefs are scored based on how well they execute in the Elimination and Quickfire challenges. Scoring: Unlike Season 1, where the Quickfire was scored on a scale of one to five stars, there are no stars won during the Quickfire, and instead, the winner(s) of the Quickfire will receive $5,000 for their charity or charities. The Elimination challenge is scored on a scale of one to 20 stars (five stars given by the tasters, and fifteen given by the three critics). A chef can thus win a maximum of 20 stars. The two chefs with the most stars at the end of the Elimination challenge are considered the winners and move on to the Champions Round. The eight total winners then meet up for the final weeks when one person will be eliminated in each episode until the finale where one winner is crowned Top Chef Master. The winning chef receives $100,000 for his or her designated charity.

Episode 1: First Date Dinner

Ana Sortun, Govind Armstrong, Jerry Traunfeld, Jimmy Bradley, Susan Feniger, and Tony Mantuano are the first group of chefs competing for two spots in the Champions Round.

Episode 2: It's My Party

Carmen Gonzalez, David Burke, Marcus Samuelsson, Monica Pope, and Thierry Rautureau are the second group of chefs competing for two spots in the Champions Round.

Episode 3: Pub Food

Season 1 Veterans Graham Elliot Bowles, Jonathan Waxman, Ludo Lefevbre, Mark Peel, Rick Moonen, and Wylie Dufresne are the third group of chefs competing for two spots in the Champions Round.

Episode 4: Cast and Crew Meal

Debbie Gold, Jody Adams, Maria Hines, Rick Tramonto, and Susur Lee are the fourth and final group of chefs competing for two spots in the Champions Round.

Episode 5: Wedding Wars

Episode 6: Scary Surf and Turf

Episode 7: Tailgating

Episode 8: Food of the Gods

Episode 9: Improv

Episode 10: Finale


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-11. Retrieved 2010-06-10.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Houston Chef On 'Top Chef Masters'
  2. ^ Reality Wanted: Top Chef Masters Season 2: Exclusive Interview with Jonathan Waxman
  3. ^ Behind the scenes at 'Top Chef Masters'
  4. ^ The American's Debbie Gold in Top Chef Masters