In the first of the three-part finale, the three finalists head to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico where they are greeted by head judge Tom Colicchio who invites them to watch the final cook-off of Last Chance Kitchen and learn which eliminated chef will rejoin the competition. Award-winning Mexican chef Enrique Olvera introduces the Quickfire Challenge where the chefs must create a dish highlighting the Mexican ingredient xoconostle, a special type of prickly pear. San Miguel de Allende is a mecca for artists all over the world, and the chefs' creativity is put to the test when they are challenged to create a unique dish inspired by a local artist's work for the Elimination Challenge. Cooking at the famed Instituto Allende, the chefs will have four hours to prepare dishes for an event while their artists complete a new work of art that will be on display. The chef that doesn't translate the artist's vision will have to say "adiós" to the title of Top Chef.
Top Chef is a reality show unlike any other while it searches for the world's next top chef. Each week this talented group of chefs, professionally trained and self-taught, will be challenged and judged by some of the best known chefs in the industry. Over the course of the season and endless challenges one chef a week is asked to "pack thier knives and go" until there is only one left standing as the ultimate Top Chef. Bravo has once again capitalized on it's knack for finding and fostering top creative talent, while still delivering on the personalities and conflict that make for deliciously fun entertainment.
Each episode of "Top Chef" holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a "quickfire" test of their ability to think out of the box and create something new interesting and tasty, all while under the pressure of very little time. The second is a more involved elimination challenge designed to test the versatility and invention of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for a range of demanding clients. The food will be tasted and evaluated by the host and judges, but will also be served to the customers for whom the challenge is aimed, whether it be patrons at a five star restaurant or a room full of hungry kids. Food has to appeal to the diner as well as the critics if the chef is to survive.
The winning chef will receive $100,000 in seed money to help encourage their culinary career, be featured in Food & Wine magazine, appear at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and most importantly, earn the prestigious title of "Top Chef".