A collection of the country's best Chefs converge in Los Angeles where they will hit the road and compete in six cities across the Golden State. To get their feet wet, the Chefs face off in a fan favorite Quickfire challenge. Then, the Chefs must make dishes that stand out for a group of top food critics and reporters in order to survive the first elimination. Legendary chef Emeril Lagasse rounds out the judging panel alongside Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons.
To better introduce the Chefs to the city of Los Angeles, Padma challenges them to create and open four distinct pop-up restaurants reflecting the culture of the respective neighborhoods they land in. Tom, Padma, Gail and guest judge and Pop-Up King Ludo Lefebvre eat their way through Mexican, Persian, Korean, and even Vegan cuisine to pick the best dish that celebrates LA's mosaic of cultures.
In Santa Barbara, Calif., the chefs pick up fresh sea urchin to use in their first sudden-death, quick-fire challenge; in the elimination challenge, the chefs serve up surf and turf to a table of celebrated chefs and judges.
In Palm Springs, Calif., world-renowned chef Jose Andres instructs the contestants to use solar powered stoves; then, the chefs must avoid culinary sand traps when they cook on a golf course.
In Palm Springs, model Chrissy Teigen entices the contestants to make their best ''date'' dishes; the chefs cater a wedding for 25 gay couples in an elimination challenge.
In San Diego, the chefs cook up high-end tacos for Mexican chef Javier Plascencia; at Juniper and Ivy, the contestants serve up mouthwatering dishes to complement their handcrafted microbrews.
The Chefs arrive back in Los Angeles to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Top Chef. First they compete in a Quickfire limiting them to 10 ingredients they all must share. In the Elimination Challenge, the Chefs must transport themselves back in time and create a dish that tells the story of who they were 10 years ago. Top Chef alums Michael Voltaggio, Antonia Lofaso and Mei Lin Hua join Nancy Silverton and the rest of the judges to decide which Chef should be eliminated from the competition.
The chefs strive to create the most visually appealing ''food porn'' using only snack food; the chefs cook for a black-tie event called Beefsteak during which the diners eat with their hands; diners include Colin Hanks, Max Silvestri and Matt Selman.
During the Restaurant Wars, the chefs have to open their respective restaurants for both lunch and dinner services.
After preparing a full lunch service, the chefs must clean up and do it all over again for dinner; the judges scrutinize everything, including concept, food, service, and consistency.
The chefs land in the Bay Area and prepare fresh dishes for rapper MC Hammer. Later, they cook from important and influential international food eras. Foodie Jonathan Waxman makes an appearance.
The remaining chefs travel through San Francisco's legendary Chinatown and end up at World-Famous chef Martin Yan's M.Y. China to cook off using woks for a sizzling quickfire challenge. Then Umami Burger Restaurateur Adam Fleischman tasks the chefs to create their own Fast-Casual Restaurant Concept for hungry diners and investors.
In San Francisco, the five remaining Chefs face the ultimate Sudden Death Quickfire cooking for Top Chef Master Traci Des Jardins. Then, in the elimination challenge, the Chefs cook where Top Chef first began, at Hubert Keller's legendary restaurant Fleur de Lys, and are tasked to prepare a Fleur-inspired dish for the incomparable Keller, the judges and San Francisco culinary elite.
The chefs land in Las Vegas and participate in a high-stakes challenge of cards and cuisine. Later, they must conjure culinary magic for illusionist David Copperfield.
The top chef is crowned in the Season 13 finale. Before that, the final two culinarians must prepare the meal of their lives for their mentors and fallen colleagues. Appearing: Emeril Lagasse; Dominique Crenn; Jonathan Benno; Hubert Keller; Charlie Palmer; and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.