"Top Chef" is back with 15 of the best chefs ready to compete in Portland, Oregon. For the first Quickfire, the cheftestants are tasked with combining their favorite ingredients. For their Elimination, the chefs try not to "quack" under pressure.
The Chefs are in for a rude awakening when they enter the kitchen to find Padma and seven hungry all-star chefs - Amar Santana, Melissa King, Kwame Onwuachi, Dale Talde, Gregory Gourdet, Carrie Baird and Richard Blais. In this Quickfire the chefs will have just 30 minutes to serve eight plates of breakfast. And if that didn't get them buzzing, for their Elimination Challenge, they'll have to create dishes based on two popular Portland brews - Beer or Coffee. Tom shows up with a twist, leaving the chefs to rethink their dishes hours before service. Amar Santana and Dale Talde join Padma, Tom and Gail at judges' table.
The pressure is laid on the chefs in the Quickfire Challenge as they are tasked to make a layered dessert. Carrie Baird joins Padma to pick the winner, who will get their dish turned into a Talenti gelato to be sold nationwide. Gregory Gourdet and Kwame Onwuachi take the chefs on a tour of restaurants in Portland that feature food from the African diaspora. For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs must make dishes inspired by their tour for the judging and dining panel, as well as the restaurant's owners.
For the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs must create a dish featuring Campbell's Soup for Padma and guest judge Dale Talde. Then, the cheftestants get thrown for a loop when they find out they won't be shopping for their Elimination Challenge, because they'll be picking their fruit right off of the trees in the heart of Oregon's Fruit Loop and making a savory fruit dish without any vegetables. Melissa King and Carrie Baird join Padma, Tom and Gail at judges' table
Amar Santana joins Padma for the Quickfire Challenge honoring Mother's Day. Then, the chefs will go head-to-head at the first-ever Top Chef Drive-In. Not only will they have to impress Richard Blais, but they will also need to win over the diners.
The chefs are transported into a magical kitchen forest with their prep tables gone and replaced by stumps for this week's Quickfire Challenge where they must make a dish featuring Tom's favorite ingredient - mushrooms. Then in the Elimination Challenge, the cheftestants will be paired up to create a surf & turf dish featuring local fish and game for members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla. But first they'll get to learn and taste some of the initial foods of the area. With a double elimination on the line, Dale Talde joins the judges' table.
The winner of the first part of Last Chance Kitchen rejoins the competition just in time for their "second chance" Quickfire Challenge where the Chefs are tasked with redoing a past failed dish for guest judge Melissa King. Then in an emotional Elimination Challenge Chef José Andrés calls in to recruit the chefs to join World Central Kitchen, his nonprofit organization that provides meals for victims of natural disasters, tasking the chefs with delivering over 500 meals to frontline workers at 3 local hospitals in Portland. Kwame Onwuachi will serve as the All-Star guest judge this week.
With the top eight chefs remaining, it's time for the perennial favorite - Restaurant Wars. This year, the chefs will serve a seven course tasting menu to the judges and All-Star panel. Gregory Gourdet and Kristen Kish join the judges' table.
For this week's Quickfire Challenge, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein from the hit comedy series "Portlandia" task the chefs with creating a dish using hipster ingredients using only old vintage appliances and equipment. For their Elimination Challenge, the chefs must develop and create a recipe fit for the home cook, and are surprised when unexpected guests show up to test their recipes. All-Star alumni and cookbook authors Dale Talde and Richard Blais join the judges' table to help decide which chef must pack their knives.
Ed Lee enters the kitchen and tells the chefs they will be competing tournament style; the chefs duke it out at the Portland Japanese Gardens, where they must create dishes featuring various textures of tofu.
In teams of two, the chefs each take a turn entering the box where they blindly taste a dish created by guest judge Gabriel Rucker and then must try to re-create it.
The final four chefs near the end of their journey in Portland; popular chef and special guest Massimo Bottura has the chefs pull inspiration from his famous parmigiano reggiano dish.
The remaining chefs get an early wake-up call from Padma to go meet Brooke and dig for clams; the chefs honor the area where James Beard spent his summers, creating both a hot dish and a cold dish with one of his favorite ingredients, Dungeness crab
After 13 grueling weeks of competition, the chefs must create the best four-course meal of their lives; they'll serve it to an esteemed table.