29 chefs gather at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, to compete for 16 slots in the 9th season of Top Chef. Tonight they will be divided into three groups. Some will know their fate immediately and receive a chef coat or be sent home.
Night two of heats for the coveted contestant spots starts with 10 competitors, 10 ingredients, and only five chef coats left. Once again, those who excel in the challenge get a coat immediately, and those who bomb are sent home.
Tonight the chefs are asked to create a dish using rattlesnakes. The catch? The rattlesnakes are still alive. Later they will cater a girl\'s quinceañera celebration.
The contestants provide food for the local rodeo and its audience.
The chefs must create a dish using what they can find in a standard survival kit, then they have to shift gears and cater dinner to high society.
The contestants prepare steak for some of Texas' most discerning palates, at least beef-wise, the attendees of the Cattle Baron's Ball.
The contestants must cook for an all-star table of chefs whose avocation is hunting.
The chefs must adapt quickly when their cooking mashes up with social networking and they begin receiving dish notes via Twitter. Later, they will each be able to pay homage to an influential teacher when they are asked to create dishes in the teachers' honor.
The chefs are charged with creating innovative fare that will impress precise palates. Later, the heat is on when they square off in an old-fashioned Texas-barbecue showdown. Technology maven and culinary author Nathan Myhrvold is the guest judge.
The still-standing chefs sharpen their knives for the time-honored fan-favorite "Restaurant Wars" test. The all-encompassing culinary challenge tasks them to create an eatery, from its signage and logos to its menus and meals.
The chefs try not to go off the rails when they use various ingredients delivered to them by a train. Later, they create a gothic dish fit for a queen, yet the plate must embody the very essence of evil. Guest judge: Charlize Theron.
The chefs race against time to finish prep work for a meal. Later, they serve up cuisine at a food-drive block party. Guest judge: Cat Cora.
The chefs are charged with creating imaginative pancakes for Pee-wee Herman. Later, they hit the streets of San Antonio with a bike to gather ingredients for Pee-wee's big dinner party.
The blindfolded chefs must use senses other than sight to gather ingredients for a dish. In a twist, an eliminated cook then reenters the competition and does culinary battle with the remaining four chefs. Here, their cuisine must impress their mentors.
The remaining four chefs arrive in British Columbia and wage culinary battle in Olympic-theme games. Cooking on a speeding gondola and grabbing ingredients in a biathlon are included.
Asian Masters lend a hand in a tag-team-style Quickfire. The final three chefs must create a dish and cocktail that fuses the concept of fire and ice into one cohesive dish, a culinary testament of their journey from blazing Texas heat to blistering Vancouver cold.
Season 9 comes to a close with the final chefs commandeering a Vancouver restaurant, where they must cook up a four-course meal for the judges and some surprise guests.