Top Chef

American reality competition show

Top Chef (2006–2020) was an American reality competition show airing on the Bravo cable television network in which chefs compete against each other in weekly challenges. They are judged by a panel of professional chefs and other notables from the food and wine industry with one or more contestants eliminated each week. The winning chef receives $100,000 in seed money to encourage his or her culinary career, is featured in Food & Wine magazine, and appears at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado.

Season 1


Who Deserves To Be Here [1.1]

Cynthia: [to Stephen] How are you doing, Brian?
Stephen: Stephen?

Andrea: [of her Elimination Challenge dish] It looked like a bomb exploded on my plate.

Ken: [of the other chefs judging his food] I don't care whether the other chefs express their opinions about my food. If the food is good, say it's good. If the food is crap, flip the plate.

Lee Anne: Stephen is a sommelier so he's a professional bullshitter.

Andrea: I'm bringing something to the competition that other people aren't bringing, you know, it's the ability to move your bowels with vegetables.

Cynthia: What the fuck did I come over here for?

Ken: [to Tom Colicchio] I speak my mind, that's the way I am.

Ken: C'mon guys! Allez! Allez!

Food of Love [1.2]

Miguel: I love you dawg!
Stephen: [chuckling] Schmuck.

Andrea: [of Miguel's reaction to guest judge Madame S] Miguel, of course, was like 'Aw, she's so hot!' And I'm like, Miguel, you have to get out of the house a little more.

RuPaul: [referring to Andrea's dessert] Now is this low-cal?
Andrea: Yes, there's no butter, there's no saturated fat.
RuPaul: Everything is organic?
Andrea: Everything is organic, right down to the chocolate.
RuPaul: [tasting her dessert] Needs butter.

RuPaul: Aren't all desserts really sexy? I mean, have you ever seen a fat person eat a cream puff? I mean, that's like watching somebody having sex.

Tom Colicchio: Are those condoms hanging out of your pocket?
Miguel: Oh yeah, absolutely Chef. I always go to the kitchen protected.

Andrea: [referring to the QuickFire Challenge] Everybody starts digging in and there are all these chefs like chop-chop-chop-chop-chop-chop suey all over the place, and I'm looking at this basket of fruit and I'm like, I just really want to put the basket of fruit exactly as it is on the table.

Miguel: [to Madame S] I would love to serve you.

Andrea: [naming her dish] Creamy Balls and Crunchy Nuts.

Nasty Delights [1.3]

Lisa: [frustrated by some of the more elitist chefs' ideas] You don't get complicated and sophisticated when you're cooking food for kids!

Stephen: [referring to his Teammate in the Elimination Challenge] Candice I find to be the weakest in the whole competition. It's a bit hard for me to come down to her level. I mean, I'd love to bring her up to my level but that's just not really possible.

Stephen: [referring to Candice] If you can't stand the heat in the kitchen, you know, it's probably best to remove yourself.

Tom Colicchio: [as he is checking on the Red Team] Do kids like yogurt?
Lisa: They like blue yogurt.

Tiffani: You know I wasn't going to go like, do the monkfish nugget interpretive dance for the kids.

Tom Colicchio: [referring to Tiffani's attitude] There is one thing that we do in the restaurant business, and that is make people happy. And I don't care how you do that, that's what you do.

Brian: [telling the chefs he has been sent home] Elvis has left the building.

Candice: [to Stephen] Obviously you're a tool and a douche bag!

Food on the Fly [1.4]

Tiffani: [referring to Stephen's presentation of his dish] There's an element of condescension when he explains his dish, that you can't possibly understand all the things that are in this dish.

Tiffani: [while shopping at the gas station] Think we should buy some Rolaids for the judges?
Dave: Yeah, that's for sure.

Andrea: [referring to the Gas Station Challenge] I really encourage people to eat food that doesn't have a lot of chemicals in it. My clients are going to pass out and die… [laughs]

Tom Colicchio: [referring to Andrea's nutritious entree] I'm feeling healthier already.

Tiffani: [during victory interview] I am the Kenmore Microwave Queen.

Tom Colicchio: [to the bottom three contestants] If I could really get rid of two of you I probably would, um, matter of fact , all three.

Gail Simmons: Stephen looked at us like we were crazy! His Japanese infused, confused tamale?
Tom Colicchio: He's just getting over-creative, and it's just getting in the way. I think he gets too wrapped up in the dogma of cooking.

Blind Confusion [1.5]

Harold: [about being paired with Lisa for an Elimination Challenge] I feel so confident working with her, so comfortable, I'm predicting victory tomorrow.

Lee Anne: Stephen, you gotta sell it!
Stephen: I'm trying. I don't think this is our target market!

Lisa: Somewhere in the recesses of my mind it's occurring to me that perhaps we didn't think it through, serving seared tuna in the Mission District.

Miguel: [Referring to Andrea before the Judges' Table convenes] My friend has immunity here, and I'm up on the chopping block but I feel great and I know she saved me today, so I'm feeling really confident.

Harold: [Going to the Judges' Table with the second group] I knew we were in trouble at this point cause, I mean, first group that goes in gets handshakes, kisses, and champagne and the second group goes in and it's usually a bloodbath.

Andrea: [to protect her teammate Miguel] If I did something to destroy his chances of staying, um, then I would like to give him my immunity.

Mike Yakura: [to Miguel at the Judges' Table] If you have these skills and you want to win this just go like 'Hell no, I'm doing this, I'm taking this cart over, I'm going to drive. If I'm going to go down in a burning plane I'm going to be at the wheel.'

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? [1.6]


Restaurant Wars [1.7]

Miguel: Chunk LeFunk has left the building. Thank you.

Stephen: I could've got the food out on time if I wasn't at the table explaining about where Rueda is in location to Rioja.

Stephen: The other team's concept is totally a style that I would never engage in, you know it was very warming, welcoming, very comfortable.

Katie Lee Joel: So the winning chef will be going to Cannes, and somebody else will be getting canned.

Tiffani: I wanted to help decorate the room – it's something I enjoy doing, and it feeds who I am – but I was happy to sort of have Dave out of the kitchen.

Tiffani: If Dave gets in a bad head space, it's over, but it could have been much worse, we could have had Stephen.

Harold: [to Tom Colicchio] Does that mean we're partners now?

Lee Anne: [of working with Stephen and Miguel] I got put on the team with the big thinker and the no thinker.

Dave: [to Tiffani] I'm not your bitch, bitch!

Wedding Bell Blues [1.8]

Tom Colicchio: This is going to sound harsh; I've had better from a take-out place in New York.

Guest: The salmon was USELESS! …I was all of a sudden in a bad convention – it might as well have been boiled chicken.

Stephen: I needed to talk to some of the members of the hotel, and making sure that the EXECUTION – the foremost important part of this whole entire event – was intact.

Stephen: A chef's responsibility is to delegate. He is a leader, he is a manager in the kitchen; no one took that role. No one, except for myself.

Stephen: This wedding cake had no potential whatsoever. I did not want to attach my name – even if I were to help – because, you know, mediocrity is not my game and I just didn't want to have anything to do with it.

Harold: Stephen definitely deserved to go home. I could have backed him up, but he called Lee Anne out. There was no way I was gonna let Lee Anne go out like that.

Harold: Who caters a wedding out of a Supermarket?! That's unheard of. That's ridiculous! You have specialty purveyors that you go to… that specialize.

Harold: [about the wedding cake] It's why God created Betty Crocker.

Stephen: Now that my role in this competition has finally come to an end I'm going to be a restaurateur, and that is my goal in life. I will probably influence the industry and raise the bar to a level of excellence that I don't think has been achieved yet to date in this country.

Napa's Finest [1.9]

Harold: When I saw the truffles in with the wine, I thought, "This is why I got involved in this competition. This is why I'm here."

Tiffani: Dave's food is never really all that refined.

Tiffani: My food is so great, and I don't get the sense that – unless something drastic happens – I'm going home.

Reunion [1.10]


Finale (1) [1.11]


Finale (2) [1.12]

Lorraine Bracco: I'm not needing to lick my plate.. and that makes me very sad.

Dave: [on being one of Tiffani's sous chefs] Helping someone who I just have little or no respect for.. drinking is the only way I can make it through. Lorraine, thanks for the wine.

Season 2


Into the Fire [2.1]

Suyai: I was just psyched when the flame went up, and I was, like, awesome! I was just, 'Oh, flambé.'

Betty: [to Harold after a good review] I love you!

Tom Colicchio: [After Suyai has told him how poorly she's doing] Do you think it's a good idea to sort of tip your hand right now, and let me know this?

Elia: [about American Cheese] It's just this funky product that... shouldn't exist.

Carlos: [after Tom Colicchio made a negative remark about his dish] It may not have been my crowning achievement, but I didn't think it was crap on a plate.

Eastern Promise [2.2]

Michael: I'm, like, so out of my league.

Elia: I Love Fish!

Betty: [to Tom Colicchio] I'm the bar wench.

Food for the People [2.3]

Cliff: [referring to his QuickFire dish] I'm staring this ice cream down like it owes me money.

Less is More [2.4]

Marisa: Pastry is a science, you put something into it that has a different molecular structure it's gonna react differently.

Tom Colicchio: No one's going home tonight... but believe me, we're gonna be watching you really closely from here on out. Consider yourselves on probation!

Social Service [2.5]

Marcel: Frank asked me, 'Do you want to be my partner?' It was kind of like being asked to go on prom with somebody that you’re not totally interested in, but for fear of not having anybody else to go to prom with, you’re like, 'okay.'

Tom Colicchio: These are about choices. Someone's gotta say, 'Hey, that looks like Pepto-Bismol! We can't serve that. Let's fix it. Let's fix the problem.'

Elia: [after being told her kidneys taste too much of kidney] Is this woman for real? I'm supposed to make kidney taste like olives, with a sauce?

Betty: Marcel went for that pig's blood. Kinda looks like a vampire, don't you think?

Joseph Ojeda: [about the basil in the pomegranate drink] It's not very sexy to be plucking out greens out of your mouth while you're in a dinner date.

Thanksgiving [2.6]

Anthony Bourdain: [On Michael] It's like Betty Crocker and Charles Manson had a love child, and he's cooking for me.

Anthony Bourdain: [on Michael's dishes] That was so perverse, so inappropriate, I'm almost beginning to respect him.

Anthony Bourdain: What kind of crack house are you running here?

Anthony Bourdain: [about Marcel] Gastro Boy has balls!

Carlos: [after being dismissed from the competition] I'm going to go home and have a margarita.

Anthony Bourdain: Looking forward to smashing the hopes and dreams and ambitions…

Michael: [on guest judge Anthony Bourdain] Personally, I totally look up to the guy. He's not scared to tell someone their food sucks. Just hope he doesn't tell me I suck.

Betty: [discussing soup Elia will make] I think mushroom would be lovely with what we're serving, but this is your dish.
Elia: I truly do not care anymore.
Betty: Well, then, make Cheez Whiz.

Carlos: [after being asked why it took him four hours to prepare his salad] If you're saying that I sat on my butt --

Carlos: I came here for my Top Chef diploma, and I may not graduate, but I definitely got an education.

The Raw and the Cooked [2.7]

Michael: [of the QuickFire Challenge] I don't eat raw food, so I'm like, 'What the hell am I gonna do?'

Cliff: [at the Judges' Table] There's no way I'm going home.

Marcel: I'm stoked; it's my first win. Not to mention the fact that I was totally proud of my dish today. My performance could not have been any more soigné.

Frank: Mike is definitely a hack. I don't think Mike could cook his way out of a paper bag, unless it had french fries with it.

Michael: I'm getting to the end, where like I'm plating up, and Frank's working next to me, and he's humping some gorilla on his prep table or something, you know. Shaking everything. It's like a freaking 7.0 earthquake. I hope Frank goes home.

Frank: I've been on a roll lately. I've been in the top three the last four shots. For the past eight, ten years, I've been the best at my field, and I'm fully relying on my abilities to take me over the top.

Sam: I feel like I have a great chance at the title. People know that I'm a force. And um, and a team leader, ya know, and I think I have a great shot.

Holiday Spirit [2.8]

Sam: The team nominates me team captain. If your team wins, you're the man. If your team loses, you're… history.

Seven [2.9]

Marcel: [In response to Ilan's attack on his "flavorless" gelee] And have you ever tried, like, that brand of juice, R.W. Knudsen's? It's 100% fruit juice, which is what I made my gelee from, which has, like, so much flavor! I mean, check your palettes, get 'em tested.

Ilan: You know what's really funny Marcel, the first day I got here I've been wanting to smack you across the face. Why don't you fucking go to a new school, learn some shit, go to France, go to Spain, go travel, go relax, go learn how to use some fucking salt, paprika, come back to me, you know, come to New York, maybe I'll show you how to cook a little bit. I'll show you how to grill something. But until then shut the fuck up, keep making your foams and go cry in a corner!

Betty: [referring to Marcel's QuickFire dish] Why does he have a foam on every fucking thing he makes?!

Ted Allen: [referring to Betty's QuickFire dish] I also felt that your presentation was really, uh kind of a mess. It looked like something you raked up– not to be unkind, but…
Betty: Well you are!

Marcel: Mike switches Envy for Lust with me, and I thought, "He just, like, gave away a gold mine."

Ilan: Because Gluttony is a Sin so closely related to food, if I can't get this one right, then I should go home right now.

Elia: [scandalized by Marcel's flirtation with one of the guests] Did you just pour chocolate in that woman's mouth?!

Tom Colicchio: [speaking to the bottom three chefs] Our challenge today was, I thought, a very interesting one. You all had to choose one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and create a dish you thought best represented that sin. Unfortunately, each one of you committed a culinary sin.

Debi Mazar: [referring to the foam on Marcel's dessert] I think it looks like cat spit. But you know, I just feel like the dish was prepared by somebody who hasn't had as much sex as he really needs to, to make a dish feel like you really wanna fuck.

Tom: [startled by the high quality of Michael's dish] Our Michael did this? …I mean, what the Hell?! He should get his tooth pulled every day!

Unhappy Customers [2.10]

Marcel: Everybody loves meat on a stick!

Sam: I went to culinary school, my parents spent tons of money… and I came out with a deep love of mayonnaise.

Michael: I love mayo, man. I'll eat it right out of the can.

Marcel: [from his rap session on the roof] It's taken every ounce that I've got not to pop you in the face cause you're all a disgrace to the human race....

Elia: Where's Marcel?
Michael: Crying.
Sam: I think he's on the roof. He's trying to jump.

Ilan: [trying to talk Elia into selling out her teammate Marcel] If you guys go up to the loser's block, then you just blame everything on Marcel.
Elia: I don't wanna be in that Judges' Table for negative comment ever again, ever!

Sense and Sensuality [2.11]

Padma: [at the Judges' Table after hearing about Cliff's "prank" and subsequent dismissal] I'd like to talk about something a little less depressing now.
Marcel: Talk about the food, or something...
Padma: Yeah, let's talk about the food because actually, you idiots, the food yesterday was really, really good!

Finale (1) [2.12]


Finale (2) [2.13]

Ilan: [during soliloquy, in reference to Marcel's sea urchin sting] I would love to pee on Marcel

Betty: [while prepping for Ilan] Marcel, do you want me to toast it with nothing on it fo–
Ilan: [interrupting in an outraged tone] What did you just call me?!
Betty: Oh my God, I should be shot!

Betty: [to Ilan, as they leave the Farmer's Market] You want to hold my melon?

Season 3


4 Star All Star [3.1]

Sara M.: [referring to Sam from season 2] He's kinda cute.
Ted: Kinda?

First Impressions [3.2]

Hung: I've been labeled a CPA for about a year now: Certified Professional Asshole! [laughs] That's me!

Padma: What is the greater crime, though, leaving something off the plate...
Tom: ...or Clay's dish?

CJ: Tom and Padma walks in and I was just like, "Sweet little tyke in a manger, what is happening here?!"

Tom: [about Clay's amusé] This is almost more like a first course, not so much an amusé...I guess I have a big mouth, but I don't know if it's THIS big!

Clay: When you looked at my fucking apple, were you like, "That dude's fucked!" Be honest, you're not going to hurt my feelings. [laughs] That dude's fucked! Hell, I'm from Mississippi, pick it up and eat that son of a bitch! That's the way I see it!

CJ: [about Anthony Bourdain] He's not afraid to eat a brain out of a live monkey.

Howie: In your book, though, there's a little, you know, part that says about Ecuadorian line cooks, I believe? Ecuadorian?
Anthony Bourdain: Oh, that's unfair, dude!
Howie: Wait, wait a minute! And what does it say? Its says, "You can yell at this person and this person and they'll give it to you when it's wrong". But these particular people, they'll give it to you when it's right!
Anthony Bourdain: You son of a bitch!
Gail: Oh, you're in trouble!

Sunny Delights [3.3]

Sandee: How's it going, CJ?
CJ: I love how low everything is, my back feels fantastic, and the sun is beating down on my face.

Howie: [in response to Joey's attack] You want to know what, I want to run home and be a fucking man about it, and you want to fucking bitch like a little girl, okay, like you've done all day. This guy copied your shit. This guy should've lost! And then what do you do? You go, "Oh yeah, Howie!" What the fuck! You look out for your own ass! So don't tell me I'm not a fucking man!

Hung: I looked around the kitchen, and I just saw some slummy dishes!

Family Favorites [3.4]

Hung: Yeah, simple, but my monkey could do that.

Cooking by Numbers [3.5]

Jamie Walker: You're very tall.
CJ: Thank you very much, I'm flattered you noticed.

Latin Lunch [3.6]

Tom: [to Hung] You have amazing knife skills; just be very careful with your knife, because you almost cut Casey. Please be careful.

Tom: Is this the dish that you think should send you home?
Lia: No.
Tom: [pauses] Hmm. Okay.

Watch What Happens [3.7]

Ted: Are any of the rest of you dating?
Clay: Me and Sandee.
Ted: Outstanding!
Sandee: Wrong gender, dude.

Andy Cohen: Clay, do you want to defend your amusé?
Clay: Not at all. [laughs]

Andy Cohen: [reading a viewer question] "Ilan, do you think anyone was cast for their looks more than their cooking ability, like Sam, Cliff, or Camille?"
Ilan: Yeah, I can only judge from my season.
Andy Cohen: And?
Ilan: And, yeah, absolutely. I think Frank was always a prime example. [everybody laughs]

Micah: [about her comment on American comfort food] I was simply describing it, just as I would say, "Indian people put chutney with their curry!"
Padma: We don't, by the way, but... [laughs]
Ilan: You totally fucked it up now!
Gail: Now you've ostracized all of us!

Freezer Burn [3.8]

Tre: How's Sara treating you?
Brian: Slow as shit.

CJ: [about Hung's performance in the Quickfire] He came off as a freaking douche.

Guilty Pleasures [3.9]

Ted: Note to chefs: if you want to make people happy, give them bacon.

Dale: Hung went all over the place. He wanted to go for seven different textures and he really made white chocolate cauliflower foam. And I think that's all I'll say about that.

Howie: Sweet Cream and berries...if it ain't broke, y'know, don't fix it.

Sara M.: Casey and Sara were a little upset because cleavage was showing, and...I really didn't give a shit.

CJ: They've got Hung, one of the loudest people I've ever met in my life, and Brian, one of the most annoying people I've ever met in my life.

Brian: I'm real scared for my buddy CJ over there! [laughs]

Dale: I can just feel the anger in the entire group just like, "You've got to be kidding me. I hate you so much right now, but I want to be you right now!"

Restaurant Wars [3.10]

CJ: Oh, big time.

Second Helping [3.11]

Hung: Right. Chicken time!

Dale: [about Hung's performance in the Quickfire] He destroys those chickens. And even Tom's standing there, like "You've got to be kidding me!"

Dale: The other team kinda seemed like the Dream Team, and we're like, the Bad News Bears. And the fact that we kicked their ass really has us going.

Chef Overboard [3.12]

Howie: Do I look like I care about fashion? This is from Target. This whole outfit.

Brian: [about Hung's crazy Smurf-inspired dish] I have no idea what this guy's on.. but I want some!

Michael Schwartz: [about Hung's crazy Smurf-inspired dish] What the fuck is that? That's some crazy shit.

Sara: Esteban is this new hip and upcoming designer from Miami. A lot of fashionistas.. you know.. [holds up index finger] skinny.

Hung: I love fashion. I like to wear clothes that fit me, not clothes that look like a box.

Hung: I love eating, I grew up eating.

Snacks on a Plane [3.13]

CJ: If there was another Spice Girl, it would be Crepe Spice.

Dale: Everyone loves a fried egg sandwich. And in my world, everything is breakfast.

Anthony Bourdain: [about CJ's dish] They were cleaning Bob Marley's house and found this in the closet.

Manhattan Project [3.14]

Dale: I think right now, Casey's the one to beat...and it is killing Hung!

Hung: [about the criteria for the Elimination Challenge] Score for me!

Dale: Where's Casey? Oh, there she is. I'm like, "Mom? MOM?"

Finale: Part 1 [3.15]

Dale: Before I started this competition, I had one of the top 20 restaurants in the country in my hands. It closed because the owner retired. And literally, I had my dream job. It slipped through my fingers, and I fell apart. Before the first Quickfire here, I hadn't cooked in a year and a half. I entered this competition to find myself again. I have been reborn. I have found my flavor. And I think today's Elimination challenge dish was a definite difference from what I have shown in this competition before. And now I'm a chef again.

Hung: What the hell do cowboys and cowgirls eat?! Baked beans, baked beans, and baked beans?

Dale: I really don't know that much about cowboys. I mean, I've slept with a few, but...[laughs]...that's about it.

Brian: This is my "Honkey-Tonk-Whiskey-River-Drunken Elk Shank."

Tom: You know, there's two...(Gail and Padma force his hand off his chin)...sorry.


Tom: One of them is...(Gail and Padma force his hand off his chin again) You don't gotta hit me!

Finale: Part 2 [3.16]

Dale: [about Todd English, his assigned sous chef] I know you have more restaurants than you can count, but chop my garlic now.

Dale: [to his lobsters] Hi, you guys!

Rocco: [to Hung] Are you sweating in your food, by any chance?

Hung: It's funny, because on one of Anthony Bourdain's blogs, he said that he would like to see a cook-off between you and I!
Rocco: I'll tell you what, here's what we're gonna do: we'll open a restaurant together. This way, Anthony will never know which one's the better cook.
Hung: Yeah. [They laugh]

Casey: Why are these plates so small?!?

Hung: For third course, I'm thinking, "What's more Asian than duck?" [laughs]

Todd English: [about Hung's duck course] This is 3-star Michelin in my book.

Casey: I did remind them over the break that I was kicking their ass for a while!

Tom: Casey, you've been a fierce competitor this entire competition. Tonight's menu just never came together for you, but we know you're a great chef, and I know when I'm in Dallas where I can go to get a good meal. Dale, we are just so delighted that you found your inner chef. The culinary world is definitely stronger having you cooking in it. You put together a fabulous meal with great flavors, and you're cooking with a ton of confidence. Thank you. Hung, you've proven throughout this entire competition that you're a great technician, but in this challenge, you married it with passion. Again, you put together a fabulous meal, and we really enjoyed seeing you in the food. But as you know, there can only be one Top Chef.

Reunion [3.17]

Dale: Beauty's only a light switch away.

Andy Cohen: Who here thinks they have a shot at Fan Favorite?
[Hung raises his hand; he and everybody else laughs]
Tom: My friend, you have, no shot, I think!
Hung: [still laughing] Zero! Zero!
Tom: None! [laughs]

Andy Cohen: [reading a viewer question] "I noticed that CJ seemed real excited when Padma woke him up. What's up with CJ and Padma?"
CJ: Well, it's not, like, how the dream normally goes, but the wakeup was fine! [everyone laughs]
Sandee: That was a challenge I definitely missed. [everyone laughs harder]

Before the slideshow

Andy Cohen: On the other side of the coin, Casey, there's a rumor out there about the frightening implications of becoming close friends with you. Let's take a look.

After the slideshow

Howie: That was tough!
Ted: Yeah, you guys might want to scoot back a little bit.
Andy Cohen: Casey, are you the black widow of Top Chef 3?
Sandee: I was her roommate! [everyone laughs even harder] First kiss of death, right here! Thanks, Casey. Love ya, babe.

Dale: [about his montage] I've always wanted a montage.

Gail: Don't be a hater!

Andy Cohen: Was the decision between a Top Chef logo and a heart with Howie's name on it?
Joey: Nah, that's going on the other leg.

Andy Cohen: Jack wants to know, "Which challenge was your favorite?" Clay?
Clay: Me? [The room bursts with laughter]
Howie: So wrong. That is so wrong!
Clay: Now, hold on a minute! Does Jack really ask this or do you?

Season 4


Anything You Can Cook, I Can Cook Better [4.1]

Tom: What bugs me is, how do you come here and compete and not know what a piccata is? And he didn't know that and I still don't think he knows.
Anthony Bourdain: I really find it worrying that I had absolutely no idea what was coming out of his mouth.
Rocco DiSpirito: Let's just say it wasn't just his gnocchi that were dense.
Tom: [trying not to laugh] That's just mean!

Erik: [on his souffle] It rose, but then I dumped a bunch of tortillas and stuff on top of it that made it drop.
Anthony Bourdain: I gotta say, you were clearly way out of your comfort zone and scrambling around for some way out of a bad situation right out of the gate. But the last thing a souffle needs is more weight on top. Tough, tough, tough..
Erik: [shrugging] I made glorified nachos. I'm not proud of it.

Zoo Food [4.2]

Wylie Dufresne: [to Mark] Nice sideburns.

Mark: I read the diet of the vulture, and it's not boots and road tires. Turns out that they eat little fish, rabbits, and lamb.. which is very similar to my diet.

Gail: It looked like something a bear would produce, not eat.

Block Party [4.3]

Andrew: Can you guys smell it?
Erik: What?
Andrew: Success!

Ted: Aww, little girl dropped her s'more!
Padma: I dropped it on your shoe.
Ted: You dropped it on my shoe? You're gonna get the bill for that!

Film Food [4.4]

Padma: [before introducing Daniel Boulud] If you guys don't know who he is, you should just leave the kitchen now.

Daniel Boulud: Of course, I have two young chef here who has previously work in my restaurant before, Richard and Ryan. And that will not affect the work of anyone else, be reassured for that.

Lisa: I wanted to do a cucumber where you run your knife across it and you rotate the cucumber so that you have like a thin.. almost like a wrapper. And then I look over and Dale is doing the exact same thing, and just whizzing through them like soft butter. So I decide, maybe not.

Andrew: Is anybody else's hand shaking?

Padma: Your challenge is to create a dinner where each course is inspired by your favorite movie.
Antonia: I love movies, I'm a total movie buff. This is an opportunity to be really creative.
Ryan: I start thinking, I have seen 2 movies in 3 years, so.. great.

Ryan: [talking head] I draw knives, and I get Mark. This guy's fucking.. New Zealand, New England.. where the hell is Mark from? We're not going to have anything in common!
Mark: Why don't we just put down a bunch of movies?
Ryan: Yep, so what are your movies? I love Dumb and Dumber. I think it's funny as shit.
Mark: To Kill A Mockingbird.
Ryan: Right, old school..
Mark: Crazy Bad..
Ryan: Crazy Bad? What's that?
Ryan: [talking head] "Like, what movies do you watch?" And he starts naming this stuff, and all I hear is "blaaaah blaaaah blahhhh."
Mark: [talking head] He has not seen Once Were Warriors or Mad Max or Bad Boy Bubby.
Ryan: What about the Christmas movie?
Mark: Which one?
Ryan: Oh, oh, oh.. What's the one with the kid that gets shot with a B.B. in his eye and they go get Asian food instead? You know what I'm talking about? He takes the glass light for his mom's Christmas, and he puts it in the window..
Mark: I don't know.
Ryan: And they go and have Chinese food and have duck instead of normal turkey because the turkey got fucked up? It's a normal Christmas movie.
Mark: Do you know what it is? I don't know.
Ryan: It's a Christmas fucking movie..
Mark: Yeah, what's it called?
Ryan: And they sit down at the table.. [goes to Spike and Manuel] What's that Christmas movie, you guys? "You got your eye shot out.."
Manuel: A Christmas Story.
Ryan: A Christmas Story. Got it. Duck.
Mark: [talking head] A Christmas Story is something that, you know, all the families, everybody's seen it. It's, um.. it's.. I believe it's a comedy.

Andrew: I have no doubt in my mind that the people that will be eating this food will culinarily crap in their pants when they see what we have for them.

Mark: First-of-the-season cranberries. Awesome! You know, that's Christmastime right there, isn't it?

Richard: Kind of a play on the Fizzy Lifting Drink: a pear and a celery soda. We have been working on trying to get the guests to float. And if you do float, I believe burping is the way to get down from the ceiling.

The Elements [4.5]

Mark: We walk into the kitchen and it's huge. Huge! You could probably fit the Yankee Stadium in their kitchen, I think.

[putting the duck legs in the oven]
Jen: Nice legs.
Ryan: Thank you.

Richard: Don't know if he's just got a good poker face, or the Richard Blais charm has just worn off on Tom Colicchio.

Tailgating [4.6]

Ryan: I'm not a big sports fan. Do I look like a sports fan? No, I'm not. I feel that I'm metrosexual or whatever the hell you want to call it. I spend my money on good clothes, I like to go out and dance..

Mark: We've been given the choice of two grills. One is gas-operated, one is charcoal. I'm the only one that had the testicular fortitude to pick a real charcoal grill. This is how I cook on a barbecue.

Antonia: [about Spike and Mark in the tub] I don’t know what those crazy boys are doing. Honestly, this is like a cheap porno.

Mark: A few people go for shrimp straight off the bat. And I thought, they're really taking my gig. How can I throw the [shrimp on the barbie] when they're already doing it? Fucked up, isn't it? [laughs]

Gail: So what do you have for us today?
Andrew: [in a high-pitched voice] What do I have for you today? Oh my God!

[At Judges' Table]

Tom: [to Ryan]. I'm not quite sure why you chose a dessert, and also a dessert I would never think it a million years to see at a tailgate party.
Ryan: I wanted to have a whole dining experience at my table. And that's where I was hitting. I wanted to be able to say "Okay, so somebody doesn't eat chicken, but, wow there's a dessert. And you know, doing a dessert, I don't think was too left-field.
Gail: I don't think a dessert is left-field. I just think poached pear with [crème fraîche]and huckleberry sauce was a bit left-field. I just think there would've been more options that would've been more appropriate.
Ryan: Personally, I wanted to cook the way that I think I would personally like to see at a tailgate. I don't eat heavy. I don't eat ribs. And I thought of these people and said "Cool, I'm gonna serve chicken. Instead of serving something on a bun, I'm gonna do it in the application of a salad form."
Gail: The bread salad that I got was almost all bread. And I guess I was expecting for it to be sort of moist and found it really dry.
Ryan: I dissected a tailgate party and the caliber of people that I'm cooking with, and I'm looking at them, and I'm like "I have to do something different." You know, the people that came up, everyone was super sweet at this event. Ladies coming up for recipes, and "How did you make this?" and "Why would you do that, and this and that." and "Wow, pea stew on top, finishing a chicken." "This is quite interesting. We love it." And bringing in, I hate to use the word "California flair-"
Tom: But, this challenge was not about that. This challenge was about simple food, to the masses, in the form of a tailgate.
Ryan: Yeah, totally fair.



Season 1


Season 2


Season 3

  • Tom Colicchio - Head Judge
  • Padma Lakshmi - Host/Judge
  • Gail Simmons - Judge
  • Hung Huynh
  • Dale Levitsky
  • Casey Thompson
  • Brian Malarkey
  • Sara Mair
  • Chris Jacobsen
  • Howie Kleinberg
  • Tre Wilcox
  • Sara Nguyen
  • Joey Paulino
  • Lia Bardeen
  • Camille Becerra
  • Micah Edelstein
  • Sandee Birdsong
  • Clay Bowen
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