The second season of Top Chef
began airing on Bravo
on October 18
. Padma Lakshmi
took over as host, with Tom Colicchio
and Gail Simmons
returning as judges. Filming began in Westwood, near UCLA
in Los Angeles
, on August 10
. The number of contestants expanded from 12 to 15. The winning recipe from each week's episode is featured on Bravo's Top Chef
website and prepared by Season 1 contestant Lee Anne Wong
in a web video called The Wong Way to Cook
. Bravo cited negative viewer reaction to the reunion
episode of season one
as the reason why no reunion episode was filmed for season two.
Host & judges
- Harold Dieterle, Season 1 winner. (Ep.1 Quickfire & Elimination)
- Hiroshi Shima, sushi chef. (Ep.2 Quickfire)
- Ming Tsai, chef, restaurateur and television personality. (Ep.2 Elimination)
- Stephen Bugarelli, TGIF senior executive chef. (Ep.3 Elimination)
- Suzanne Goin, chef and restaurateur. (Ep.4 Quickfire & Elimination)
- Michelle Bernstein, chef and restaurateur. (Ep.5 Quickfire & Elimination, Ep.13 Elimination)
- Anthony Bourdain, chef, author and television personality. (Ep.6 Elimination)
- Raphael Lunetta, chef and restaurateur. (Ep.7 Quickfire & Elimination)
- Kristen Woodward, mixologist. (Ep.8 Quickfire)
- Lee Hefter, chef. (Ep.8 Elimination)
- Ted Allen, author and television personality. (Ep.8 Elimination, Ep.9 Quickfire & Elimination)
- Mike Yakura, chef. (Ep.10 Quickfire & Elimination)
- Eric Ripert, chef and restaurateur (Ep.11 Quickfire & Elimination)
- Alan Wong, chef and restaurateur. (Ep.12 Elimination)
- Scott Conant, chef and restaurateur. (Ep.13 Elimination)
- Wylie Dufresne, chef and restaurateur. (Ep.13 Elimination)
- Hubert Keller, chef and restaurateur. (Ep.13 Elimination)
- Roy Yamaguchi, chef and restaurateur. (Ep.13 Elimination)
Contestants are listed in order of elimination.
- Suyai Steinhauer, age 29, New York City, New York - episode 1
- Otto Borsich, age 46, Las Vegas, Nevada - episode 2
- Emily Sprissler, age 30, Las Vegas, Nevada - episode 3
- Marisa Churchill, age 28, San Francisco, California - episode 5
- Josie Smith-Malave, age 31, Brooklyn, New York - episode 5
- Carlos Fernandez, age 36, Fort Lauderdale, Florida - episode 6
- Frank Terzoli, age 39, San Diego, California - episode 7
- Mia Gaines-Alt, age 32, Oakdale, California - episode 8
- Betty Fraser, age 44, Los Angeles, California - episode 9
- Michael Midgley, age 28, Stockton, California - episode 10
- Cliff Crooks, age 28, West Caldwell, New Jersey - episode 11
- Elia Aboumrad, age 23, Las Vegas, Nevada - episode 12
- Sam Talbot, age 28, New York City, New York - episode 12
- Marcel Vigneron, age 26, Las Vegas, Nevada - Runner-Up
- Ilan Hall, age 24, New York City, New York - Winner
Ages listed are at the time of Top Chef 2 taping in August, 2006. Locations are according to contestants' official Bravo biographies.
Credit order: Josie, Otto, Sam, Elia, Frank, Emily, Cliff, Betty, Marcel, Michael, Mia, Marisa, Carlos, Ilan, Suyai.
|| None |
Otto quit voluntarily before Lakshmi eliminated anyone, deciding that his misconduct over the unpaid lychees contributed the most to his team's loss.
After allegations of cheating, the judges decided not to eliminate anyone.
Josie and Marisa were both eliminated, who worked as a team in this challenge.
There were 5 winners in the Quickfire Challenge. These winners did not compete in the Elimination Challenge.
Mia quit voluntarily before Lakshmi eliminated anyone, fearing Elia would be eliminated.
Starting with this episode, Quickfire Challenge wins no longer confers immunity from losing the Elimination Challenge.
There was no winning team in the Elimination Challenge. The bottom 3 was based on each chef's individual performance.
Cliff was disqualified for aggressive physical contact with Marcel.
- (WINNER) The chef won the series and was crowned Top Chef.
- (WIN) The chef won that episode's Elimination Challenge.
- (HIGH) The chef was selected as one of the top entries in the Elimination Challenge, but did not win.
- (LOW) The chef was selected as one of the bottom entries in the Elimination Challenge, but was not eliminated.
- (OUT) The chef lost that week's Elimination Challenge and was out of the competition.
- (QUIT) The chef voluntarily left the show.
- (DQ) The chef was disqualified and was asked to leave the show.
- (Runner-Up) Runner of the season
Each episode includes two challenges. The Quickfire Challenge is a short, simple challenge with a varying reward each week. The Elimination Challenge is a more complex challenge that determines who goes home. One or more guest judges join the show each week to evaluate both the Quickfire and Elimination challenges. Each week's elimination is announced in a segment called "Judges' Table."
Episode 1: Into the Fire
- Quickfire Challenge: Create a flambé dish in a limited amount of time. Prize: Immunity from elimination.
- Elimination Challenge: Prepare a dish using all the ingredients in a closed crate to be served to the other Top Chef contestants.
- WINNER: Ilan. ELIMINATED: Suyai.
- Judges: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Harold Dieterle (Quickfire & Elimination Challenges).
- First aired October 18, 2006
Episode 2: Eastern Promise
- Quickfire Challenge: Create a sushi dish in a limited amount of time. Prize: Immunity from elimination.
- Elimination Challenge: Contestants split into Team Vietnam and Team Korea to prepare two dishes using the flavors of the team's country to serve at a charity fundraiser.
- WINNER: Team Vietnam and Betty. ELIMINATED: Otto.
- Judges: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hiroshi Shima (Quickfire Challenge) and Ming Tsai (Elimination Challenge).
- First aired October 25, 2006
- Elimination Challenge Prize: A limited-edition Kyocera KT-300-HIP Kyotop 8.25" ceramic sashimi knife.
- Otto voluntarily withdrew from the show. As Team Korea loaded up their SUV with groceries, Marisa heard Otto say that he thought that the store cashier neglected to ring up a case of lychees. She later revealed this to Colicchio, who made Otto take them back to the store. Otto returned to complete the Elimination Challenge, but announced he was withdrawing from the competition during the "Judges' Table" segment.
Episode 3: Food for the People
- Quickfire Challenge: Create an original ice cream flavor and serve it at the Redondo Beach Seaside Lagoon. Prize: Immunity from elimination.
- Elimination Challenge: Create a dish updating a "childhood classic" to be served to the firemen of South Pasadena.
- WINNER: Betty. ELIMINATED: Emily.
- Judges: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Stephen Bugarelli (Elimination Challenge).
- First aired November 1, 2006
- Elimination Challenge Prize: The winning entrée will be featured nationwide on the menu of T.G.I. Friday's. (Note: Betty's winning dish has been placed on TGI Friday's menu but renamed "Tuscan Portobello Melt.)
- During this quickfire challenge, Betty suffered a dry ice burn that required medical attention.
- Betty is the second person to win 2 elimination challenges in a row behind Tiffani in season 1
Episode 4: Less is More
- Quickfire Challenge: Create an amuse bouche dish using $10 of ingredients from a vending machine. Prize: Immunity from elimination.
- WINNER: Carlos. (Sunflower Seed & Carrot Loaf with Cilantro, Sesame Seed & Squirt)
- Elimination Challenge: Create a meal not to exceed 500 calories to serve at a camp for diabetic and overweight children.
Team Black (Betty, Frank, Marcel)
- Sausage & Cheese Pizza
- Fresh Fruit Skewers
- Crispy Chocolate Cookie with Banana & Peanut Butter Drizzle
Team Orange (Marisa, Mia, Mike)
- BBQ Chicken Skewers with Cole Slaw
- Grilled Vegetables
- Old Fashioned Fudge Cake
Team White (Elia, Ilan, Josie)
- Chicken Parmesan
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Berryrific Cheesecake
Team Red (Carlos, Cliff, Sam)
- Turkey Meatballs
- Zucchini, Tomato Sauce & Roasted Corn
- Fruit Smoothie with Graham Cracker Crumbles
- WINNER: Team Black and Frank. ELIMINATED: None.
- Judges: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Suzanne Goin (Quickfire & Elimination Challenges).
- First aired November 8, 2006
- Elimination Challenge Prize: A cookbook written by Goin and an opportunity to collaborate on one of Goin's famed Sunday supper menus for her Lucques restaurant.
- At the judges' table, the losing teams made allegations regarding the "bending" or "breaking" of the rules in the elimination challenge by a member or members of the winning team. Sam stated that he saw people with squeeze bottles of olive oil, but refused to name names. Mia stated that Betty had used sugar instead of Splenda; a claim that Betty herself later confirmed, explaining that she thought she had not violated the rules because her team would still be under the 500 calorie limit. However, the other contestants understood that the rules required that once the calorie calculations had been completed by the nutritionists, the recipes could not be further modified. As a result, Colicchio stated that all the contestants would remain "on probation" and no one was eliminated in this episode.
Episode 5: Social Service
- Quickfire Challenge: Create a dish using offal, the leftover parts of animals. Prize: Immunity from elimination.
- WINNER: Sam. (Sweetbreads & Scallion Beignets, Chinese Five Spice & Sweet Soy Broth)
- Elimination Challenge: Working in teams of two, create a six-course lunch for Jennifer Coolidge and 60 of her guests using only ingredients already available in the kitchen.
- 1st Course: Marcel & Frank (Duo of Salmon, Tartare & Mousse with Red & Gold Beets)
- 2nd Course: Cliff & Sam (Seared Diver Scallops & Seared Foie Gras with a Fig Gastrique)
- 3rd Course: Ilan & Michael (Lobster, Shrimp & Mushroom Paella, Fried Softshell Crab)
- 4th Course: Betty & Mia (Pan-Seared Duck with Puff Pastry, Sweet Potatoes & Green Beans)
- 5th Course: Josie & Marisa ("The Awakening Trio": Prickly Pear & Coconut Soup, Fennel & Apple Salad, Sautéed Pineapple Salad)
- 6th Course: Elia & Carlos (A Trio of Desserts: Chilled Pomegranate & Orange Juice with Basil, Phyllo & Marscapone Napoleon, Apple or Pineapple Sorbet with Pistachio)
- WINNER: Ilan. ELIMINATED: Marisa and Josie.
- Judges: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Michelle Bernstein (Quickfire & Elimination Challenges).
- First aired November 15, 2006
- Elimination Challenge Prize: Opportunity to work with Bernstein at the Sagamore Hotel in Miami on the South Beach Food and Wine Festival.
- During deliberation, the judges could not determine whether Marisa or Josie was more responsible for the outcome of their dish. Because both claimed equal responsibility, the judges sent both home.
Episode 6: Thanksgiving
- Quickfire Challenge: Create a dish using three different canned foods in 15 minutes. Prize: Skip the elimination challenge altogether and immunity from the next challenge.
- Quickfire winners:
- Sam. (Garbanzo & Beet Salad, Crunchy Anchovies with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette)
- Mia. ("15 Minute Salad": Garbanzo Beans, Green Beans, Artichoke Hearts & Mint)
- Ilan. (Spinach & Cannellini Bean Salad, Roasted Potatoes & Vienna Sausages)
- Cliff. (Potato Salad, Anchovies & Mandarin Oranges)
- Frank. (Fruit & Coconut Salad with Blueberry Yogurt Cream)
- Elimination Challenge: All five who did not win the Quickfire Challenge must work together to make a cutting edge Thanksgiving dinner for the judges and other Top Chef contestants, using the kitchens in the loft.
- Amuse Bouche: Turkey & Egg Toast Canapé (Michael)
- First Course: Salad with Chipotle Peppers, Queso Fresco, Pumpkin Seeds, Butternut Squash Dressing (Carlos)
- Second Course: Portobello & Button Mushroom Creme Soup with Walnuts (Elia)
- Third Course: Turkey Roulade with Stuffing & Cranberry Gelee (Marcel)
- Fourth Course: Twice Baked Potato with Shrimp, Parsnip Mashed Potatoes & Corn with Parmesan (Michael)
- Fifth Course: Chai Pumpkin Creme Brulee, Chocolate Hazelnut Creme Brulee & a Shot of Coffee (Betty)
- Sixth Course: Cheese Plate: Applewood Cheddar, Gouda, Port Salut, Parmesan & Brie (Michael)
- WINNER: Elia. ELIMINATED: Carlos.
- Judges: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Anthony Bourdain (Elimination Challenge).
- First aired November 22, 2006
Episode 7: The Raw and the Cooked
- Quickfire Challenge: Create a entrée using fresh ingredients from the Redondo Beach Farmers' Market without cooking of any kind by the contestants. Prize: Immunity from elimination.
- WINNER: Marcel (Watermelon & Tomato Trio: Watermelon Steak, Tomato Carpaccio, Nasturtiums & Opal Basil).
- Elimination Challenge: Prepare breakfast for athletes with the cooking environment and available tools not known to contestants until their arrival at the challenge. In the challenge, chefs cook for surfers at dawn on the beach using only a fire pit and basic kitchen tools.
- WINNER: Elia ("Organic Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner": Waffle with Ham, Cheese & Fried Eggs). ELIMINATED: Frank (Zucchini & Salmon Scramble, Cannoli Cream with Strawberries & Holland Waffle).
- Judges: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Raphael Lunetta (Quickfire & Elimination challenge)
- First aired December 6, 2006
- Elia is the third person to win 2 in a row for an elimination challenge behind Betty also in season 2 and Tiffani in season 1
Episode 8: Holiday Spirit
- Quickfire Challenge: Create a Bailey's Irish Cream mix drink and an accompanying dish. Prize: Immunity from elimination.
- WINNER: Cliff (Original Bailey's, Rum, Vodka & Vanilla Bean Accompanied by Grilled Sliced Beef, Creme Fraiche Fondue, Nutmeg & Dark Chocolate)
- Elimination Challenge: Working in two teams of four, cater the Los Angeles magazine holiday party on the Warner Bros. movie lot.
- Black Team (Cliff, Elia, Mia, Mike)
- "Surf & Turf Canape": Lobster Medallion with Filet Mignon & Herb Salad
- Seared Scallops with Belgian Endive & Ginger-Grapefruit Marmalade
- Smoked Salmon with Avocado Mousse
- Strawberries with Rosemary Mascarpone & Pancetta Brunoise
- Orange Team (Betty, Ilan, Marcel, Sam)
- Cinnamon Croissant Bread Pudding with Two Chocolates & Almond Cream
- Pickled Mussels with Apple Molasses Mignonette
- Sesame Shrimp Skewers
- Vegetable Terrine
- Confit of Pork Shoulder with Tomato Marmalade
- Chorizo and Egg Tostada
- Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese
- Calamari with Dip
- Crab Cake with Spicy Fire Roasted Corn & Pasilla Relish
- Cauliflower a la Plancha Croquetas
- Mushroom Tart
- Salmon Mousse
- WINNER: Orange Team and Sam. CONCEDED: Mia
- Judges: Tom Colicchio, Ted Allen (standing in for Gail Simmons), Kristin Woodward (Quickfire Challenge only), and Lee Hefter (Elimination Challenge only).
- Elimination Challenge prize: a 20-piece set of Global knives.
- Mia voluntarily withdrew from the competition during the judges' table segment, believing that she was saving Elia from elimination. Her decision at the judges' table was preceded by a monologue by Mia who expressed her anger and frustration with Cliff's attitude toward her.
- Teaser advertisements for this episode showed a cameo of Season 1 contestant Stephen Asprinio, but he is not shown in the aired episode. The video clip with Asprinio was included as bonus material on the Top Chef website.
- Actor Nate Torrence had a cameo in this episode. He is one of the many party guests who go to Team Black's table.
- First aired December 13, 2006.
Episode 9: Seven
- Quickfire Challenge: Create a dish based on a color drawn from the knife block.
- WINNER: Michael with Orange. (Sushi Rice with Salmon & Carrot Chips)
- First episode during Season 2 that immunity from elimination was not awarded to the quickfire challenge winner.
- Elimination Challenge: Create a seven-course meal, with each course representing one of the Seven Deadly Sins. The sins were drawn from the block, but Michael, as the Quickfire winner, got to swap his his sin, Lust, for Marcel's Envy. Guest appearance by Debi Mazar.
- Sam (#1): Wrath -- Spicy Shrimp Ceviche with Chili Pepper Popcorn
- Betty (#2): Sloth -- A Trio of Vegetable Soups: Carrot & Fennel, Red Pepper & Beet, White Onion
- Michael (#3): Envy -- Trout & Salmon with Lemon-Thyme Beurre Blanc, Asparagus & Mushrooms
- Cliff (#4): Greed -- Bouillabaisse with Clams, Oysters & Scallops in a Thai Curry Broth
- Elia (#5): Pride -- Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
- Marcel (#6): Lust -- Cherry Tart with Cherry Gelee & Cherry Foam, Whipped Cream & Chocolate
- Ilan (#7): Gluttony -- Rich Decadent Chocolate Cake with Fried Funnel Cake
- WINNER: Michael with Envy. ELIMINATED: Betty with Sloth
- Judges: Tom Colicchio, Ted Allen (standing in for Gail Simmons) and chef Roberto Ivan
- The episode's initial airing ran for an hour and fifteen minutes, rather than the usual hour. The extended version showed Marcel sharply telling Betty to hold service on his dish after she announced she was going to begin service. Prior to Marcel's comment to Betty, an off-screen voice can be heard saying that they were not ready yet and an off-screen contestant can also be heard confirming that they were holding service. The other contestants refused to assist Marcel with service until he apologized to Betty which he did. The condensed version of this episode cut out the other contestants refusing to help Marcel, but still showed him snapping at Betty and his subsequent apology.
- Michael was the first Top Chef contestant ever to win both the Quickfire Challenge and the Elimination Challenge in the same episode.
- First aired January 3, 2007
Episode 10: Unhappy Customers
- Quickfire Challenge: Create a snack using three Kraft Foods products: mayonnaise, barbecue sauce or Italian dressing.
- WINNERS:Sam (Southern Kraft Sandwich with Tempura Shrimp, Pickled Peaches & BBQ Aioli) and Marcel (Lamb Kebab with Curried Kraft Mayo, Endives & Tomatoes).
- Elimination Challenge: Divided into two teams, the contestants must devise a concept, interior design and menu for a raw restaurant space. Sam and Marcel, as the Quickfire winners, chose their teams. Similar to Restaurant Wars of Season One.
- Lalalina (Italian Family Style): Sam, Mike and Ilan
- Course 1: Fried Meatball on Crostini with Parsley Pesto
- Course 2: Linguini with Walnut Parsley Pesto & Roasted Mushrooms
- Course 3: Roasted Pork Loin, Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Creamy Polenta
- Course 4: Watermelon "Gnocchi" with Cabrales & Asiago Cream
- M.E.C. (Upscale Diner): Marcel, Elia and Cliff
- Course 1: Barbecue Coffee Chicken Wing
- Course 2: Tempura Vegetables & Mozzarella with Cornichon Aioli
- Course 3: "The Best Burger Ever" with House Made Chips
- Course 4: Oreo Lemon Pie
- WINNER: None (Marcel's dish was selected as the featured dish on Bravo's Web site). ELIMINATED: Michael.
- Judges: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Mike Yakura (Quickfire and Elimination Challenges)
- First aired Jan. 10, 2007
Episode 11: Sense and Sensuality
- Quickfire Challenge: Create a dish using Nestlé chocolatier products.
- WINNER: Sam (Shrimp & Banana with Chocolate Chipotle, Black Bean & Cilantro Pesto Sauces).
- Elimination Challenge: Create a romantic 5-course menu for celebratory couples in Santa Barbara. Sam, as the Quickfire Challenge winner, was allowed to choose which course he wanted to execute and which proteins he was going to use. The remaining contestants were not allowed to use the same proteins that Sam chose. Sam elected to cook the first course and use lobster and scallops as his proteins.
- Course 1 (Sam): Seared Scallops with Lobster Plum Sauce & Beets
- Course 2 (Ilan): Fideos with Clams & Saffron
- Course 3 (Marcel): Salmon with Celeriac & Beets
- Course 4 (Cliff): Sirloin with Lentil Puree
- Course 5 (Elia): "The Kiss": Chocolate Mousse with a Chocolate Heart served on a Pastry Heart
- WINNER: None (Ilan's dish was selected as the featured dish on Bravo's Web site). ELIMINATED: None. DISQUALIFIED: Cliff.
- Hazing Incident: After the Elimination Challenge, but before the Judges' Table segment, Cliff, Elia, Ilan and Sam had been drinking, while Marcel slept in the next room. They made a decision to shave their own heads (only Ilan and Elia actually went through with it) and then to shave Marcel's, whether he liked it or not. Cliff approaches a sleeping Marcel and wrestles him to the ground. Ilan, holding a borrowed video camera from production, can be heard encouraging the other contestants to forcibly shave Marcel's hair as Cliff holds Marcel down to the ground. Marcel angrily gets away from Cliff and goes to sleep in a bathroom. The next day, Colicchio, having seen the video footage, approaches Cliff and states that the show's rules expressly forbid contestants to touch one another in an aggressive manner. As such, Cliff is asked to leave the show. However, it is mentioned that during the judges' deliberation that Cliff's dish is the weakest of all five, and that he likely would have been eliminated at the Judges' Table anyway. Tom Colicchio said in his blog post for the episode that he was willing to send home all of the contestants involved except for Marcel, holding them all accountable either for their actions that escalated the situation, or their decision not to speak up for Marcel while he was calling for help. But the producers stepped in, not wanting to end the season on a sour note - without a final competition and with what would've been an anticlimactic ending giving the title of Top Chef to Marcel by default.
- Judges: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Eric Ripert
- First aired January 17, 2007
Episode 12: Hawaii Finale, Part 1
- Quickfire Challenge: None
- Elimination Challenge: Create two dishes based on classic Hawaiian dishes with a twist. Each chef must combine their signature style with traditional Hawaiian flavors and cuisine.
- ADVANCING TO FINAL TWO: Marcel (Hamachi Poke with Pineapple Poi; Salmon Lomi Lomi with Tomato Foam, Scallion Oil, Chili Water & Lotus Root Chip) & Ilan (Morcilla & Squid Lau Lau; Saffron Haupia Frita).
- ELIMINATED: Sam (Opakapaka Poke with Sea Beans; Marscapone Mousse with Hawaiian Salted Coconut Milk & Citrus Tuile) & Elia (Snapper Steamed in Ti Leaves; Ahi Poke with Olives, Capers & Lemon Confit).
- Judges: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Alan Wong.
- First aired January 24, 2007.
- While the judges were deliberating, they stated that it was too difficult to find a dish that tasted bad, so instead of choosing two losers they decided to choose two winners.
- The judges felt that Elia did not listen to the challenge, so she was easily eliminated. Because Marcel was the favorite, the judges had to decide between Sam and Ilan over who else to eliminate.
- After the Elimination Challenge, but before judges' table, Ilan, Sam and Elia discussed how rude they felt Marcel had been in the kitchen during prep time. At that time, Ilan encouraged Elia to accuse Marcel of cheating in front of the judges. At the judges' table before the final decision was announced, Ilan spoke first, with Elia making the actual accusation, about their perception of Marcel's "cheating." However, neither Elia or Ilan offered any evidence. Colicchio bluntly responded to their accusations that kitchen behavior meant nothing to him, he was only concerned about the food.
- During this episode, it was revealed that Sam was voted Fan Favorite.
- Attack on Marcel: Before this episode aired, news emerged that Marcel was attacked and permanently scarred in a Las Vegas nightclub by an unhappy viewer. The female assailant walked up to him at the bar, verified his identity as the Top Chef contestant, and struck him with a bottle. The result was thirty stitches and a "one inch scar over his left eye.
Episode 13: Hawaii Finale, Part 2
- Quickfire Challenge: None
- Elimination Challenge: Prepare a five-course meal to be served to the usual judges' panel and five additional guest judges at one of two restaurants in the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Ilan cooked at Donatoni's Restaurant while Marcel cooked at Imari Restaurant.
- The judges compared Ilan's dishes to Marcel's, as follows:
WINNER OF TOP CHEF SEASON TWO: Ilan RUNNER UP: Marcel
Judges: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hubert Keller, Michelle Bernstein, Scott Conant, Wylie Dufresne, Roy Yamaguchi
First aired on January 31, 2007
Previously eliminated contestants Sam, Elia, Michael, Betty, Mia, and Frank were asked to return as potential sous chefs for Ilan & Marcel. Each returnee was asked which finalists they would prefer to work with. Elia, Michael and Betty chose Ilan. Sam, Mia and Frank chose Marcel. Ilan and Marcel were then allowed to choose two chefs. Marcel chose Sam and Michael and Ilan chose Elia and Betty.
At Judges' Table, Hubert Keller represented the collective panel of guest judges.
During the episode, viewers chose Ilan to win over Marcel in a SMS poll.
- 1st course: Pincho of Pan Con Tomate with Angulas, Osetra Caviar & Tomatillos (Ilan) vs. Sea Urchin & Meyer Lemon Gelee with Fennel Cream, Caviar & Kalamata Oil (Marcel). Winner: Marcel
- 2nd course: Macadamia Nut Gazpacho with Pan Roasted Moi (Ilan) vs. Cucumber & Radish Salad with Citrus Yuzu Vinaigrette (Marcel). Winner: Ilan
- 3rd course: Seared Squab with Foie Gras, Shrimp, Braised Leeks & Lobster Sauce (Ilan) vs. Hearts of Palm & Maitake Mushrooms with Kaffir Lime Sauce & Sea Beans (Marcel). Winner: Tie
- 4th course: Braised & Grilled Beef Short Rib with Mushrooms & Romesco Sauce (Ilan) vs. North Short Strip Loin with Garlic Puree Crispy Taro Ball & Micro Greens (Marcel). Winner: Tie, slight edge to Marcel
- 5th course: Tangelo Soup with Hawaiian Fruit, Surinam Cherry Sorbet & Bay Leaf Fritter (Ilan) vs. Blini with Kona Coffee Caviar & Hawaiian Chocolate Mousse (Marcel). Tie, slight edge to Ilan
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