The wicked-awesome supersized season premiere introduces the 16 chefs from across the country who will be battling it out in Boston. Richard Blais ("Top Chef All-Stars" winner) joins Tom, Padma and Gail at judges table. The chef'testants are immediately thrown into hot water with the series' first ever Sudden Death Quickfire Challenge where one chef is forced to cook for their life to stay in the competition. For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs must cook and serve a re-imagined version of the first dish they ever remember making, but will this trip down memory ...
Chefs get a surprise visit from "Norm," actor George Wendt, and are challenged to cook up the ultimate bar snack. Next the chefs compete to sell the most Italian menus to a restaurant full of diners, and one A-List celebrity throws the chefs for a loop.
The competition heats up when the chefs cook in head-to-head battles in a Quickfire Challenge with guest judge Jamie Bissonnette. In another head-to-head competition, the chefs strategize the best dishes they can make on a lean military budget with Revolutionary War-themed battles that take place at the historic Watertown Arsenal.
In a monumental mid-season twist, the eliminated chefs from this season are brought back with the potential of changing the competition completely. For the Elimination Challenge, the "Top Chef" kitchen opens its doors for the first time ever for the ultimate tasting party with "Top Chef" super fans.
Chefs are challenged to create the biggest and tastiest sausage dishes they can concoct when New England Patriots football player Rob Gronkowski steps in as guest judge for the Quickfire Challenge. In the Elimination Challenge, the chefs' dishes must be inspired by a literary work from a famous New England author. Chef Tony Maws and Clarkson Potter Editor Francis Lam join the judges table.
For their Quickfire Challenge, the chefs get a flashback to their college days when they must prepare a ramen dish judged by "Watch What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen and his college roommate from Boston, Dave Ansel. For the Elimination Challenge, legendary chef Jacques Pepin challenges the chefs to create a dish inspired by the French cooking techniques of the legendary Julia Child.
The chefs get thrown for a loop by a surprise visit from their family members that will serve as their sous chefs in their next Elimination Challenge. With an automatic ticket to the Top Chef finals on the line, the chefs' nearest and dearest must take orders quickly if they are to hold up their end of the meal.
The three finalists head to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico where they watch "Last Chance Kitchen" and learn which eliminated chef will rejoin the competition. The chefs' creativity is put to the test when they are challenged to create a dish inspired by a local artist's work. The chef that doesn't translate the artist's vision will have to say "adiÃ³s" to the title of Top Chef.
The remaining three chefs take a surprise visit to Purisima de Jalpa, the farm that supplies the top restaurants in the region. For their Quickfire Challenge, the chefs must create two dishes with chocolate: one sweet and one savory. For their last Elimination Challenge before the Finale, the chefs create a six-course progressive menu. Tensions flare when one chef gets the short end of the stick.
In the last part of the finale, the final two chefs must create the most outstanding four-course menu of their lives. Each chef takes a different menu approach, but they both face cooking missteps and nerves along the way.