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Top Chef 13 Seasons 2012

Season 9
4.4 out of 5 stars (60) IMDb 7.6/10

It's a whole new ballgame for the competing chefs on Bravo's Top Chef: Texas. For the first time ever, season nine will boast a record 29 chefs who will see if they have what it takes to become an official cheftestant and qualify to wear the Top Chef coat. Only 16 will go on to compete across the Lone Star State. In what will prove to be the most challenging season yet, some of the biggest names in food, music, and entertainment including Charlize Theron, Pee-wee Herman, CatCora, John Besh, Tim Love, and Patti LaBelle will be featured. Returning to the Judges' Table is host Padma Lakshmi and head judge, chef Tom Colicchio, alongside judges Gail Simmons and new this season, famed chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse and critically-acclaimed chef Hugh Acheson.

Starring:
Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi

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Season 9

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1. Everything's Bigger in Texas

Everything's bigger in Texas! This season brings 29 chefs to the Lone Star state where only 16 will advance to the competition and earn a Top Chef coat. In this premiere episode, the chefs will be split into 3 groups and must excel in their challenge in order to move on to the competition. Returning this season are hosts Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons from Food & Wine Magazine.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: November 2, 2011
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2. The Heat Is On

Twelve chefs have excelled and moved on to the competition. Now the remaining chefs must rise to the challenge to earn a slot in the final 16. The final 10 chefs must decide amongst themselves which one of among 10 ingredients they will use to create a dish. Those who advance will earn a Top Chef coat, those who don't will go home, and those who are on the bubble will compete in a final cook-off. Host Padma Lakshmi, along with Hugh Acheson, Emeril Lagasse and head judge Tom Colicchio will determine which chefs will advance to the competition.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: November 9, 2011
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3. Quinceañera

There are tons of rattlesnakes all over the state of Texas, so why not make a dish out of one? In this week's Quickfire, the chefs are challenged to create a savory dish from rattlesnakes. In the elimination challenge, the chefs must create a feast and cater to a Quinceañera party. Our chefs are providing a 100% authentic Mexican feast using all original Mexican ingredients. Guest judge Johnny Hernandez joins Hugh Acheson, head judge Tom Colicchio, and host Padma Lakshmi.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 43 minutes Release date: November 16, 2011
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4. Red Hot Chili Cookoff

The chefs turn up the heat in this week's Quickfire to create a spicy, savory dish using some of the hottest peppers around. The chefs get a choice of one pepper to incorporate in their dish. The hotter the pepper the chef uses, the higher the value of prize money at stake if they win. In the elimination challenge, the chefs will be taking over the food court at the rodeo and taking part in their own competition -- a chili cook off! Guest judges Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger from Top Chef Masters and Two Hot Tamales join Gail Simmons, head judge Tom Colicchio, and host Padma Lakshmi.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 43 minutes Release date: November 23, 2011
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5. Don't Be Tardy for the Dinner Party

The Chefs have already hit the road on the way to the next city when Padma stops them at a roadblock -- surprise, it's the next Quickfire challenge where the chefs create a delicious dish using only ingredients found inside a standard survival kit. In the elimination challenge, the chefs will be cooking and serving in three different houses. They will be split into groups and assigned to serve the appetizer in one house, entree in the next, and then dessert in the final house. Guest judge John Besh joins Gail Simmons, head judge Tom Colicchio, and host Padma Lakshmi.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 43 minutes Release date: November 30, 2011
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6. Higher Steaks

In this week's Quickfire, the chefs create a dish stemming from one of four mother sauces. They will explore the endless possibilities of this classic technique and go back to the basics of haute cuisine. The stakes are high in the elimination challenge as the chefs create their best steak dish for the annual Cattle Baron's Ball. The chefs will be putting out a progressive four-course beef menu for 200-seated guests. It's high society - suits with cowboy boots, big hair and even bigger stakes because if there is one state who knows a thing or two about how a steak should be cooked, it's Texas! Guest judge Dean Fearing joins Hugh Acheson, head judge Tom Colicchio, and host Padma Lakshmi.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 43 minutes Release date: December 7, 2011
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7. Game On

In this week's Quickfire, the chefs create a dish that complements well with tequila. In a double elimination, the game is on as the chef'testants pair up and cook for a group of famous chefs sharing a common thread -- their love of hunting. Our Chefs will be asked to form teams of two then each team will be assigned a famous chef and his/her favorite game. In a twist, it will be up to the chefs to decide which 3 teams are on the bottom and therefore helping to determine which one team will go home. Guest judge Tim Love joins Hugh Acheson, head judge Tom Colicchio and host Padma Lakshmi.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 43 minutes Release date: December 14, 2011
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8. Tribute Dinner

This week's Quickfire will reach out to its fans via twitter, as they follow instructions tweeted live and create a dish based on what they want the chefs to do. Whenever Tom sees an idea he likes, he will call it out in the room. No matter which direction the chefs thought they were taking their dish, they will have to switch it up based on the latest tweet. For the elimination challenge, the chefs have a chance to reflect and pay homage to the person who taught them how to cook by making a "tribute dish" in their honor. Legendary singer and cookbook author Patti Labelle guest judges, along with Emeril Lagasse, head judge Tom Colicchio, and host Padma Lakshmi.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 43 minutes Release date: December 21, 2011
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9. BBQ Pit Wars - Supersized

The chefs return to their suite after Judges' Table to find a note along with the entire box set of "The Modernist Cuisine" by Nathan Myhrvold. He will be the guest judge and the 6-volume set of books is their homework. For the Quickfire, the chefs must create something that's impressive and creative, but also tastes amazing. For the elimination challenge, the chefs split into teams and face off in an ultimate BBQ showdown. After all, what's more Texan than a good ol' fashioned BBQ? The fans will decide which team has the best BBQ. Guest judge Nathan Myhrvold joins Gail Simmons, head judge Tom Colicchio and host Padma Lakshmi.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 54 minutes Release date: January 4, 2012
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10. Restaurant Wars

Restaurant Wars is back! Everything's bigger in Texas and in this Top Chef favorite, the chefs split into teams and must create a restaurant from the ground up -- from design to signage, logos to menus and everything in between. Judges Hugh Acheson and Emeril Lagasse join head judge Tom Colicchio and host Padma Lakshmi.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: January 11, 2012
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11. Fit For an Evil Queen

This week's Quickfire is all about awareness in the kitchen. The chefs will have 30 minutes to create a dish of their choosing, but this is no ordinary Quickfire. Once time begins, various ingredients will start to come into the kitchen via a train. For the elimination challenge, the chefs embody evil on the plate and serve a gothic feast fit for a Queen. This dish should demonstrate various cooking techniques, textures and flavors, but more importantly, the diners should visually see the "evil" components on the dish. Actress Charlize Theron, who plays the Evil Queen in the upcoming film "Snow White & The Huntsman", guest judges, along with Emeril Lagasse, head judge Tom Colicchio, and host Padma Lakshmi.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: January 18, 2012
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12. Block Party

In this week's Quickfire, the chefs work in teams of two and with 30 minutes, they must race against the clock and get through all their prep. With the remaining time, the chefs must then create a delicious dish with the already prepped ingredients. For the elimination challenge, the chefs head to a food drive/block party, where they will choose an opponent, create one dish that they will both make, and go head-to-head. One chef from each pair will be on top, and one will be on the bottom, and one chef from the bottom will go home. Cat Cora guest judges, along with Emeril Lagasse, head judge Tom Colicchio, and host Padma Lakshmi.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: January 25, 2012
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13. Bike, Borrow & Steal

In this week's Quickfire, Pee-wee Herman stops by and the chefs are tasked to create his favorite breakfast dish -- pancakes! The Chefs are challenged to be as creative as possible when making their batter, toppings and presentation. In "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," Pee-wee learned a lot about searching the streets and asking for help. For the elimination challenge, the chefs are set loose in downtown San Antonio with a bike and $100, where they must find their ingredients and create a dish for Pee-wee's dinner party. Pee-wee Herman joins Gail Simmons, head judge Tom Colicchio, and host Padma Lakshmi at judges' table.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: February 1, 2012
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14. Mentors

In this week's Quickfire, the chefs must use their sense of touch, smell and taste to navigate through the pantry to gather ingredients for a dish while blindfolded. In a twist, the winning chef from the Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen companion series will re-enter the competition and join the remaining four chefs in the elimination challenge, where the chefs must create a delicious dish that will impress their mentors. Host Padma Lakshmi, along with Hugh Acheson, Gail Simmons and head judge Tom Colicchio will determine which final four chefs will advance to the finale.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: February 8, 2012
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15. Culinary Games

The final 4 chefs arrive in Whistler, British Columbia, for a Top Chef twist on the Olympic games. From cooking on the world's fastest gondola to a biathlon that requires marksman-like precision to get the best ingredients, the chefs will need to have the concentration of a true culinary Olympian to advance to the next round in Vancouver.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: February 15, 2012
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16. Fire and Ice

Asian Masters lend a hand in a tag-team-style quickfire. The final 3 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.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: February 22, 2012
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17. Finale

For the final challenge, each chef will take over a restaurant in Vancouver where they will have the chance to design a four-course meal for the judges and unbeknownst to them, friends and family.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 44 minutes Release date: February 29, 2012
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18. Reunion

The drama is served extra hot on Bravo's "Top Chef: Texas Reunion Special." Andy Cohen talks to season nine's chef'testants and judges - host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio and judges Gail Simmons, Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson. Cohen will answer viewers' questions and dish on the good, bad and overcooked.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 43 minutes Release date: March 7, 2012
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Bonus: Top Chef: Texas Sneak Peek

A special Sneak Peek of Bravo's Top Chef: Texas. For the first time ever, season nine will boast a record 29 chefs -- almost double the amount of chefs in seasons past -- who will see if they have what it takes to become an official cheftestant and qualify to wear the Top Chef coat. Only 16 will go on to compete across the Lone Star State -- in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 1 minute Release date: October 25, 2011
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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My wife and I really enjoy this show! We don't have cable so we ordered the season through Amazon. This season really has some great talent. Unfortunately I felt it got muddied up with really gimmicky quickfires and guest judges(sorry pee wee). Still enjoyed the shows! I just hope future seasons show contestants staying in one city for more than 3 episodes and not being put into Survivor type cooking experiences. It's ok to have more strait forward cooking challenges! They don't have to be blindfolded, shooting, or moving so much!
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I love Top Chef. I own all of the seasons and watch them over and over again. This season is by far the most hard to watch because of the constant and unwarranted bullying towards one of the contestants, Beverly. There were so many bullies on this show it made me sick every episode I watched. The chef who won deserved to win because he was consistent and genuinely a nice person the entire show, which is why this season gets an extra star. I am so glad that those who did the majority of the bullying didn't win. They were so fake and deserved to lose. I know this show isn't supposed to be about personalities but the producers really should have stepped in and talked to the contestants about the bullying. Especially with so many stories you hear about in the news these days about bullying leading to suicide. Its not harmless and it brings people down. I will continue to watch this show for its entirety but when stuff like this happens it makes the show so much harder to watch.
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I actually had to stop watching this show during regular season as the bullying by Sarah, Lindsay and Heather was really distasteful. Not saying that Beverly was perfect, but come on girls, get over yourselves. In the end, the rightful owner of Top Chef won, and I hope the three divas take a look at themselves and their lack of professionalism, and general humanity. All the other contestants brought good qualities and good entertainment...kudos to the rest of the group.
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Let's see, I need 20 words... I thought the chefs were particularly whiney this season, and it was more about their drama than the food. Season 10 is the exact opposite (after the over dramatic idiots were eliminated - no spoilers here, but you'll know them when you see them), and so much better.
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I am a HUGE fan of Top Chef. But this is one of my least favorite seasons.

I really hated the challenges. So many team efforts. Purposefully done to create strife. The Peewee Herman challenge was just awkward, but it wasn't the jump the shark episode - those happened so much earlier. Starting from the first team challenge. Which is why a high caliber chef went home. (Though buying cooked shrimp was really stupid.) And the end - skiing and shooting: what the arse does that have to do with cooking? There should have been a final three. Because I thought Lindsay was just as talented as Sarah.

I love the reunion parts of the show, but there was so much filler. Gail's segment was stupid. I like her but please don't waste time promoting your book. I don't give a crap about the political stuff like Michelle Obama's health initiative. Certainly important, but not the right platform, and yet, another segment devoted to her, which had nothing to do with the season. What about the fun stuff? More judges' outtakes, and snippets from the road trips. Grayson's mouth is a gold mine. There should have been a lot more Grayson, who was so witty and outspoken. I also enjoyed Edward Lee's commentary.

I'm okay with the DVD though if you were going purely by DVDs and not the caliber of the season, Season 5 had the best DVD. I love that Season 5 included interviews of chefs after they had been eliminated. You also got to see where the eliminated chefs went. This season was okay. Glad the DVD included Last Chance Kitchen.

I will say: the right chef won. Paul Qui dominated the elimination challenges. The one time he lost was in a group challenge. He was level-headed and kind, though I saw at times, he was frustrated. He had a better record than even Michael Voltaggio.
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It's boys vs girls in every season's most-anticipated episode. I loved this particular R.W., not just for the fabulous food and exciting locale, but to see totally unexpected vindication for a worthy, underdog competitor. I despise bullies, except for the fact that they give us gloriously shining victors in the end; people that make us jump up and shout out loud, "hooray!"
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After 9 seasons, Top Chef has fallen into a comfortable routine that can also sometimes be a trap for an established series. Veterans Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio return with a Texas-themed version of the show, focusing on locations and challenges in San Antonio, Austin and Dallas.

Some of the mainstay contests are here such as Restaurant Wars but there are some newer ideas that don't really work, such as the bicycle race around San Antonio to find a restaurant kitchen for each chef. Clearly the event was pre-planned (all 5 restaurants chosen are within a few blocks of each other, despite the appearance of traveling miles) and it doesn't have much to do with cooking. We also have the addition of Last Chance Kitchen where the fallen get to compete for a final opportunity to reach the Top 4, which really seems more of an excuse for Bravo to push the audience onto their web content.

Having said that, there are enough good ingredients to make the series compelling. Take some great chefs, add some unusual recipes and a large pinch of personality conflict and you have a season that gets a Michelin star for entertainment but just a James Beard for overall relevance to cookery. Apologies to James Beard.
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