Into the Fire
Season two of Top Chef kicks off with a blast - the 15 new contestants must make a fiery flambe dish in their QuickFire Challenge in order to gain immunity from elimination. Their guest judge turns out to be none other than Harold Dieterle, winner of Top Chef season one. He is accompanied by judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, as well as new host Padma Lakshmi. After the challenge, the judges kick back in their loft apartment in downtown Los Angeles and get to know one another. Some of them size up the competition, while others choose to drink a little too much. The next day, they learn their Elimination Challenge - they are split into teams and given "mystery boxes" of odd ingredients they must compose into a cohesive dish. Ilan, Elia, Mia, and Betty are judged the four best of the bunch, but it is Ilan's escargot with cheese sauce is the one to take home the win. Suyai, who is less experienced than many of the other chefs, is the first to be told to pack her knives and go.