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The Daily Dish Last Chance Kitchen

Things Get Personal on Season 17 Top Chef's Last Chance Kitchen Eighth Challenge

Tom Colicchio asks the chefs to dig up some old memories for a shot at redemption. 

By Hannah Chambers
Battle Down Memory Lane

Things just got super personal on Last Chance Kitchen. Following the May 7 episode of Bravo’s Top Chef, two all star chefs were asked to take a walk down memory lane to create a dish for a shot at redemption. 

This week, Kevin Gillespie entered the kitchen after facing elimination, but he doesn’t have any hard feelings. “I don’t feel any negative emotion to the loss in Restaurant Wars,” he reflected. “If anything, I feel privileged that I now have an opportunity to reengage and reenergize and go back and fight again.” 

Reigning Last Chance Kitchen winner Nini Nguyen wasn’t messing around, either. “This one’s going to be a tough one,” she said. “If you’ve ever seen Kevin cook...he’s a machine. But, I’m here to win.” 

Host Tom Colicchio asked the chefs to get nostalgic for this particular challenge, telling Nini and Kevin, “For this challenge, I want you to go back to a memory of a dish that you loved as a kid, and reimagine it to reflect the chef that you are today.” 

Kevin decided to draw inspiration from his childhood fishing trips. “When I was a little kid, we’d go to the mountains where my family’s from, and we’d go fishing for trout. And we just sort of pan-fry trout and serve it with whatever we brought with us in our backpack,” he explained. 

Nini, on the other hand, decided to blend her family’s Vietnamese culture with her New Orleans upbringing to put a spin on a ginger and chili glazed chicken dish her mother makes for her. 

So, which dish did Tom prefer? Nini’s southern-style fried chicken with ginger and pickled cabbage, or Kevin’s ham fat roasted trout with creamed corn and tomato salad? Check out the latest episode of Last Chance Kitchen in the video above to find out.  

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