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The Daily Dish Last Chance Kitchen

Top Chef's Last Chance Kitchen Two-Part Finale Literally Serves Up Tea

The all star chefs were asked to use a tricky ingredient during the explosive two-part finale. 

By Hannah Chambers
Tea up for the Finals

The all star chefs of Bravo’s Top Chef Season 17 have created some incredible Last Chance Kitchen challenges. From a heated brunch challenge to a cook-off that required chefs to tap into their most personal memories, it’s been a nail-biting season. It’s no surprise that the two-part Last Chance Kitchen finale is the most intense we’ve seen yet. 

Karen Akunowicz, who recently reentered the Top Chef competition after getting a chance to redeem herself during Last Chance Kitchen, returns after facing elimination once again. She’s up against Kevin Gillespie, who has been on quite the winning streak in the past few weeks. 

“I just got eliminated again. I, more than anybody here, know how redeeming Last Chance Kitchen can be,” said Karen. “There’s a lot on the line. I am not going to waste an opportunity to keep cooking.” 

Host Tom Colicchio gave Karen and Kevin 30 minutes to whip up a dish incorporating tea. 

“Tea challenge is not exactly in my wheelhouse,” admitted Kevin. “I think, kind of across the board, this is going to be an insane challenge.” 

Watch Karen create poached cod in lemongrass and ginger tea with a turmeric ginger broth while Kevin cooks roasted tuna in hibiscus and mint tea broth with apple, pistachios and tahini in the video above. 

While there can only be one winner in the first half of the finale challenge, neither Kevin nor Karen will have the chance to simply walk back into the competition after successfully making a tea dish. There’s a wild twist waiting for the winner in part two, which gives the remaining Top Chef contestants a chance to block anyone else from returning to the kitchen. Watch it all unfold in the video below. 

Want more Top Chef? New episodes air every Thursday at 10/9c or catch up on this season through the Bravo app.

No Small Feat for the Uneliminated
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