Top Chef: Miami is the third season of American reality television series Top Chef and was filmed first in Miami, Florida, and concluded in Aspen, Colorado. The season premiered on Bravo on June 13, 2007 and ended on October 10, 2007. Padma Lakshmi returned with Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and new judge Ted Allen, who will switch off with Simmons throughout the season. First season contestant Lee Anne Wong was brought in as a food consultant and assisted in planning the challenges. Production took place in April and May 2007 in Miami Beach, Florida, with 15 contestants living, and the production activity centered, at the historic Fontainebleau Hotel. The prize money awarded to the Top Chef was $100,000. As with Season 2, the winning recipe from each week's episode of Season 3 is featured on Bravo's Top Chef website and prepared by Season 1 contestant Lee Anne Wong in a web video called The Wong Way to Cook. Another former contestant, Season 2's Carlos Fernandez, is featured on a Yahoo!/Telemundo blog called Sabrosazon in which he presents recipes and writes about Season 3 in Spanish, as well as a Bravo blog called Miami Spice in which he presents recipes in English.
Getting to know each other is the theme for this first round. The new crop of fifteen chefs arrives in Miami, and then they are given two challenges – one with leftovers – to introduce themselves and their cooking to their fellow contestants and the judges.
Guest Judge: Anthony Bourdain.
QuickFire Challenge: Create an Amuse-Bouche in 10 Minutes
Elimination Challenge: Create a Surf & Turf Dish Using Exotic Ingredients
Tonight's theme is sunshine, and first the contestants must use a product of that sunshine, citrus. Then they are asked to demonstrate their catering skills at an event which requires sunshine, a gourmet BBQ party.
Guest Chef: Norman Van Aken
QuickFire Challenge: Create a Dish Using Florida Citrus
Kingsford Elimination Challenge: Create an Upscale BBQ Dish
This week the remaining chefs must first catch fresh seafood, and then put a fresh twist on American dinner staples for members of the Miami Elks Club.
Guest Judge: Alfred Portale
QuickFire Challenge: Catch & Cook Shellfish
Elimination Challenge: Update Classic Dishes into Modern Lower Cholesterol Meals
The contestants mix it up with Bombay Sapphire mixologist Jamie Walker, and then ply their trade at a gastronomic society. Barton G. Weiss of Miami's Barton G. the Restaurant serves as guest judge.
Timing is the theme for this round as the 11 remaining chefs are asked to be creative with a time-saving pastry and then serve lunch to clients on a tight schedule.
Guest Judge: Maria Frumkin
QuickFire Challenge: Create a Dish Using a Frozen Pie Crust.
Elimination Challenge: Cater a Latin Lunch for the Cast & Crew of Telemundo's Dame Chocolate.
In a special episode, Bravo's Andy Cohen sits down with past and current contestants to explore their experiences in the competition
The chef's taste buds are put to the test, and then they must "cook" for a frozen challenge. Rocco DiSpirito acts as guest judge.
This round's theme is guilty pleasures. First the chefs must work with Summer's guilty institution, ice cream, and then they move on to Miami's night life, but there's a surprise in store for them.
Guest Judge: Govind Armstrong
QuickFire Challenge: Coldstone Creamery Mix-in Challenge (Create Original Mix-ins for Their Sweet Cream Flavor).
Elimination Challenge: Create Late Night Bar food in a Mobile Kitchen.
The chefs are told that they must create the perfect burger. Then, they must create a new restaurant concept, including a great menu. Chef Daniel Boulud is the guest judge.
Chef Geoffrey Zakarian guest judges a relay race challenge. The chefs get another try at "Restaurant Wars," continued from last episode.
Chef Michael Schwartz helps to judge challenges that involve a cruise ship buffet and creativity in a grocery store.
Jimmy Canora guests on an episode that takes to the skies when the chefs take on the dreaded plane cuisine.
Sirio Maccione guest judges a QuickFire where the chefs must recreate one of his dishes, then they must impress four more chefs, including Andre Soltner, in elimination.
The remaining chefs make the move to Aspen, Colorado for the semifinal and the decision of who the final two will be.
The Top Chef is chosen.