Top Chef: Chicago is the fourth season of American reality television series Top Chef and was filmed first in Chicago, Illinois, and concluded in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The prize money awarded to the Top Chef was $100,000. The season premiered on Bravo on March 12, 2008 and ended on June 11, 2008.
The 16 new contestants face their first QuickFire and Elimination rounds using themes from Chicago's regional cuisine.
A farmers' market takes prominence in this week's QuickFire, and an exotic location is the setting for the Elimination round as the remaining chefs cook for guest judge Wylie Dufresne.
The contestants mix it up with Rick Bayless while creating a fiesta for a community.
The remaining chefs demonstrate their aptitude with knives, and then help Richard Roeper throw a film-themed dinner. Daniel Boulud guest judges.
The dreaded taste test is back, and even before the chefs recover from it they must cater a charity event. Ming Tsai Guest Judges this week.
Simple pleasures is the theme for tonight's round as the chefs must create a dish that complements beer, and then throw a tailgate extravaganza for fans of the local team.
Guest Judge: Paul Kahan – Elimination Challenge
Guest Judge: Koren Grieveson – QuickFire Challenge
QuickFire Challenge: Create a Dish that Pairs Perfectly with Beer
Elimination Challenge: Cater a Tailgating Party for Chicago Bears Fans
The chefs begin with a sugary challenge, and then move to the historic Second City Theatre where their improvisational skills will be tested by masters of the art – one of the resident troupes. Johnny Iuzzini from Jean Georges restaurant guest judges.
The microwaves are back, and this time the contestants are to make a healthy meal using a single main ingredient. Chef Art Smith, owner of Table 52 in Chicago performs guest judge duties.
The remaining chefs' knife skills are challenged again, followed by a wedding reception challenge which might bring the blades out for an entirely different purpose.
Salad, one of the least respected dishes by chefs, takes center stage tonight as the contestants are challenged to reformulate it, then they continue with the healthy kick by trimming calories and all things bad from a classic entrée.
It's all about service tonight as the chefs work the line during a breakfast rush at a diner, and then create their own restaurants from scratch. Washington, D.C. Chef and restaurant owner José Andrés guest judges.
QuickFire Challenge: Work a Short Order Egg Station
Elimination Challenge: Restaurant Wars
Guest Head Judge: Anthony Bourdain
The remaining chefs' butcher skills are tested, and then they must use the cut of meat they made. Guest judge Rick Tramonto, a Chicago chef and restaurant entrepreneur.
There are four chefs and only three spots for the final round, and the contestants know it as they travel to Puerto Rico for the next two challenges.
Guest Judge - Wilo Benet
QuickFire Challenge: Make Two Frituras featuring Plantains
Elimination Challenge: Use a Whole Pig to create Dishes for a Governor's Mansion Event
The finalists cook "the most important meal of their lives" for the judges to determine which will be crowned Top Chef.
Guest Judges/Sous Chefs: April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig Dan Barber of Blue Hill and Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin Restaurant
Special Guest Judges: Alfredo Ayala and Tim Zagat
Final Challenge: Create a traditional four course tasting menu