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Top Chef Masters features established, award-winning chefs— a contrast from Top Chef, which features chefs that have been called relative "culinary amateurs."


Like Top Chef, each episode of Top Chef Masters holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a Quickfire Challenge which tests their basic abilities. Each quickfire challenge will be judged by a blind taste test and a five-star system, similar to fine dining reviews.

The second challenge is a more involved Elimination Challenge designed to test the versatility and invention of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for demanding clients. The food will be tasted and evaluated by the judges and a wide range of tasters for whom the challenge is aimed, whether it is patrons at a five-star restaurant or a room full of hungry kids – the food has to appeal to the diner as well as the critics if the chef is to survive.



Season Winner Runner(s)-up Air Dates Host Judges
1 Rick Bayless Michael Chiarello Hubert Keller June 10, 2009 –
August 19, 2009
Kelly Choi James Oseland
Gael Greene
Jay Rayner
Gail Simmons
2 Marcus Samuelsson Rick Moonen Susur Lee April 7, 2010 –
June 9, 2010
3 Floyd Cardoz Mary Sue Milliken Traci Des Jardins April 6, 2011 –
June 15, 2011
Curtis Stone James Oseland
Gael Greene
Ruth Reichl
4 Chris Cosentino Kerry Heffernan July 25, 2012 –
September 26, 2012
James Oseland
Ruth Reichl
Krista Simmons
Francis Lam
5 Douglas Keane Bryan Voltaggio Jennifer Jasinski July 24, 2013 –
September 25, 2013
James Oseland
Gail Simmons
Ruth Reichl
Lesley Suter
Francis Lam
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