Season 3 (Miami) saw Hung break down chickens with remarkable speed during a mise en place relay race. Even Tom was amazed at how fast he was.
Season 4 - Chicago
Stephanie somehow whipping up an epic wedding cake in the span of 12 hours that even impressed the guest judge, who was a pastry chef.
Season 5 - New York
Fabio breaks his finger. Fabio WINS THE CHALLENGE.
Jeff getting a second chance by winning his first ever Quickfire during part 1 of the Finale
Season 6 - Las Vegas
More of a Crowning Season of Awesome for season 6, Top Chef: Las Vegas, which has the most talented chefs as a whole. Made even more awesome when the four most talented (Jennifer Carroll, Brian and Micheal Voltaggio, and Kevin Gillespie) made it into the finale and that among them, they won every single elimination challenge.
It was so good, it became the first show other than The Amazing Race to win the Emmy for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program.
Season 7 - Washington D.C.
Angelo getting ridiculously sick and still managing to somehow cook in the finale. Sure, he lost, but you got to admire the chutzpah.
Season 8 - All Stars
In Season 8, Carla slices her finger during the tennis challenge. Instead of doing what Jamie did, she just bandages it and carries on. She ends up winning the challenge!
Season 8 had a challenge where the contestants went fishing for their food that they were going to cook. Dale ends up catching a huge striped bass that weighed about 37 lbs, considered a catch of a lifetime.
Dale as one of the executive chefs in Restaurant Wars, doing (nearly) everything right that he did wrong back in Season 4, which lead to his elimination that season.note Dale's only problem was that he flipped out on his servers for no apparent reason, but this was minor compared to his first attempt. Also, Dale chose Marcel as the executive chef of the other team, because 1) he didn't want to work with Marcel and 2) he knew that Marcel would not be an effective leader. Dale's choice proved wise, as it lead directly to Marcel's elimination.
Tre avenging his elimination in season 3's Restaurant Wars with a dish the judges loved.
Fabio running the front of the restaurant, again showing why he won his season's Fan Favorite award.
How do you top Mike Midgley's Season 2 accomplishment above? How about do what Dale T. did and win a total of $30,000, the highest non-finale cash payout.
Season 9 - Texas
For the second Quickfire Challenge, the chefs were told to create a dish with a variety of chilis, with the winner getting a cash prize, depending on the spice of the chili used (the hotter the chili, the higher the cash prize). Paul, having been in the bottom of the last Quickfire Challenge and on the losing team of the last Elimination Challenge, felt he needed to "go big or go home", and chose the hottest peppers, ghost chili, and made a chilled coconut soup with Kafir lime and ghost chili. He ended up not only making a good dish, but won the challenge, earning himself $20,000.
Season 10 - Seattle
Kristen and Stefan. Early on, they became fast friends and helped each other out whenever possible. Stefan even called Kristen "Wifey". When Kristen was eliminated, Stefan was heartbroken but confident that Kristen would come back through "Last Chance Kitchen" (the first two eliminated players go head to head and winner fights the next eliminated player and the winner of that fights the next one and so on). When Kristen got eliminated, her opponent was CJ who had an unprecedented 6 win streak. Kristen won and kept winning until eventually Stefan himself got eliminated. When Stefan meets his opponent and sees that it's Kristen, all he says is, "Of course It'd be Wifey." Kristen beat him as well.
Not only did Kristen break CJ's winning streak in Last Chance Kitchen, she then battled to the last round, winning a chance to cook in the finale for a chance to get back in the competition, winning 5 rounds to do so, just one short of CJ's streak. She managed to win in the penultimate round, getting back in the competition for the grand finale, and WON the title of Top Chef. When viewers expected to see her in the finale...they were proven correct.