Top Chef has its 100th episode, still the best competitive talent-based show on TV

Top Chef had its 100th episode during the middle of its first all-star season last night, and on that occasion, had a special quickfire challenge featuring head judge Tom Colicchio and a big prize: a Toyota Prius.

The challenge was to make any dish in the same time that it took Tom to make black sea bass and clams, and it took Tom eight minutes and 37 seconds. Mike Isabella managed to make the best dish in that time, and was rewarded with both immunity and a Prius.

The 100th episode prompted Gail Simmons to tweet that her favorite moment from the series was “Sitting @ French chef dinner w Robuchon, Boulud, Joho, Tourondel, Keller + giggling 2 myself how far TC has come.”

And it has come a long way, not just in terms of the number of episodes, but also as a series: while it has occasionally stumbled, it has replaced Project Runway as the best talent-based competition series, and has spawned two strong, successful spin-offs, Top Chef Masters and Top Chef Just Desserts. Hopefully, it can keep this up for another 100 episodes.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.