For the most part, every "Top Chef" contestant has access to a dream kitchen. The chefs have state of the art appliances, a spacious area in which to work, and access to dozens of exotic, rare, and utterly delectable ingredients. But in some challenges, the chefs are taken from the comfort of their palatial kitchens and asked to prepare dishes under some unusual circumstances.
One of the most interesting styles of "Top Chef" challenges is the "hunt for your ingredient" challenge. It's taken many forms over the years, but generally involves the chefs having to capture, chase, or otherwise hunt their ingredients before they can start cooking (though of course there was that infamous episode where the Texas chefs had to hunt for a kitchen to cook in, rather than hunt for ingredients).
From seafood to shooting galleries, these "Top Chef" challenges stick in the minds of viewers because of their high level of difficulty and the sheer entertainment value of watching chefs hunt for their food.
The tank challenge
In the very first "hunt for your ingredients" challenge way back in Season 3, the chefs didn't have too hard of a task. The chefs had a Quickfire where they needed to catch and cook shellfish with a net. However, the shellfish (scallops, crawfish, and conch) were being held in fairly shallow tanks, making the challenge pretty simple. Brian won with a seafood dish loaded with wine, butter, and garlic, served with flavorful toast.
Shoot to thrill
In Season 9, the final four chefs are subjected to an Olympic-themed series of challenges. The final challenge saw Bev and Sarah face off against each other in a shooting competition. Each chef used a rifle to shoot at a field of targets, with each target representing an ingredient the chef could use if they hit the bulls eye. Despite falling behind initially, Sarah won out over Bev by making a dish of rabbit leg, rabbit heart, cherries, nuts, and sauerkraut.
In the Season 8 episode "Island Fever," the chefs had to cater a lunch on a desert island. The catch? Each chef needed to use conch in their dish, and had to snorkel in the ocean to catch the live conch that were living in the water. Mike just barely beat out Richard, preparing a dish of grouper and savory braised pineapple with conch vinaigrette.
- Sports & Recreation