Most of the time, the guest judges on "Top Chef" are cooks, critics, or some other type of culinary expert. But from time to time, guest judges from other walks of life pop in to provide their opinion on various dishes. Some of the most memorable guest judges to date have been musicians. From teen pop sensations to gospel singers, these "Top Chef" challenges were inspired or overseen by some of the biggest names in the biz.
The Foo Fighters
In the third episode of Season 5, the chefs were tasked with a very special holiday meal challenge. Before the Foo Fighters performed a concert in Rochester, New York, the chefs had to prepare Thanksgiving-inspired dishes for the band. Radhika's vegan stuffing, Alex's bacon mac 'n' cheese, and Ariane's turkey all scored high points with the band, but the banana s'mores was an unmitigated disaster. One of the episode's high points was seeing Dave Grohl make ridiculous faces when he really enjoyed a dish. Grohl also gave surprisingly nuanced commentary about dishes that he didn't like.
The Jonas Brothers
All right, to be fair, the Jonas Brothers don't show up: just Joe Jonas, the middle Jonas. During the All Star season of "Top Chef," Joe showed up during the challenge where the chefs needed to prepare the perfect midnight snack for kids staying the night at the American Museum of Natural History. He was charming, but not very decisive. After sampling all 17 of the Quickfire challenge snacks, he couldn't pick a winner and picked two dishes as his favorites. The kids themselves had to pick their favorite and name the winner.
The Harlem Gospel Choir
Season 5 was surprisingly music-oriented. After the Foo Fighters challenge, the chefs were surprised by the Harlem Gospel Choir in Episode 6. The choir was brought in to introduce the episode's elimination challenge, which was all about creating dishes inspired by "The 12 Days of Christmas." The dishes were served at a charity event to benefit amfAR.
In the fourth episode of the fourth season of "Top Chef Masters," the chefs had to create a gourmet-level salad for their Quickfire. The challenge was judged by vegetarian musicians (and pop legends) the B-52s. Lorena Garcia made a grilled cauliflower salad with lemon vinaigrette, winning her the challenge and $5,000 for her charity. The musicians called her salad a "tingling taste sensation."