"Top Chef" takes a turn for the dramatic in a tense new episode. 
The judges on episode 6 of Top Chef
Credit: Courtesy of NBCUniversal

This week on Top Chef the weeks of living and cooking in close quarters under intense pressure are starting to take its toll on the cheftestants. In a jam-packed episode, one of the chefs welcomes a new member to their family, as Top Chef must say goodbye to another member of theirs.

In a Quickfire that catches the chefs off-guard they must put their creativity to the test to highlight a special ingredient for Padma and a guest judge—someone familiar to Top Chef fans old and new. After a speedy Quickfire the chefs face one of their toughest elimination challenges yet, one of Olympic proportions.

As the chefs test their precision, speed, creativity and teamwork they must call upon everything in their arsenal, including techniques from their days in culinary school. In a technique-heavy episode, the challenge doesn’t forget about the flavor as the chefs must cook for some Olympic-sized palates, the judges and 70 other diners in a multi-faceted event. Some chefs butt heads and come to blows in an episode that features both celebration and confrontation.

A baby shower, a new clique of Chefs named for animals and a new rivalry pepper the episode with ups and downs. Gail is back as is her sharp critiques and high standards for clarity of vision and proper technique in a dish.

Catch up with all of Food & Wine’s Top Chef coverage you might have missed with our recap of last week’s episode where we said goodbye to two chefs here. Read our exit interviews with eliminated chefs Tu David Phu, and Brother Luck. Next week is restaurant week so pick your loyalties and refresh on this season’s team dynamics by reviewing former team challenges like Episode 2’s farm-inspired progressive dinner.

Episode 6 of “Top Chef" Season 15 will air on Thursday, January 11 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT on Bravo and the current season of "Last Chance Kitchen" streams weekly on BravoTV.com.