The chefs take on basketball and bouillon as the competition heads back to Kentucky.
Credit: David Moir/Bravo

After a trip to Nashville that tasked the cheftestants with tuning into their musical inspirations (ultimately resulting in a sour note for chef David), Top Chef is back in the state of Kentucky this week, and the chefs shootin’ hoops with a challenge that pits the chefs against one another on the basketball court.

But first, the cheftestants will have to cook in a Quickfire judged by chef, author and Top Chef alum, Ed Lee. “Ed Lee is like the Kentucky king,” says Kelsey as the chefs walk into the kitchen. “He has three restaurants and he’s been on Top Chef so he knows exactly what to look for.” Correct. Lee is someone who has been exactly where the chefs are standing so he knows what it takes to make a great dish in the heat of competition. “Listen, I always say you don’t have to win Top Chef to be a success, you just have to work really hard but having said that, you do want to win,” Lee laughs.

Padma Lakshmi explains that the Quickfire challenge will be for the chefs to work together to crack a safe deposit box holding gold bouillon seasoning cubes, an homage to the actual depository of gold bouillon that is stored in Fort Knox in Kentucky. They’ll have to solve four clues that will lead them to a tool or ingredient and find a series of numbers to unlock the box which holds beef, chicken and vegetable bouillon cubes. The chefs won’t have any other seasonings to use in cooking, not even salt and pepper. Oh, and they’ll only have 35 minutes to solve the clues and start their dishes.

Who will crack the code and who will be sent packing?

'Top Chef’ in Kentucky airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo. ‘Last Chance Kitchen’ streams immediately following the show at Find additional interviews, chef bios, and more at