Bourbon and burgoo are on the menu in a very Kentucky-themed episode. (Plus, Gail is back!)
Credit: Courtesy of Bravo

This week Top Chef Kentucky is back and featuring babies and bourbon (not together, thank god.) The Quickfire Challenge features Gail Simmons, a fan favorite judge, who otherwise won’t be around much this season because she’s pregnant. Via a television, she tells Padma and Nilou about her pregnancy cravings and the chefs have to make a dish based on those flavors. In what has got to be the best meal delivery service ever, the judges will pick the two best dishes cooked by the chefs then Nilou will fly the ingredients to New York City and cook the dishes for Gail. Gail will then decide who gets immunity for the week.

Later the chefs head to Loretto, Kentucky to visit the home of Maker’s Mark whiskey and enjoy a feast of Kentucky staples like hoe cakes, fried frog’s legs, fried catfish, spoonbread, and burgoo, a roux-based stew, that’s a cross between gumbo and an Irish stew that features four kinds of meat. Newman Miller, executive chef at Star Hill Provisions and the chef-in-residence at Maker’s Mark, walks the chefs through the menu of Kentucky classics and gives the chefs a bit of background about each dish. “We’re about to kill y’all,” he laughs as platters and platters of food come out of the kitchen.

It’s a pleasant respite from the competition and, for cheftestant Sara Bradley, a chance to feel some home state pride with some of the best culinary talent in the country. “It’s special, you don’t get an opportunity to like this ever to get a bunch of people who are so passionate about food the same way you’re passionate and let them taste everything that made you who you are,” she says. The chefs enjoy some more food and another round of bourbon cocktails before Padma and Newman come back with a knife block of chef’s knives. Party’s over and it’s time for the elimination challenge. “I knew it,” says Brian Young. “As soon as you let your guard down she’s gonna come back. Here we go.” You almost feel bad for the cheftestants that they can’t keep enjoying their meal. Almost.

Who will do the best rendition of a Kentucky classic? Tune in tonight to find out!

Episode 2 of ‘Top Chef’ in Kentucky airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo. ‘Last Chance Kitchen’ streams immediately following the show at Find additional interviews, chef bios, and more at

Catch up on this season with last week's premiere episode recap here.