"Top Chef" is leaving the Bluegrass State for Tennessee and a Nashville-themed challenge with plenty of music.

By Korsha Wilson
January 31, 2019
David Moir/Bravo

The cheftestants arrive in Nashville and head straight for one of the city’s most famous landmarks, The Grand Ole Opry, founded in 1925 that serves as ground zero for country music in America. “I am so excited because I’m such a big fan of country music.” Kelsey says. “The Grand Ole Opry is worshipped in country music.”

The chefs enter the iconic theater to find Padma Lakshmi standing on stage, with four red velvet covered tables and a pantry behind her. She explains that the cheftestants will have to make a dish using ingredients from “a rising country music star’s” rider, or list of what a performer would like backstage before their show. But there’s a catch. They won’t know who the country music star is until they’ve completed their dishes. Justin doesn’t seem phased. “I’ve dealt with a lot of riders,” he says. Justin and a friend used to own a music promotion company so he feels comfortable with the challenge. His most memorable client was Ozzy Osbourne who only ate two baked potatoes, apparently? Padma lets the chefs know they’ll have 30 minutes and that the winner will have a “major advantage” in the next challenge. Who will make the mystery star’s favorite dish?

Later the chefs are tasked with making a dish inspired by a song. We see that David is making a dish using clams and leeks but his clams are taking a long time to open and he’s getting worried. “This dish has got to be perfect,” he says looking stressed. Tom Colicchio and Graham Elliot enter the kitchen to see how everyone is doing and they talk to Eric who is making a dish based on Biggie’s classic line about eating “t-bone steak, cheese eggs and Welch’s grape” in "Big Poppa." Turns out Tom used to live on the same block in Brooklyn as Biggie. No word on if they freestyled together or not though.

Justin is playing up his Minnesota roots and paying tribute to The Purple One, Prince. “I’m doing Purple Rain with beet gnocchi, braised red cabbage and New York strip on top,” he says. Sounds interesting. Michelle is using the Beatles as her inspiration and shares that her name is actually based on one of their songs. “I grew up listening to The Beatles like every weekend,” she tells Tom and Graham. The episode features guest judges chef Jonathan Waxman, Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill, model Lily Aldridge, and country music star Hunter Hayes.

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

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