In the second season of this reality series, 15 talented chefs go to Los Angeles to compete for the title of "Top Chef" and the $100,000 cash prize. New host Padma Lakshmi joins this season, with judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons returning. The chefs compete in two challenges per episode. First, the Quickfire Challenge, where the competitors test their skills in a short amount of time. Next, in the Elimination Challenge, the competitors fight to continue on the show. Challenges this season include chefs creating a 500-calorie meal; cooking dishes using canned food in under 15 minutes; and making an amuse-bouche dish using $10 of ingredients from a vending machine.