Every Past Season of 'Top Chef,' Rated

It’s Top Chef season again, which means it’s time for a completely unbiased, spoiler-ridden rating of previous seasons.

Season 1: San Francisco

AKA: It’s 2006

Rating: 3/10

Winner: Just Some White Guy

Everything about S1, from the production to other aspects of the production, looks like 2006. It gets points for being the first season, but loses them for not having Padma Lakshmi. Watch for the iconic quote, “I’m not your bitch, bitch!”

Season 2: Los Angeles

AKA: Padma’s Here!

Rating: 6/10

Winner: Just Plain Sucks

The only important part of S2 is Padma Lakshmi’s arrival as host. Also on S2: winner Ilan Hall’s massive ego and the contestants’ attempt to shave Marcel “Idiot Weasel” Vigneron’s head.

Season 3: Miami

AKA: The First Good Season

Rating: 7/10

Winner: Not a White Guy

S3 is a huge improvement from S1 and S2, and thankfully features moments like every time Casey Thompson’s on screen (including when she served fully inedible chicken feet) and Dale Levitski’s iconic line: “I’m a big gay chef and I’m going to kick your ass!”

Season 4: Chicago

AKA: The Fall of Richard Blais

Rating: 9.7/10

Winner: First Woman

As well as starring current Food Network regulars including winner Stephanie Izard, S4 features a dazzling array of spectacular assholes, Spike and his fedora, and two women who were already dating. S4’s great if you want to watch someone who’s kind, a woman, and shockingly not Richard Blais win or see Richard make three renditions of banana scallops.

Season 5: New York

AKA: Top Scallops

Rating: 12/10

Winner: Wouldn’t Recommend

As the first season I watched, S5 hooked me, and not only because I was fully and irrevocably in love with Padma Lakshmi—obviously—and Jamie “Scallops” Lauren, who’s gay enough that even eight-year-old me should have realized. S5 includes highlights like an affair between winner Hosea Rosenberg and Leah “Had a Boyfriend” Cohen, Stefan the bald Finn giving strange gifts to his crush Jamie the Lesbian, said lesbian getting seventh place after only preparing soup and scallops, and Fabio the Italian’s iconic quote about said scallop cooking: “All she does is scallops. For Christ’s sake, come on. This is Top Chef, it’s not top scallops.”

Season 6: Las Vegas

AKA: Jen Carroll Takes Over the Boys’ Club

Rating: 9/10

Winner: One of Two Brothers

S6 features contestants such as unapologetically badass bitch Jen Carroll, the good boy/bad boy dichotomy of the Voltaggio brothers, and strangely bearable New Jersey chef Mike Isabella. Watch S6 if you want to be incredibly unsurprised about who’s in the finale.

Season 7: D.C.

AKA: The Most Boring Season

Rating: 1.5/10

Winner: Literally Who Cares

S7 not only included some of the most boring contestants, but also some of the most boring challenges. The only pro of S7 is that it’s still TC.

Season 8: All-Stars

AKA: Return of the Richard Blais

Rating: 8.8/10

Winner: Richard Blais For Real This Time

Jamie the Lesbian’s back, and she’s still not cooking much. Also returning are 17 other previous contestants, including S3’s perfect in every way Casey Thompson, S4’s Richard Blais sans banana scallops, and S6’s Jen Carroll looking a little like she’s on crack. S8 features contestants you already know, love, and hate, and who already know how not to fuck up.

Season 9: Texas

AKA: Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Rating: 7/10

Winner: The Right Guy

S9 has literally more chefs than you can count, as well as too many team challenges and weird eliminations. It does have the pro of not including massive assholes, and it’s TC’s first season in the South.

Season 10: Seattle

AKA: Finally, Some Good Fucking Contestants

Rating: 12/10

Winner: Somehow Only the Second Woman

S10 might be TC’s best season. Pairing new contestants like Brooke “100% Talent, 100% Kindness” Williamson, Sheldon “Sweetest Man Alive” Simeon, and Last Chance Kitchen comeback contestant and season winner Kristen Kish—whose original elimination was inarguably stupid—with returning contestants like Stefan the bald Finn, S10 is both enjoyably intense and intensely enjoyable.

Season 11: New Orleans

AKA: The Season Immunity Ruined Everything

Rating: 1/10

Winner: Triple Threat: Terrible, Stupid, and Bad

Fan favorite, kind competitor, and all around talented chef Nina Compton should have won S11 instead of stupid White Boy Nicholas Elmi, who should have gone home—despite immunity—instead of Stephanie Cmar when he cooked the only two dishes that put their team on the bottom.

Season 12: Boston

AKA: New England History

Rating: 9.5/10

Winner: Make Dessert and Take-No-Shit

S12 features lackluster challenges but wonderful contestants, making it one of the top seasons despite its flaws. Watch for a 100% deserved win for absolute beast Mei Lin and a lot of confusion surrounding Katsuji Tanabe.

Season 13: California

AKA: Meh

Rating: 5/10

Winner: Which White Guy Is He?

S13 was completely unmemorable. Who even cares what happened?

Season 14: Charleston

AKA: Return of the Plastic Salamander

Rating: 12/10

Winner: Brooke’s Back, Bitches

Brooke Williamson, light of my life, returns with the plastic salamander her son gifted her before S10 with seven other veteran contestants—including super-veteran Casey Thompson and Sheldon Simeon—to beat eight newbies into dust. Though Kristen deserved the win in S10, Brooke is without a doubt the best winner of all time, and everyone can fight me on that.

Season 15: Colorado

AKA: Top Chef: Wilderness Survival

Rating: 9.5/10

Winner: Slightly Disappointing

About a year after S15 aired, fan favorite Fatima Ali—known (by me) for such iconic moments as claiming she’s never been to a football stadium, then backtracking to clarify she saw Taylor Swift in one—died from cancer. However, S15 is still worth watching if you want to see Fatima be the Best, three men buy themselves bear paw slippers, Jen Carroll return yet again looking even paler, and Colorado native Carrie Baird win a challenge by making cake in a hole in the ground.