Top Chef

Top Chef's 5 Most Heated Moments

01/05/2011 at 04:15 PM EST



Top Chef celebrates a major milestone – its 100th episode! – on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET) by pitting the remaining contestants against head judge Tom Colicchio in a speedy Quickfire challenge. While Tom's swift knives and culinary skills put the heat on the chefs, PEOPLE has cooked up a list of the show's most fiery moments to get in on the celebration. If you can't stand the heat, turn off the TV! Here are five heated moments from 100 episodes of Top Chef:

5. Sibling Rivalry: Brothers Michael and Bryan Voltaggio faced off over and over again in Las Vegas but in the emotional season 6 finale, which took them to Napa Valley, they competed against each other to the very end – with their mother on hand to witness the showdown. Bryan earned compliments for his venison with an orange-juniper sauce and cheesecake with fig sorbet. But Michael took the title of Top Chef for his dishes, which included fried broccoli with prawn and fennel-scented squab with pistachio cassoulet and reconstructed mushrooms.

4. Jen's Big Stink: After getting this close to season 6's final challenge, Jennifer Carroll returned for All Stars with plenty of promise and a lot of attitude. Following the Night at the Museum challenge, Jen faced the judges as part of the losing Team T-Rex. When the judges complained that her braised bacon and hard-boiled eggs were bland, Jen argued and talked back to the panel. When she was eliminated, she had a mini-meltdown and stormed off in anger.



3. Pea Puree-gate: While preparing a power lunch for D.C. types at The Palm steakhouse on a season 7 episode, Ed Cotton's pea puree went missing. When his competitor Alex Reznik plated his dish – smoked salmon with pea puree! – everyone in the kitchen became suspicious. Alex went on to win the elimination challenge, with Tom saying later that the judges were very pleased with his puree. Meanwhile, during their deliberation, Gail Simmons called the peas (a quick replacement for the missing dish) on Ed's plate "superfluous."

2. Stew Room Brawl: After being judged on dishes based on the elements of fire, earth, water and air that the chefs prepared for a charity event, tempers erupted in the stew room. After Zoi Antonitsas was sent home, her girlfriend Jennifer Biesty – along with Spike Mendelsohn, Antonia Lofaso, Lisa Fernandes and Dale Talde – engaged in a torrent of swearing, crying, chair-tossing and personal attacks.

1. Cliff Gets DQ'd: Although he won multiple challenges on season 2, Cliff Crooks was disqualified for breaking show rules just one episode before the two-part finale in Hawaii. His infraction? Becoming too physically aggressive with another contestant, Marcel Vigneron, during an incident when Crooks and others attempted to forcibly shave Marcel's head with clippers.

Tell Us: What's your favorite feisty Top Chef moment?

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