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‘Top Chef’ Kentucky: Rupp episode is finally here and it’s as wild as you remember

Were you there? The “Hoop Dreams” episode of “Top Chef” Kentucky with, from left, chef Ed Lee, UK men’s basketball coach John Calipari, host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, Food & Wine editor Hunter Lewis and chef Graham Elliot airs on Thursday.
Were you there? The “Hoop Dreams” episode of “Top Chef” Kentucky with, from left, chef Ed Lee, UK men’s basketball coach John Calipari, host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, Food & Wine editor Hunter Lewis and chef Graham Elliot airs on Thursday. David Moir/Bravo

If you’re a Kentucky and a “Top Chef” fan, you already know that they filmed an episode in Rupp Arena in June. And thousands of fans made it to the taping. That episode is finally airing Thursday and soon we can talk about what we saw.

Coming into Lexington, the show is down to seven chefs, with Michelle taking the win in Nashville last week with her dish based on an emotional tribute to her late father.

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In this episode, the chefs get a visit from “Top Chef” alum Ed Lee, who owns restaurants in Louisville. Padma gives them a Quickfire puzzler. They have to solve a crazy Fort Knox-themed challenge to get some bouillon to cook for their Quickfire.

The winner will get “a major advantage” in the Elimination Challenge, Padma says.

We know from last week’s tease that they will break into teams for a “three on three” challenge at Rupp Arena, where Ed and Coach John Calipari are among the judges.

We also know there’s major drama between Kelsey and Sara over waffle mix. This looks like it could get really ugly.

Whoever packs their knives this week will be facing David on “Last Chance Kitchen,” where he defeated Brandon in a mystery ingredient cook-off.

David and Brandon are facing a table of “UFO”s: Unidentified food objects. They have to pick out a meat and two others and make a dish out of it.

Brandon ends up with artichokes, mangoes and a ground meat. David has scallops, roasted peppers and nuts, maybe? Turns out they are both wrong: Brandon has Spam and David has crumbled sugar cookies.

But what they turn out actually does pretty well, and Tom says he’s pretty happy with both dishes. David makes scallops with romesco, cauliflower puree and apples; Brandon makes mystery meat empanada, curry, mango puree and kale chimichurri.

It came down to who met the challenge better, Tom says, tipping it to David.

“You have two more before you can get back in,” Tom tells him.

Stay tuned; “Top Chef” airs 8 p.m. Thursday on Bravo.

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