Each week we bring you a recap of Top Chef: Boston, where our hometown heroes, Gregory Gourdet and Doug Adams, are facing off against 14 other challengers from around the country. (Click here for a quick primer.)
We knew this day might come, just not so soon.
To start, the five remaining cheftestants are given the ultimate dorm room challenge: create an instant ramen dish using the contents of an Emerson College student’s refrigerator. Judges this week are the seemingly unqualified Andy Cohen, from Bravo’s Watch What Happens, and Cohen’s college roommate.
Hometown heroes Gregory Gourdet and Doug Adams do the best they can with the reheated, partially-hydrogenated mess. Gourdet creates ramen steeped in bacon and pizza broth and garnished with “Dorito crunch,” while Adams attempts a coconut pineapple broth with ham, egg, and grilled tofu. Neither win, but luckily this Quickfire has no ramifications.
Next up, the Top Chef survivors are brought to a screening room, where the booming falsetto of Julia Child, the deceased grande dame of American cooking, clues them in to their Elimination Challenge: craft a dish that pays homage to the six-foot-two icon. Jacques Pepin, Child’s longtime co-star and a French culinary legend in his own right, is the guest judge. No big deal.
Gourdet (whom we discover is capable of a spot-on Julia Child impression, almost as good as Dan Aykroyd’s) cooks up the timeless French classic, coq au vin. Adams, ambitious as ever, decides to roast entire lobes of foie gras with peaches and sweet and sour onions.
If it wasn’t stressful enough cooking French food for Jacques Pepin, guest diners include industry bigwigs like Food & Wine’s Dana Cowin and James Beard-winner Barbara Lynch.
Adams sticks to his guns, cooking the perilous dish, which requires careful technique and plenty of time. Ultimately, it’s his undoing: the exterior is over-seared; the interior is undercooked (side note: there is nothing worse than undercooked foie gras).
Gourdet’s pitch-perfect coq au vin is a judge favorite, but he loses out to Ink Restaurant’s Mei Lin, who makes a five-spice duck a l’orange.
But this isn’t goodbye quite yet. Adams is in the lead for Top Chef’s “Last Chance Kitchen,” where defeated cheftestants battle it out for another shot at the crown. Tune in next week, when Gourdet goes head-to-head with the remaining three competitors.