Top Chef Recap: Episode 1

After a shaky start, Gourdet and Adams land on top.

By Benjamin Tepler October 16, 2014

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)

Right out of the gate, the cheftestants are thrust into a “sudden death quick-fire challenge” (loser goes home without reprieve). The trial: a seafood prep relay race with local New England ingredients.

Gourdet is shaky fileting whole mackerel. Can’t blame him for that. It’s the first challenge and the stakes are high. George Pagonis, Executive Chef at Kapnos in Washington D.C., is the slowest of the group, and picks a fight with Gourdet for stealing his prized mackerel. “It’s payback time,” threatens Pagonis. “If you come for me," retorts Gourdet, "you better come correct, cause I’m gonna bring it.”

Gourdet sprints around the kitchen like the ultra-marathoner he is, and defeats the Greco-loving prima donna with a chilled seafood trio of oyster, mackerel, and lobster. Phew. 

Next up, the main event: Each cheftestant is charged with creating an updated version of the very first dish they’ve ever cooked at the inaugural Top Chef Food Festival outside of the Museum of Science, Boston.

Adams, a Texas native, makes a “perfectly seasoned” fried chicken with pickled jalapenos and watermelon. Food & Wine’s Gail Simmons starts calling him “Dougie.” Careful, Dougie.

Gourdet cooks a Haitian stewed chicken with fried bananas and Scotch bonnet relish. Host Padma Lakshmi teeters back and forth between loving and hating it. In the end, of course, she loves it.

Back at the Judges' Table, our very own superstars plus Mei Lin, Sous Chef at ink. Restaurant in LA, are the winners. It’s early to start making predictions, but it looks like Portland runs the show. Tune in next week for our continuing coverage.  


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