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)
This week, our cheftestants are plopped into the Cheers Bar (yes, that Cheers bar) and thrust into a bar-snack Quickfire Challenge. The guest is the witty, curmudgeonly George Wendt, who played Norm on the show, Cheers. Norm! We also discover that Gourdet has a huge crush on Woody Harrelson, who played Woody Boyd on the show.
Padma Lakshmi is in a rare, frisky mood for this Quickfire. She doesn’t even care when Gourdet, our hometown stud, drops the buns and toppings to his burger on the floor accidently. “Ohhh, you don’t have a top bun! Here, I’ll be your topper,” she proffers, like a flirty schoolgirl.
For their Elimination Challenge, the contestants are sent to the kitchen at Via Matta, run by primetime celebrity chef Michael Schlow. They are tasked with working in teams of three to create a classic, three-course Italian menu. No biggie, right?
Gourdet is inserted between Katsuji Tanabe (ethnic anomaly, Chatty Cathy) and Aaron Grissom (scourge of the earth, sloppy cook), the show’s antagonists. The guest judge is Emmy Rossum, the star from Shameless, and the evening’s rogue element (she is gluten free!)
For his part, Gourdet makes a peppercorn crusted strip loin with sweet onion compote, roasted tomato, and cured olives. Doug Adams, our other hometown hero, makes a radicchio salad with pancetta and goat cheese vinaigrette, which he served at former Pearl District restaurant, Metrovino, under Ox’s Greg Denton.
Adams and Co. scrape by, while Gourdet’s team wins the day, despite Tanabe’s shameful gluten-free dish of regurgitated ravioli innards. Counting team challenges, this is Gourdet’s fourth win. Odds are, he’s headed for the tippy top—but we don’t want to jinx it.