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)
Last night’s episode, “It’s War,” launched with a chef’s-choice head-to-head battle using Reynolds Wrap products. If it isn’t already clear who the Quickfire sponsor is, Padma Lakshmi falls into a temporary fugue state and drones on and on about the virtues of the storied tin foil brand until guest Judge Jamie Bissonnette (chef/owner of Boston’s Toro) cuts her off.
Doug Adams confronts New York chef Adam Harvey. Everybody is scared to take on the show’s top seeded Greg Gourdet and ink.’s Mei Lin, so they end up pitted against each other. Gourdet picks “steamed dumplings” as his challenge, despite Lin’s unofficial title as the “Dumpling Princess.” Both of our hometown heroes win the challenge: Adams with steamed mussels in orange and saffron butter, Gourdet with his steamed shrimp dumplings with ginger and herbs.
Next, the cheftestants are broken into the winning and losing Quickfire teams, with the chance to re-challenge their Quickfire nemesis. In Lakshmi’s mind, this loosely parallels to the Revolutionary War’s most perilous battles (at this point, I suspect Top Chef’s production staff has been replaced with a grade-school American history teacher). The battleground is set at the historic Watertown Arsenal, where a team of reenactors in full 18th Century regalia fire muskets, terrifying the cheftestants.
Adams makes a beef tartare with ginger aioli, but is narrowly defeated by Harvey. In the middle of the fray, Aaron Grissom spills his precious dashi and Katsuji Tanabe has a real panic attack.
For the fifth episode in a row, Gourdet wins, beating out Lin’s kimchi’d strip loin with a shitake mushroom, coconut milk, and turmeric green curry. Tom Colicchio is blown-away by Gourdet’s pinpoint seasoning. Grissom, the sneering meerkat of a cheftestant, is sent home for his mushy scallop noodles.
With only nine remaining, Gourdet and Lin have made themselves known as the clear frontrunners. Don’t count out Adams, Imperial’s Chef de Cuisine, quite yet though.