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.)
With only nine cheftestants remaining, the wheat has officially been separated from the chaff. In this episode, our hometown heroes are visited in the early hours by Tiffani Faison, the runner-up from Season 1 (what, they couldn’t get the winner, Harold Dieterle?), who furtively escorts them to a cranberry bog.
There, they are thrown into a cranberry-harvesting race (left). Ultra-marathoner Greg Gourdet and Texas-born outdoorsman Doug Adams land in the top four, which means they get their pick of ingredients for the cranberry challenge—sponsored, unabashedly, by Ocean Spray via walking, talking billboard, Padma Lakshmi.
Gourdet throws down an arctic char with sweet and sour cranberry sauce, while Adams makes a bourbon- and cranberry-glazed pork tenderloin. Surprisingly, it’s Plain Jane culinary instructor Katie Weinner who takes the win with cranberry borscht.
Next, in honor of Thanksgiving of course, our cheftestants are brought to the historic Plimoth Plantation, where they are charged with cooking an entire T-Day feast using only 17th-century equipment. That means cast-iron pots, open flames, and wooden spoons (no forks allowed).
Gourdet squats inside a stone hut and ambitiously tackles roasted goose (above), with goose confit and green beans. Adams spit-roasts rabbit with garlic ramps, hazelnuts, and chestnuts.
The pre-colonial cooking methods are Gourdet’s downfall; he undercooks the goose, which lends it a chewy quality, while guest judge and celebrated Boston restaurateur Ken Oringer finds his confit “dry and rough.” For the first time all season, Gourdet is relegated to the bottom. Meanwhile, Adams takes top marks for his smoky, roasted rabbit (right). His Top Chef girlfriend, Gail Simmons, can’t get enough.
We’ll call this one a fluke, Greg. We’ll always have your roasted duck with peanut nam prik pao.