Top Chef Recap: Episode 8

Adams takes the gold for two consecutive episodes with Gourdet trailing close behind.

By Benjamin Tepler December 11, 2014

Doug Adams' winning dish of chorizo-marinated mussels with cauliflower relish

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.)

The action-packed eighth episode of Top Chef Season 12 begins with a Sudden Death Quick-fire Challenge: cook a unique chowder for Boston seafood legend Jasper White. This man wrote the book on chowder, literally.

Gregory Gourdet makes a razor clam and sweet potato chowder with bacon dashi, while Doug Adams opts for a grilled oyster chowder with steamed clam broth. White, keeper of the chowder, likes Gourdet’s chowder the best, but finds Adams’ chowder too salty.

In a mid-season twist, über-Greek George Pagonis from Washington D.C.’s Kapnos restaurant is resurrected from the dead (he was eliminated in the first episode), beating out Katie Weinner, the nice-to-a-fault culinary instructor. "George coming back poses a threat and changes the game," Gourdet tells Eat Beat.

Up next, The Elimination Challenge: cook dinner for 75, rabid, Top Chef Superfans. For the first time in Top Chef history, the judges are put in charge of making the grocery run to Whole Foods. This is as good as it gets on cable television. Padma Lakshmi, the baby giraffe, wanders through the aisles in overalls yelling: “do you know someone who can help me pick out some cheese please!?” Before long, she knocks an entire container of fish on the ground. “Clean-up, aisle 2!”

Back in the kitchen, Gourdet stews a coconut milk-chicken Madras curry with jackfruit relish that the judges deem (affectionately) “otherworldly.” Adams dreams up a chorizo-marinated mussels dish with cauliflower relish. “It’s nice, Douggie,” croons his girlfriend, Food & Wine’s Gail Simmons.

At the Judges’ Table, Adams is elected Top Chef for the second episode in a row! “A powerhouse of a dish,” exclaims Tom Colicchio. Meanwhile, Gourdet trails close behind at the top of the class. It’s easy to imagine a Top Chef finale between our hometown heroes. But whom would we root for?

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