Top Chef Recap: Episode 9

Gourdet and Adams pull through this week’s challenges: football stars and dead poets.

By Benjamin Tepler December 18, 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.)

This week’s Quickfire Challenge kicks off with Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots joining host Padma Lakshmi. Big, simple, Gronk needs Polish sausage to fuel his oversized Polish muscles. Padma is once again rendered useless: “you can call me honey,” she coos. (“Gronk” is totally her type—you can see the resemblance to her former husband, Salman Rushdie).

Hometown heroes Gregory Gourdet and Doug Adams try their best to stuff Gronk, a human sausage himself. Gourdet pulls together a pork and boar sausage with kaffir lime, chiles, and lemongrass. Adams, a sausage savant, makes perfect beer-braised pork sausage. Unfortunately, neither sates Gronk’s veracious appetite (at points like this, you wonder whether there should be some sort of foil for the Quickfire Judges).

For their elimination challenge, the cheftestants are asked to create a dish using a New England literary work as their inspiration. Gourdet chooses Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”; Adams gets last pick: Emily Dickinson, and opts for “Bring Me The Sunset in a Cup.

Gourdet’s interpretation relies heavily on symbolism: a dish of parsnips and beets (snow and love), grilled cornish hen (the raven), and nori (the darkness), eliciting blank stares from the judges.

Meanwhile, Adams dreams up a grilled carrot bisque with orange and cumin vinaigrette. The soup is so good that it brings judge Tom Colicchio back to his wedding day on Martha’s Vineyard.

Adams ends up in the top half, Gourdet on the bottom. Ultimately, both of them are safe, with Katsuji, everybody’s favorite loud-mouthed Japanese-Jewish-Mexican going home.

Stay tuned for next week’s episode. With only five cheftestants left, it’s going to be a close one. 

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