“Top Chef: Boston” recap (12.4): Cheers


Previously on Top Chef: Boston, we lost one of our white guys (bye Ron). Don’t worry, though, there are plenty more of them on the show! On a more positive note, Gregory continued being awesome by winning both the Quickfire and Elimination challenges last week. What a hero. I know the season is still young, but I think Gregory is in my top 3 of favorite chefs (along with Melissa and Mei).

We start this week’s episode with the chefs back at home, just doing chef stuff. Aaron talks shit about another one of the chefs (Katsuji), while Keriann is missing her kids something fierce. They’re all just cheffing about, when HipGuy Adam reads a “love letter” from Padma.

photo1See you there, Padma! xoxo

They’re going to Cheers! Stacy mentions that she’s been kicked out of that bar before, furthering my hypothesis that she is an amalgamation of every New England girl I’ve ever met. The chefs arrive and meet actor George Wendt, predictably all shouting a greeting of “Norm!” Padma explains that Boston is a bar town (don’t I know it, girl), and it’s the law for all bars to serve food. I’m not sure that’s a real thing, but I tend to blindly agree with whatever Padma says, so let’s go with that.

Quickfire Challenge: Bar snacks! Hell yeah! Somebody better heat up some frozen White Castle burgers, am I right? The winner this week gets immunity, and the chefs have thirty minutes to use whatever they find stocked in the kitchen. The chefs seem to struggle a little to make something “inventive” from the run of the mill ingredients at Cheers.

Most people seem to be taking classic bar food, but trying to put their own spin on it. Stacy’s got a take on a BLT (with burrata, FUCK YEAH), Rebecca is preparing fried chicken wings (but with ponzu glaze), and Aaron is making a burger (with peanut butter and mayonnaisewhich, I hate to say, is one of those things I totally believe is surprisingly delicious). Padma and George start drinking (I really hope they filmed this in the morning), and the chefs begin to serve.

photo2CHEERS (Do you get it? See the name of the bar is Cheers, but that’s also a thing people say before drinking. You’re welcome)

Aaron’s burger isas I thought/fearedquite tasty, but messy. This may be editing, but it looks like Padma’s almost done with a whole mug of beer after the first dish. Get it, girl. Stacy’s burrata BLT is well-received, and she charms the judges a bit with her impish “I got kicked out of Cheers” story.

Rebecca calls her wings “wicked hot,” and it occurs to me that I didn’t have an opinion on her until now. Now, my opinion is that I don’t like her. Padma wishes the wings were ::ahem:: wetter (I’ll just leave that there). Keriann presents an adorably tiny play on a crab cake.

Swayze is doing a crudite (veggies), and HipChef Adam doesn’t think Norm from cheers is really into that kind of thing. Gregory’s burger plating is a shitshowjust losing buns and shit left and right. That dude needed an off moment, and it’s way better to have it here and not during an Elimination Challenge.

At this point, I’m pretty sure Padma is drunk and I am just ecstatic about it. Drunk!Padma is one of my favorite Padmas. She gives Norm a piece of her bun and actually tells him, “I’ll be your topper.” I mean. I’ll be your topper. I’ll be. Your topper. The sound you probably just heard is the shattering of a million hearts. We also find out that young Gregory had a crush on Woody Harrelson. He get’s really giggly about it, and now I’m 1000% sure he’s solidly one of my favorite chefs.


Swayze’s veggie plate gets thrown a little shade by Padma who wonders if crudite is really bar food. Meanwhile, Katsuji has prepared a ceviche (which is raw fish, let me just remind you) and both judges love it. Listen Padma, if I’m at a bar, and I have to choose between veggies (which just might be kind of bland) or RAW FISH (which could make me puke everywhere) I’m going to go with crudite every single time.

Gregory’s dry burger and James’ crudite (which is definitely not a bar food) are at the bottom. Katsuji’s ceviche (was is, of course, a totally “creative” bar food) and Keriann’s crab are at the top. Katsuji wins and I call bullshit. He’s officially on my nerves, but he just won immunity so there’s no way he’s going home today.

Elimination Challenge: It’s another team challenge, woof. They are taking over guest judge Chef Michael Schlow’s restaurant Via Matta to prepare three-course Italian meals (they must all make an antipasti, pasta, and secondi).

Each team is creating and writing their own menu, and they have to make it appealing to the masses because the team with most-ordered menu is safe from elimination. This is especially important because this week is a double eliminationohhhh snap. The chefs get to pick their own teams for this challenge. Adam, Mei, and Napoleon do a weird little Jedi mind trick and form a team without any words.

photo4Use the Force, Mei.

Somehow Gregory ends up as one of the chefs not chosen, which is dumb. Other chefs, you are being dumb. He’s stuck with Aaron and Katsuji, and I feel confident in guessing that this won’t go well. Aaron’s an expert on writing menus, because, if you haven’t noticed yet, Aaron is an expert on everything!

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