Top Chef Boston Recap: Episode 4
By Jason Lee
November 11, 2014
There are 12 chefs left in the competition, and though there has been a lot of interpersonal drama thus far (I’m looking at you, Aaron), the action in the kitchen has been somewhat subdued. Yes, there have been fights over the cooking/plating/selection of foods (I’m looking at you, Aaron), but apart from the recent dominance of Greg, the competition has been up and down. One week, a chef can be on top, while the next, he or she can crash and burn.
Back in the house, the chefs are hoping that Greg falls victim to the latter. Katsuji says that he wants to hit Greg while he’s asleep. Another laments that Greg would be easier to hate if he wasn’t so damn nice. Aaron, meanwhile, takes the opportunity to slam Katsuji, saying that his strategy to win the competition is not to cook the best food, but to “fuck with everyone’s heads.” That’s funny, I thought Katsuji’s strategy was to gradually use every ingredient available in the Top Chef kitchen.
While this is going on, Keriann is on the phone with her husband, crying. She misses her family. This is not a good sign. In past seasons, such chefs eventually use the distance from their families as an excuse for poor cooking. Keriann says that she’ll use these feelings as motivation. More power to her.
The chefs receive a letter asking them to show up at 84 Beacon St. Local gal Stacy immediately recognizes this as the address for the bar that inspired the show Cheers (yep, it’s in Boston). She notes that she was asked to leave Cheers once.
Meeting them at Cheers is special guest judge George Wendt, who played Norm on the show. Padma instructs them to make a tasty bar snack for their Quickfire. Ah, from baseball food to bar snacks. I bet the fine dining chefs are itching to do some “real cooking.”
Because the kitchen in the bar is a little bit small, the chefs cook in groups of four and serve up their food to Padma and “Norm.” The first group manages to get through the challenge with minimal problems, but Greg (in the second group) is a hot mess. First, he drops a bun on the floor as he’s plating his hamburger, then as he’s walking his food out, another one does as well. Then the onions and peppers follow. He serves his half-assed food to Padma and “Norm,” who are kind enough to overlook his failed plate and engage him in a discussion about Woody Harrelson, whom Greg used to have a crush on.
Out of the 12, Greg (no surprise) and James (same) end up on the bottom. Greg served up a really bad burger, but “Norm” notes that “Woody’s a vegan anyways.” James, who offered up pickled grilled carrots with red bean puree, didn’t serve a dish that felt like bar food to “Norm.”
On top is a pair of unlikely heroes: Keriann, who did a play on crab cake with a beer-battered onion ring, and Katsuji, who made a mahi mahi ceviche on a tostada. For those keeping score, both Keriann and Katsuji have ended up on the bottom of two out of the three elimination challenges that have taken place thus far. “Norm” says that both dishes were creative but picks Katsuji as the winner. Lucky him, he gets immunity.