Top Chef Boston Recap: Episode 7
By Jason Lee
December 6, 2014
It’s time. The cheftestants can sense it’s coming. With eight individuals left in the competition, they predict its impending arrival. And a mysterious note from Padma instructing the chefs to meet her at the Revere Hotel all but confirms it.
As every Top Chef fan knows, the Restaurant Wars event is the toughest, most grueling, drama-packed challenge in Top Chef’s annual arsenal. (And by “annual,” I’m specifically excluding the 24-hour wedding challenge from the Season One. That was a badly conceived, exhausting, un-fun challenge that the producers have wisely avoided since.) Restaurant Wars is utterly and deliciously unpredictable and has been the downfall of many a great chef - Kristin two years ago, and anyone remember Tre from Top Chef: Miami?
Padma gleefully tells the cheftestants that, per standard procedure, the eight chefs will cook in two teams of four. They’ll each have adjacent spaces in which to serve 100 diners, including a group of VIP dining enthusiasts who’ll dine at both restaurants. Serving as guest judge is Barbara Lynch, a great restaurateur and familiar face on the show.
The chefs draw knives and Katie and Melissa get the honor of serving as team captains and choosing their fellow teammates. Melissa goes first and inexplicably picks Doug. Katsuji is blown away by the foolishness of this decision. Me too. Why would you not pick Greg (the most accomplished chef thus far this season, who deftly guided his team to a win in the It’s War challenge a few weeks ago) or Mei (who has gotten nothing but raves for her food)?
Melissa never gives me confidence that she has her head in the game.
Katie makes a much wiser choice and picks Greg. Melissa comes to her senses and picks Mei. Katie picks Katsuji, who I’m sure is happy to be on the same team as Greg.
Two chefs are left - Adam and Keriann - and we all know which chef no one wants on their team. *cough*Keriann*cough* Melissa wisely picks Adam, and Katie gets stuck with Keriann.
Padma instructs the two teams to decide who among them will serve as executive chef and handle front of house duties. She also stipulates that each chef must be responsible for at least one dish. Barbara provides some wise closing words: “Stay focused. Less is more.”
Melissa, while choosing Adam, noted that sometimes he can be a bit “OCD.” He’s proving her right. As his team gathers to start making important strategic decisions, he simply keeps repeating that he’s “so pumped, so pumped, so pumped!” Apparently loving what he’s seeing from Adam, Doug says that he wants pumped-up Adam to do front of the house. Adam has no desire to serve as Executive Chef (and wear the target on his back that so often comes with that position) and so happily accepts. Doug and Mei both say they want to be Executive Chef but Doug is more forceful about it and Mei relents. As she comments to us, “everyone knows that women are better line cooks anyways.” Haha, I love her.