Top Chef Boston Recap: Episode 9

By Jason Lee

December 22, 2014

Maybe a little less makeup next time, Katsuji.

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It’s evident we’re nearing the finale of Top Chef: Boston for two reasons. First, there’s the caliber of the chefs. At this point, we’re down to Greg, Doug, Mei, George, Katsuji, and Melissa. With perhaps the exception of Melissa, that’s a pretty solid group of chefs. Second, the chefs are exhausted. Doug is exhilarated coming off of his second elimination challenge win, but the other chefs just look beat down. They need a vacation.

Except for George. He’s still on a back-in-the-competition high. He found the Elimination Challenge “intense” but he’s ready to bring it. Perhaps sensing that George could be a legitimate threat to the title, Greg reminds us that he took George down once (during the Sudden Death Quickfire in the first episode) and promises that he’ll do so again if need be.

Game on.

While this undercurrent of semi-rivalry simmers away, the producers focus on a blooming bromance between Katsuji and Doug. Doug says that Katsuji is crazy, but also his favorite person in the house. He predicts that the two of them will be friends for life. Katsuji, meanwhile, reminisces about his wife (who is seven-months pregnant) and daughter back at home. He wants to win Top Chef to make his daughter proud. Plus, the prize money would help provide for his family.




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As this touching testimonial takes place, alarm bells are going off in my head. Bromance? A wife who’s seven-months pregnant? Missing a daughter back home? In my mind, the only reason for the producers to start stirring up all this sentiment around Katsuji is because he’ll be going home in about 50 minutes.

But back to business. The chefs arrive in the Top Chef Kitchen to find Padma standing next to an enormous man. My husband informs me that this is Rob Gronkowski, who plays for the New England Patriots. I have no idea who that is, though the same cannot be said of George. George recognizes this football player instantly… because he hates the Patriots.

Rob is Polish and he likes sausages. Standing in the Top Chef Kitchen today, he’s got a hankering for a good sausage (everyone involved is doing their level best to ignore the sexual innuendo that is thick in the air right now). The cheftestants, always eager to please, will make him one. They’ll have one hour to make the best sausage they can from scratch.

Rob is a big guy. He eats a big plate. Thus, he instructs the cheftestants, “I need a big sausage.”

Padma is polite for a second, but her willpower cracks. She can’t help herself. “Me too,” she chimes in.

The chefs all laugh. That kind of comment was far overdue.

The one-hour clock begins and the chefs bum rush the fridge to find the best meat to fill their sausages. Melissa says that she’s feeling the pressure. She wants to represent the girls still left in the competition, especially in this “sausage party.”


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