|Top Chef: Boston|
|Hosted by||Padma Lakshmi|
|No. of contestants||16|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||15|
|Original release||October 15, 2014 –|
February 11, 2015
Top Chef: Boston is the twelfth season of the American reality television series Top Chef. The season was formally announced on August 20, 2014, and premiered on October 15, 2014. Filming for Season 12 took place from May through June 2014 in locations around Boston, Massachusetts, concluding with a finale in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato and the surrounding area. Top Chef: Chicago finalist and Top Chef: All-Stars winner Richard Blais debuted as a recurring judge, joining Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson, and host Padma Lakshmi on the judging panel. Last Chance Kitchen also returned for its fourth season, beginning with a two-part redemption mid-season and continuing until the first part of the finale. In the season finale, Mei Lin was declared the winner over runner-up Gregory Gourdet. Unlike previous seasons, no Fan Favorite vote was held.
According to reports by Deadline Hollywood, members of Boston's local Teamsters Union allegedly harassed and intimidated Lakshmi and other Top Chef staff during the production's June film shoot at the Steel & Rye restaurant in Milton, Massachusetts. The Teamsters Local 25, upset that Bravo hired non-union personnel to drive cast and crew around Milton, protested the filming, threatening staff using racist, sexist, and homophobic language, and slashing the tires of several crew-owned vehicles. While the network insisted the incident was isolated, sources for The Boston Globe reported that the threats did prompt Bravo to change the locations of some tapings. Teamsters Local 25 later released a statement denying the allegations. Four Teamsters were then indicted on charges of conspiracy to extort, attempted extortion, and aiding and abetting. The trial began on August 1, 2017. On August 15, 2017, a jury acquitted the four Teamsters of all charges.
Sixteen chefs were selected to compete in Top Chef: Boston.
|Doug Adams||Tyler, Texas||Portland, Oregon||29|
|Stacy Cogswell||Boston, Massachusetts||Boston, Massachusetts||33|
|Joy Crump||Coatesville, Pennsylvania||Fredericksburg, Virginia||46|
|Ron Eyester||Long Island, New York||Atlanta, Georgia||40|
|Gregory Gourdet||Queens, New York||Portland, Oregon||39|
|Aaron Grissom||Tacoma, Washington||North Hollywood, California||27|
|Adam Harvey||New York, New York||New York, New York||29|
|Rebecca LaMalfa||Chico, California||Chicago, Illinois||32|
|Mei Lin||Dearborn, Michigan||Los Angeles, California||28|
|Melissa King||Los Angeles, California||San Francisco, California||30|
|George Pagonis||Washington, D.C.||Washington, D.C.||31|
|Michael Patlazhan||Brooklyn, New York||Brooklyn, New York||31|
|Keriann Von Raesfeld||San Jose, California||San Jose, California||28|
|James Rigato||Howell, Michigan||White Lake, Michigan||29|
|Katsuji Tanabe||Mexico City, Mexico||Los Angeles, California||33|
|Katie Weinner||Rosemount, Minnesota||Salt Lake City, Utah||35|
Katsuji Tanabe returned to compete in Top Chef: Charleston. Tanabe also appeared as a contestant on the first season of Top Chef México, the Mexican version of Top Chef from NBC Universo. Gregory Gourdet and Melissa King returned for Top Chef: All-Stars L.A.
|Contestant||Elimination Challenge Results|
^Note 1 : The chef(s) did not receive immunity for winning the Quickfire Challenge.
^Note 2 : George lost the Sudden Death Quickfire Challenge and was eliminated.
^Note 3 : Katie lost the Sudden Death Quickfire Challenge against George. As a result, George was reinstated into the competition.
^Note 4 : There were no eliminations in Episode 11.
^Note 5 : Doug won Last Chance Kitchen and returned to the competition.
Main article: List of Top Chef episodes
|Title||Original air date||US viewers|
|174||1||"Sudden Death"||October 15, 2014||1.09|
Sudden Death Quickfire Challenge: The chefs, separated into four teams, competed in a mise en place relay race.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs served updated versions of their very first dishes.
|175||2||"Boston's Bravest and Finest"||October 22, 2014||0.98|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs created surf and turf dishes in a challenge inspired by the phrase "one if by land, two if by sea," coined by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his 1860 poem "Paul Revere's Ride". While cooking, the chefs had to pay close attention to two signal lanterns. If one lantern turned on, they had to incorporate a "land ingredient"; if two lanterns turned on, they had to use a "sea ingredient". Instead of immunity, the winner received $5,000.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs, working in teams, served dishes for the men and women of Boston's police and fire departments. Instead of shopping for their own ingredients, each group cooked using a different set of mystery ingredients available in the kitchen; each set of ingredients was first-come, first-served. The chefs drew knives to determine the teams and order of service.
|176||3||"The Curse of the Bambino"||October 29, 2014||1.05|
Sudden Death Quickfire Challenge: The chefs created a dish highlighting tea, in reference to the Boston Tea Party. The winner received immunity from elimination.
Elimination Challenge: Using classic ballpark snacks, such as popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, and cotton candy, as inspiration for their cooking, the chefs served fine dining dishes at Fenway Park.
|177||4||"12 Chefs Walk Into a Bar..."||November 5, 2014||0.91|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs traveled to Cheers Beacon Hill to create tasty bar snacks. The winner received immunity from elimination.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs, working in teams of their choosing, created a three-course Italian menu, including antipasto, pasta, and secondi. The team whose menu was ordered the most by the diners won the challenge; all other teams were eligible for a double elimination. During service, the chefs were informed that one guest, Emmy Rossum, had a gluten-free restriction, forcing those in charge of the pasta course to create an alternative dish.
|178||5||"It's War"||November 12, 2014||0.90|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs faced-off in head-to-head battles using Reynold kitchen products; each pair of competitors had to create the same dish using the same cooking method. Among the winners of each match-up (below in italics), the contestant with the best overall dish received $10,000.
Elimination Challenge: The winners of the Quickfire Challenge took on the losers in a "culinary war". Once again, the chefs competed in head-to-head matches, each named after critical battles from the American Revolutionary War. The winner of each match-up (below in italics) earned their team a point. The first team to score three points won the challenge.
|179||6||"The First Thanksgiving"||November 19, 2014||0.95|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs created dishes highlighting cranberries. Prior to the challenge, the contestants traveled to a cranberry bog to harvest fresh cranberries. The first four chefs to fill their crates were able to select from a pantry of high-quality ingredients during the Quickfire, while the remaining contestants were forced to use low-quality ingredients.
|180||7||"Restaurant Wars"||December 3, 2014||0.96|
Elimination Challenge: The chefs, working in two teams, had 24 hours to create a pop-up restaurant and execute a multi-course dinner service. Each chef was responsible for at least one dish on their team's menu. One member from the losing team was eligible for elimination.
|181||8||"Clean Up in Aisle 2!"||December 10, 2014||0.98|
Sudden Death Quickfire Challenge: The chefs had to put their own spin on clam chowder.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs catered a tasting event for 75 Top Chef fans and foodies. Instead of doing their own shopping, as per usual, the judges shopped for the contestants' ingredients. A draw of knives determined which judge the chefs would obtain their ingredients from: Tom shopped for Mei, Padma shopped for George and Gregory, Gail shopped for Katsuji and Melissa, and Richard shopped for Adam and Doug.
|182||9||"Big Sausage"||December 17, 2014||0.98|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs prepared sausage dishes. The winner received immunity from elimination.
Elimination Challenge: Each chef had to create a dish inspired by a famous New England literary work.
|183||10||"For Julia & Jacques"||January 7, 2015||1.02|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs created ramen dishes using only ingredients available from college students' dorm rooms. Instead of immunity, the winner received $5,000.
Elimination Challenge: The contestants tested their skills in French cuisine by preparing dishes in tribute to Julia Child.
|184||11||"Sous Your Daddy!"||January 14, 2015||1.09|
Elimination Challenge: Each chef was responsible for creating two dishes, one appetizer and one entrée, utilizing local seafood. The chefs' family members joined the challenge, serving as their sous chefs. The contestants were not allowed to touch the appetizers, leaving solely their loved ones responsible for executing those dishes. While the chefs were not in danger of elimination, as an added incentive, the winner was guaranteed entry into the finals.
|185||12||"The Final Battle of Bean Town"||January 21, 2015||0.99|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs made dishes highlighting beans. Instead of immunity, the winner earned a trip to Napa, California.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs created innovative dishes that pushed their own culinary boundaries. The winner received $10,000.
|186||13||"Getting Prickly In Mexico"||January 28, 2015||1.11|
Quickfire Challenge: After arriving in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, the chefs prepared dishes highlighting xoconostle. The winner was given first choice of sous chefs during the Elimination Challenge.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs created dishes inspired by an artist's piece of work.
|187||14||"Holy Escamoly!"||February 4, 2015||0.89|
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs created sweet and savory dishes using Mexican chocolate. The winner was given first choice of sous chef during the Elimination Challenge.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs worked together to prepare a six-course meal highlighting six different Mexican ingredients: avocado, escamoles, guava, huitlacoche, poblano, and queso fresco. Each contestant was responsible for two dishes.
|188||15||"Mano a Mano"||February 11, 2015||0.96|
Elimination Challenge: The finalists, with the assistance of two sous chefs of their choosing (Melissa & Rebecca for Mei, and Doug & George for Gregory) had to cook the best four-course meal of their lives.
Main article: Top Chef § Last Chance Kitchen
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Redemption Royal"||December 10, 2014|
Challenge: The chefs transformed the dishes that sent them home into winning dishes.
|2||"Dry and Slimy"||December 10, 2014|
Challenge: The chefs created dishes using dry and slimy ingredients.
|3||"The Kitchen Sink"||December 17, 2014|
Challenge: Each chef had to create a cohesive dish using 20 or more ingredients.
|4||"Liverwurst Nightmare"||January 7, 2015|
Challenge: Each chef created a dish featuring liver.
|5||"Crudité Redux"||January 14, 2015|
Challenge: The chefs prepared dishes using produce from crudité platters.
|6||"The Last Chance Kitchen Finals"||January 21, 2015|
Challenge: The chefs created Mexican-inspired dishes featuring clams.