Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Top Chef goes to lunch,more Hell's Kitchen fury and the Emmy nominations

A little irony was served up with last night's Quickfire challenge on Top Chef,as those who botched the pineapple desserts were reminded as Padma showed them all what food item had to be creatively used;frozen pie crusts. Hung made a chocolate mousse filling that didn't fully set before he served his dish but thought that his flavors would make up for the messy-mess there. That didn't cut ice with guest judge Martha Fromkin,who ranked him as one of the worst.

Joey turned out to be the QF winner( he mentioned in one of the camera asides that he does have some pastry experience that he's been keeping quiet about)and went into the Elimination Challenge with immunity. This time out,everyone had to cook a Latin dish to serve up to the cast of telenovella Dame Chocolate for lunch. Originally,the chefs were told that they had three hours to cook but Judge Tom arrived at the start of their prep and told them that since the lunch was moved up,they only had an hour and a half to make their dishes.

This made everyone extra special nervous;Hung was pretty much in frantic mode and he nearly knifed Casey as he whipped around with one of those ginormous blades upright in his hand. Dude,didn't anyone ever teach you how to carry a knife in the kitchen? You hold it either down at your side or with the handle pointed out when giving it to someone else,keeping the blade out of harm's way! Geez,all of those cooking tips from my mom seem smarter and more sensible when I watch these cooking competitions.

Joey was having a great week,as his bean stew was chosen as one of the top dishes served at the lunch. Howie,who was also in the Top Two,kept raving about how delicious it was and that it was his favorite plate at the lunch. I'm glad to see those fellas starting to get along,after that nasty fight they had a couple of weeks ago.

Their new found friendship was further sealed,as Howie won the challenge and recieved a nice bottle of wine,which he promptly gave to Joey! That showed real class,in my opinion. Howie's starting to grow on me,but I do have agree with Joey's earlier comment(made in a friendly way) that Howie does overly rely on pork. You gotta use some of the other white meats out there,dude,or the judges will rip you a new one on that at some point. Trust me on this.

There were four folks put up on the chopping block(they are really getting tough on these elims-used to be only three people called to the carpet back in the day),one of whom was Hung. His "arrozo con pollo" aka chicken and rice ,was not up to par which seemed to confuse him. Judge Tom told him that the rice was dry and tasted underseasoned and Hung's response was "Oh,I thought I was in trouble for over seasoning." and "The rice didn't want to make you spit it out and drink water." Uh,no but it still was crap cooking there. Someone needs a big slice of humble pie,right quick!

Lia was the one who had to pack her knives and go,for her trout and polenta cake which was deemed very bland. I thought Casey might've been tapped,since her attempt at making a coffee mole sauce went south fast. Judge Gail said it had a "bitter,licorise" taste which sounds yicky to me. I'm not a big fan of chicken with sauce to begin with and not into coffee,so I would be inclined not to eat that dish on first sight. Then again,she did wrap the chicken in bacon,which is usually a winner so I would've gone for it. Better luck next time,Casey!

I will be so happy when they finally get rid of Bonnie on Hell's Kitchen. The Red Team lost out on the leftover challenge,due to Bonnie wasting most of the thirty minute time limit by yammering about what to cook(and her steak and egg suggestion to Jen crapped out). As their punishment,the ladies had to not only clean the kitchen but check in and unload the daily delieveries. Guess who was in charge of checking them in and totally forgot to make sure everything was correct? If you said Bonnie(who whimpered and whined instead of figuring out how to fix things),give yourself a gold star!:

The fellas had fun playing paintball with Ramsey(who whipped their butts)and gleefully refused to help the ladies out with the boxes as they trooped back home. The big elimination challenge was for the teams to create their own menus for the dinner service. They had to come up with three of each course,appetizer,entree and dessert. Brad's ideas made up most of the men's offerings while Julia's suggestions were ignored. Ramsey didn't let the girls get away with that and had Julia's steak and shrimp placed on the menu. I am so sick of this "Oh,Julia doesn't know anything" attitude that both Bonnie and Jen give her. I didn't like Jen's look when Julia asked her about ahi tuna,like she was so shocked that anyone needed knowledge on that.

Part of running any business is training people,either in new procedures or to do things in a certain way that works best for that particular workplace. Is it too much to ask that a chef should be willing and able to show another how to make a dish that person may not be familar with? I've never worked in a restaurant but it seems to be a group effort to make a kitchen run well and if you're not willing to be a team player,what's the point of doing this?

Julia made some major brownie points,as her surf n' turf entree was the most requested on the Red menu. Go,Julia,it's your birthday,yeah! Bonnie's bacon wrapped rabbit took long to cook and she totally lied to Ramsey when he asked whose idea it was-"it was a team collaboration,Chef!" No,it was not,Missy! No wonder that Jen didn't want to speak with her all evening:

It was down to Bonnie and Brad on the chopping block and Brad was sent home. That was probaly due to him not coming to Josh's aid on the meat station after Ramsey told both Rock and Brad to help him out. Not cool,dudes. Team work,people! Even Ramsey told them all that at the end of this episode. They would do well to keep that in mind as next week,the remaining chefs will be put into one team.

Another good episode of The 4400 this week,as Kyle and Isabelle find Jordan Collier and his cohorts,Tom gets some insight into the potential for positive results from Promicin newbies and Sean has a rude political awakening. Those dreams of Maia's about Promicin People being shipped off to an internment camp are troublesome. I know that Diana's doing all she can there,but maybe something more drastic needs to make sure that Maia's nightmares remain just that,nightmares.

Had to admit that they got me with that whole"Tom's going to get the shot" bit and why is it that Kyle is so trusting of those prophecies? How can he be so sure that all of the people destined to take Promicin on that list will survive? It says they change the world but that doesn't mean that they have to live to do that! Perhaps,I question too much.

Random Notes:

The 2007 Emmys: the nominations were announced today and I must first give out my boos: No Gilmore Girls noms(the Sopranos weren't the only ones to have a final season,you know!)and why do Two and a Half Men and Brothers and Sisters have so many nods? I know folks watch TAAHM,but wasn't Brothers and Sisters cancelled already?

And now for the cheers: Heroes is up for Best Drama and Masi Oka has a Best Supporting Actor nom-Hiro Nakamura could get an award,yes! Ugly Betty,up for Best Comedy with America Ferrara and Vanessa Williams in the actress catagories,sweet! Minnie Driver got a Best Drama nod for The Riches,Denis Leary is again up for Best Actor and the summer miniseries The Starter Wife scored as well,with a Best Miniseries nom and Judy Davies getting a Best Supporting,along with Joe Mantegna. Oh,and Jenna Fischer was nominated for Best Supporting for The Office! I may actually have to watch the Emmys this year.

To celebrate,here are a few clips to showcase some of the nominees:







h said...

Very interesting recap. It's not just your Mom who knows how to handle knives in the kitchen.

What Hung did would be grounds for dismissal in every Professionally Run restaurant in the Nation.

lady t said...

True,Artful,but it constantly amazes me that some of the basic things my Mom taught me about cooking(like Melissa from Hell's Kitchen not putting cut potatoes right in water)seem to be complete mysteries to many of these young chefs-in-training.

Hung's attitude is going to lead him into some big trouble down the line,makr my words.

ErinPaperbackstash said...

I love Hell's Kitchen! Just got into it at the end of this season. I'm thinking Julia seems the best, and Rock (although I despise his personality)