Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Top Chef's back in action,The 4400 plays truth or dare and Melissa leaves Hell's Kitchen,finally!

Top Chef's Quickfire Challenge this week was to make an appetizer that would go along with a specially made gin cocktail. Hung was convinced that he had this one in the bag but his salmon & cream sauce combo didn't go over. Personally,I'm not a drinker but since the cocktail Hung had(after another infamous knife draw)had raspberry in it,chicken might've been a better choice than fish.

Casey won the QF,which gave her immunity that really made things interesting for the next Elimination Challenge. Everyone had to form teams of three to prepare a tasting menu trio of dishes(with one food item as the theme)for a elite dining club. Casey wound up with Joey and Howie,who managed not to get into a major fight for once as they both want her to take a back seat in decision making.

Since it was a four course meal,Dale insisted on having a dessert trio and Sara M. and Camile joined him for that one. All of the other teams went the protein route and made last minute changes at the supermarket with numerous complaints about their tight budget. Each team had $150 to spend and while I know meat's pricey(particularly at an upscale market),quit your whining,people. I can buy a week's worth of groceries with that kind of cash and still have change leftover. If I can do that at an Associated Foods,you guys certainly can manage.

The first course was shrimp and it went over well;the only weak spot was Hung's sauteed shrimp with corn pudding but not by much. There was much love for Brian's raw pink number with caviar but Lia's olive oil combo with cucumber & lime won the day for her and her special prize was to cook at a celebrity charity event in the Hamptons. Very nice,Lia!

The beef trio was well recieved,with only one complaint regarding Sara M.'s butter braised tenderloin that looked like something out of the Denny's menu,according to Judge Tom. My bet is that Sara's beef tasted good but compared to the fancy footwork from her two teammates,Tre and CJ,it did seem rather Plain Jane in appearance.

Casey's team wanted to use duck originally but decided on tuna when they went shopping. The guys did a so-number on their dishes but Casey's bird nest tartare creation was underseasoned(she ran out of soy sauce but didn't think to use salt. Talk about your "could've had a V-8!' moments there!) and her fellow chefs were criticized for not tasting each other's food. Casey had a mini-meltdown over the possibility of them getting knocked off due to her tasteless tuna but never fear,dear-the fish dish was not the worst by far.

That honor went to dessert,which was pineapple and pastry based. None of the three chefs had alot of pastry experience and it showed,with a rock hard upside down cake,half done gelatin that was passed off as a "semifreddo"(Judge Tom didn't buy that one) and a tone deaf tart. I don't get why so many chefs on cooking shows seem to be all thumbs when it comes to making a dessert;yes,there are specialists in any field but shouldn't a potential top chef have some familarity with every course that can be served for traditional dining? Camile had to pack her knives and go after that cake that even in her own words,was more like a cornmeal muffin.

Hell's Kitchen held a taste-off,with each team whipping up three lobster dishes. The lobsters wigged out Bonnie(the teams had to each yanked their own lobster out of the tank)but her lobster salad was deemed worthy of being added to the evening's menu. Melissa tried to tone down some of her crazy bitch routine(she even tied her hair back!)but still managed to mess things up for her team by making mushy risotto rice for Brad and mangling the monkfish.

I was worried about Julia for a moment there-she got alittle flustered during service but managed to pull herself together. Bonnie seriously needs to shut up about Julia not being"familar" with the food. Was Julia the one who didn't know how to put out the frying pan fire or was that you,Missy?:

Melissa was sent home but the Blue Team was still in trouble. Ramsey called both Josh and Brad on the carpet and yelled at them for their lousy work. At one point,it was nearly a triple elimination but the boys were given another shot:

On the 4400,Diana finally found little sister April,who survived her Promicin shot and gained the ability to make others answer her questions truthfully. April's not as slick as Chloe Sullivan was with the same power but she did have some fun testing Tom with her mad skills:

Other plot highlights included Sean running for city council and having to come out publicly against Jordan Collier's Promicin policy(I thought he was pretty discreet in his statement,despite what Kyle felt) and Isabelle translating that prophecy code to discover a list of names of folks who are destined to take the Promicin plunge. Kyle and Tom are clearly going to have a showdown,since Tom's name is on the list and Tom knows that Kyle's had his shot. I find it interesting that Isabelle still has total recall of the entire encyclopedia,another notch on my theory that her powers are not truly gone. If you need a refresher course in The 4400 lore or some current info,I would recommend checking out The 4400 Guide,it's a very well done and cool site.

Random Notes

Rescue Me: The death of the Chief and it's aftermath was handled well,with Tommy Gavin giving what I considered a eulogy of sorts at the beginning of the show last night. I know Jack McGee(the actor who played the Chief) was rather steamed at how his character was written off,according to an interview at TWOP,but it doesn't seem like a deliberate snubbing to me. In other plot points,Garrity should just take Maggie up on her offer for a divorce because she's not going to get clean and sober any time soon,especially for him.

Mind of Mencia: Another season of the show kicked off on Sunday and yes,Carlos is still in anti-PC mode. Good for him! According to a story on TMZ,Kanye West gives a bit of a shout out to Mencia in his new song,not being happy about the MOM parody of "Golddigger" that calls Kanye "Theo Huxtable". Hey,Kanye,if you're going to go the Vanilla Ice route with the pseudo-gangsta backstory,you gotta take your lumps there:

1 comment:

h said...

Interesting blog. My advice:

Drop Hell's Kitchen, and watch or record Kyle XY and Next Food Network Star.