Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Top Chef's Final Four,Heroes prepares to go outlaw and American Idol 's Top 36

It was time to select the Final Four on Top Chef this week and the five remaining chefs knew it was serious when Wylie Dufresne showed up to judge the Quickfire challenge. Eggs were the focus and most of the chefs assumed that because Wylie was the judge,he would prefer them to use some of his molecular gastronomy techniques.

Carla was the one who impressed Wylie,however,with a simple "green eggs and ham" concept that gave her the win and an advantage for the Elimination round that she didn't use. The big challenge was to cook a "last meal" for a group of well renowned chefs(including Wylie)and the judges. Carla got Jacques Pepin(who was also the guest judge at Judges' Table) as her person to cook for and she did have the option of switching with someone else. She wasn't about to,since Pepin is a culinary idol of hers.

Pepin's choice of last meal was squab with peas and Carla was lucky enough to find fresh peas right in the pod during her shopping. Pepin loved them and so did the other folks at the table. While the breast was a little overcooked for some tastes,everyone agreed that she deserved to be in the Final Four.

The big winner of the night was Fabio,for making a roast chicken and salad,plus potatoes for Lidia Bastianich. The seemingly simple dish was done to perfection,despite the so-so salad that Wylie dubbed "airline food."

Bonus points for Fabio on this one,since he broke his little finger during prep and still went on to whip up a great meal( his ego trip hysterics can get on my nerves but the guy can cook when he's focused). Fabio received a fancy bottle of wine and a spot in the Final as his prize.

Shockingly,Stefan did very poorly here. His salmon and spinach for Marcus Samuelsson failed on both levels;the fish was overcooked and the spinach made two different ways didn't stand out at all. Toby Young expressed a wish for crispy potatoes instead of roasted,in order to add some much needed texture to the dish.

Hosea stumbled a bit,too, on his shrimp scampi with tomatoes Provencal for Susan Ungaro. While everyone liked how the shrimp turned out(Susan did want more garlic in it),the tomatoes weren't done exactly according to the standard recipe. Pepin,in particular,really missed that top searing which makes the dish zing.

Fortunately for the fellas,Leah was the one who had to pack her knives and go. She made eggs Benedict for Wylie,which didn't totally stink but the whites were runny and the Hollandaise sauce was much too thin. I'm glad she's gone;her whole moody attitude and lackadaisical manner was beyond annoying.

So now we have our TC Final Four:Carla,Fabio,Hosea and Stefan. I don't really have a dog in this hunt-Fabio's ego gets in the way of his work,Hosea has the skills but tends to lose focus at times and Stefan may be arrogant yet he clearly knows his way around the kitchen. Carla surprised me,at first she appeared to be a flake but over time,she's shown some impressive skills.

The Final starts next week,in New Orleans with Emeril as the guest judge. Should be very spicy with a bit of BAM!

On Heroes, things are getting very action movie as Claire struggles to rebel against both of her dads in their "round up the mutants" plan,Peter teams up with Tracy to go against Nathan(I so want him gone) and Matt's new found gift of prophecy fails to save Daphne from her deadly fate.

Meanwhile,Sylar made a new friend on his blood soaked quest to find his father(it's so hard to wait for John Glover to show up,seriously),an angry teenager named Luke who has no problem using his microwave power to zap those in his way. Sylar seems very comfortable in evil mentor mode(that time with Maya taught him some new mind trick that don't involve slice n' dice)and I'm looking forward to see what comes next there.

Speaking of next,this preview clip shows Hiro and Ando following one of Matt's other fortune telling drawings to India. Their friendship is being strongly tested due to their role reversal and I hope those two manage to stay pals(especially with Nathan and his internment happy posse searching for them):

American Idol finished up the Hollywood round this week by selecting their Top 36 contestants for the show. Apparently,they'll be divided into three groups of twelve and Group One starts next week. This is part of the new changes to the shows and frankly,I don't see the need to make things over complicated. As the old saying goes,if it ain't broke,don't fix it!

It was dumb enough to give that "Norman Gentle" guy a shot here but why did they have to choose that awful Screaming Mimi,Tatiana? She doesn't sing that good enough to warrant putting up with all of her screeching,honestly! You could tell that Simon want to show her the door. I am glad that the Blue Collar Boys(Matt and Michael)both made it in. That sing-off routine had me worried for a moment but fortunately,it worked in their favor:


HELL'S KITCHEN: No new episode tonight,but hopefully that will give the chefs like Carol time to make the risotto right. You would think a person who planned on being a contestant for this show would get this particular recipe down pat before going on but some things never change:

1 comment:

Ladytink_534 said...

I think I'm going to wait until right before the finale to watch Hell's Kitchen this year.