Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Top Chef Masters,a new season of The Next Food Network Star and yes,more hype for True Blood

Top Chef Masters debuted last night,hosted by Kelly Choi with a couple of brief clips from TC regulars Tom Coliccio and Gail Simmons(who will be on the judging panel for this show from time to time). This competition will have four professionally established chef compete each week in Quickfire and Elimination challenges,with each winner getting the chance to go to the Champion round that could have one of them win $100,000 for the charity of their choice.

Our first four contenders were Christopher Lee,Tim Love,Michael Schlow and Hubert Keller,who won the Quickfire handily. The challenge was to make a dessert that would please a group of Junior Girl Scouts within an hour. The moment that the girls saw his plate with a chocolate meringue swan,fruit and foam dip and that cute little mouse,they all oohed and awed. I would've,too.

The Elimination Challenge was to cook a three course meal in a college dorm room,using only a hot plate,a toaster oven and a microwave. Tim Love really need that microwave,due to his food being frozen solid from accidentally being put in a freezer overnight instead of the cooler.

Tim took it in stride and managed to make some good food(altho his kale was a bit too salty)and while he didn't win,his charity,which was the March Of Dimes, did receive a donation as did all of the other chefs'.

Hubert Keller won the Elimination round,for not only making food that of the critic judges Gael Greene(who seems to be the Hedda Hopper of food critics)deemed worthy enough to be served in one of his restaurants,his creativity and skill was truly a marvel to behold.

One of his menu items was a creamy mac and cheese,and in order to properly drain and rinse the pasta,Hubert went into the bathroom and used the shower to do so! Totally awe to the some there,Hubert.

The best thing about this show is the novelty of seeing mature adults who are cool and confident when faced with challenges compete together. A rare thing indeed. I'm really looking forward to more of this,especially next week when the next four chefs have to deal with the infamous vending machine amuse bouche challenge:

On the new season of The Next Food Network Star,the first challenge was to cater a Food Network party celebrating the channel's sixteen years on the air. Two teams were formed,one headed by Debbie who said she had professional catering experience and the other by Brett,who was rather well organized.

Debbie seemed like a sweetheart at first,but turned out to be not such a great pick to be in charge. For one thing,her method of shopping is grab as much stuff as possible without checking prices and then taking things off at the register when she went over budget(which happens to many of us)but not making sure that all of the folks on her team had the ingredients they needed.

She also decided on putting out a halfassed dessert of chopped up store brought angel food cake and fruit,which was a major league bad idea due to Ace of Cakes Duff Goldman being one of the guests at the party. Debbie wouldn't even take the blame for that menu mess right away at Judge's Table-so not cool there,honey!

The other team had their share of mishaps as well,so it came down to the food and the person sent home for that was Jenn,who made a boring green beans with walnuts dish. Veggies are fine with me and I like green beans,but that was totally not a smart choice to make for such an occasion as a first impression.

However,I don't trust Debbie at all and would have given her walking papers instead. She only focused on the food she was cooking and ignored most of her team during prep time,especially those who were having trouble. The head of FN did say that character was one of the things they would be looking at here and so far,Debbie is scoring low on that:

Next week should be interesting,as the main challenge has everyone working solo but a question of receiving some helping hands gets very dramatic at judging time:

I know that I've been beating the drums for True Blood's second season quite a bit lately,but with June 14 being only a few short days away,I couldn't help but search for more promo clips. One of the major plot points this season will be the social struggle between the American Vampire League and the Fellowship of the Sun,particularly with Sookie's brother Jason joining the Fellowship's ranks.

These two fictional ads showcase the differing p.o.v.s rather well and are pretty funny to boot:




THE TONY AWARDS: I only watched this in bits and pieces but for me,the highlight of the show wasn't Bret Michaels hitting his head on that prop(it was amusing,tho)but Neil Patrick Harris' closing number that he persisted on giving despite the rolling end credits:

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