Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Top Chef Masters ends as a new season of Top Chef begins,plus Lafayette is back in fighting form

For the finale of Top Chef Masters,the last three fellas remaining were asked to make a four course meal that "told the story of their lives",an edible autobiography,if you will. The first course was Your First Food Memory,the second to be Your First Inspiration,the Third as When You Opened Your First Restaurant and the last to be Where You Are At Now and In the Future.

The food was judged by not only the regular panel of TCM critics but the Top Chef crew of Tom,Padma and Gail,plus the five winners from Top Chef's past seasons as well(always good to see Harold,but I couldn't resist booing at Ilan). The chefs were even allowed to have their best sous chefs from their own restaurants come in to assist,a nice surprise indeed:

The tastiest part of the show was listening to all of the great stories about what made them the great chefs they are today-Hubert Keller's story about the "laundry day" dish that his father would make for the women in his village,Rick Bayless and how he grew up in a family owned barbecue grill joint and Michael Chiarello's fish dish that made his first restaurant stand out above the crowd.

The ultimate win went to Rick Bayless,who pretty much wowed everyone with his Inspiration dish,an elaborate black mole sauce that he had tasted in his teens and dramatically changed his life. The recipe has over twenty ingredients and it took him years to get it right,very impressive. Congrats to Rick and the hundred grand prize goes to his charity,Frontera Farmer's Foundation. I hope that we get another round of TC Masters next year,this was a refreshing take on cooking competition shows.

On the new season of Top Chef,the joint was certainly jumping Vegas style. Not only did the newbies have a mise en place relay race for their first Quickfire,the winning team had a cook-off to determine the winner using the food items that they had been prepping. Jennifer C won with her clam ceviche and got a $15000 poker chip as her reward-nice!

For the Elimination Challenge,the chefs were asked to make a dish that represented one of their personal vices,rather interesting theme and no shocker that many of the recipes included alcohol. Kevin chose procrastination as the basis of his plate by serving up a slow cooked arctic char with a turnip salsa verde. Wolfgang Puck was the guest judge here and he was very pleased with the flavors.

The first one to pack her knives and go this season was Jennifer Z,for her less than spicy chile rellano that was mostly made up of seitan(a wheat gluten product). It was meant to show off her hot temper but her defensiveness at Judges' Table had more heat to it than the food she had offered up.

So far,season six of Top Chef has gotten off to a good start and even more Vegas flair seems to be in store for the chefs in the next round:

While the vampire dilemma in Dallas is winding itself up on True Blood,Bon Temps is going down in flames and fortunately for Tara,Lafayette is ready,willing and able to lay the smackdown on Eggs and company in her defense.

I wasn't sure if he was completely recovered from his time in the Fangtasia dungeon but the fact his spider sense is tingling when it comes to Maryann's destructive influence(and taking decisive action) on his cousin is a good sign to me:

Round One

Round Two

Also glad to see Sam step up his shapeshifting abilities but he's not out of the woods yet and hopefully Sookie and her Southern Scoobies can do something to stop Maryann's reign of terror before it's too late for them all:



The big challenge was to remake rooms in military housing and I salute Antonio's stand on not painting the room tan(his team wound up creating the best room). It was the wise choice to make. Too bad Nathan didn't use his time wisely in making an entertainment center that took up most of the challenge and was useless to boot. His dismissal was well deserved:

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