Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Top Chef gets served at a dinner party,TAR's Lance is no lion and an Office wedding

Top Chef was back last night and the guest judge for this round was Tyler Florence,who started things off with a Quickfire that had each chef use a specially made slot machine to pick three random words to make a dish. Kevin won with his "stressed,hot and Asian" entry of a Vietnamese herb salad with char grilled pork.

It was particularly,especially to Tyler Florence,that Kevin hadn't worked with Asian food before and turned out such a well blended dish. This was a High Stakes QF,so Kevin was given the choice of either getting immunity or 15 grand. Since he's talented enough to not worry about screwing up in the kitchen,he took the money.

The chefs then went home to find out about the Elimination Challenge. Waiting for them in the backyard was Padma,Tyler and members of Macy's Culinary Council(a food charity sponsored by Macy's and headed up by Tyler). Each council member was a well known chef and they all had bags of ingredients.

The challenge was to make family style food for a dinner party attended by the Culinary Council and the judges. A knife pull divided everyone up into teams of two that had to use the ingredients provided by one of the Council. They had three hours to cook,using all of the kitchen space in the house,and serve the food outside.

Laurine hooked up with Brian V,and their halibut with polenta cake and sherry chorizo vinaigrette pleased all of the guests,particularly Tyler Florence whose bag of goodies they wound up with. They landed in the Top Two this round and perhaps the only reason they didn't win was because Tyler didn't want to play favorites there.

Jennifer and Kevin worked together with Tom Douglas' foodstuffs and won the challenge with their barbecued kobe beef and cardimom tomato broth. Jennifer had been feeling sick most of the day(which caused her to flop during the OF),so this win had extra bounce for her.

She made the broth,which was so good that she won a special prize-a gift card from Macy's for ten grand. Nice! I thought it was sweet of her to say she planned on sharing some of that with Kevin,hope he did get a suit out of it.

The Brothers Voltaggio were represented at the Bottom as well as the Top. Michael and Ash used Nancy Silverton's offering to make a hailbut wrapped in pancetta with an egg yolk ravoli that dive bombed,big time.

The fish was overcooked,the pancetta wasn't crispy enough and the ravoli was generally considered to be a bad idea all around. Michael brought up the fact that a power failure occurred during cooking,which affected the fish but no one was buying that. He had taken over this whole challenge and Ash threw himself under the bus,so awed he is of the Brothers Voltaggio. Ash,I get that but that is no reason to sell yourself short.

The one who was sent off to pack her knives was Ashley. She and Eli took Govind Armstrong's sack of food and made prawns with red beet sauce and gnocchi. Ashley undercooked the prawns and left Eli to finish off the gnocchi which he over salted. Since she seemed to be the leader,Ashley took the fall here.

Next week,things are going to be extra tense due to a special mystery guest judge and it looks like there will be more sniping at Robin. I didn't like the way Mikey Isabella treated her as his partner for this last round,which was incredibly stupid of him since they were given Asian ingredients from Takashi Yagihashi that he wasn't familiar with and Robin was. Maybe your dish would've stood out more,Mikey,if you had used that wealth of knowledge right next to you:

Another team that annoys me on this season's The Amazing Race is Lance and Keri,who are a soon to be married couple. Lance is a lawyer and no doubt his obnoxious ego is a plus in his line of work. At the start of this leg,he declared that he and Keri were "lions" and the rest of the teams were just "gazelles" waiting to be pick off.

Well,Lance the Lion and Keri,his Lioness started off on the wrong foot from minute one and barely managed to make it to the Pit Stop on time. They were so slow on the uptake,especially when they didn't understand that the first clue(which was in a small cylinder)was already handed to them,making them late for the Detour.

They need to get their act together right quick,because this game is only going to get harder as they go along:

Tonight on The Office,Jim and Pam are finally getting married and it looks like this will be a great episode to remember. I know that the standard myth of "once they get married,the show's all over" but as TV critic Alan Sepinwall points out,it's really more of a lack of what to do next creatively than the tease portion of the romance being over that leads to the end of a show.

I've been an on and off fan of The Office,but have always loved the PB&J story line and am giddy with glee about this continuation of their love story. It should be pretty damn funny as well,with Michael and the rest of the gang bringing their own special brand of nuttiness to the festivities(not to mention some interesting gifts):


NIP/TUCK: The new season starts up next week and while the over blown shenanigans at McNamara/Troy are beyond the boundaries of over the top ness,I'll still check it out. As much as I'm trying to like Glee,my main preference for Ryan Murphy madness is this regular two man show:

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