Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Top Chef goes to Restaurant Wars,a TAR team with good karma points and Sylar's scary trip down memory lane

Another high stakes Quickfire was given this week on Top Chef as Padma and guest judge Tom Moonan held the first ever tag team cooking challenge.

The chefs were divided into two teams and had to make one dish together in a "one at a time" fashion. They were not allowed to talk about what to cook beforehand and were made to wear blindfolds until it was his or her turn at the helm.

The team that won was made up of Jennifer,Kevin,Laurine and Mikey I,who were given the option of splitting up ten grand or "letting it ride",with the chance of all them winning ten thousand apiece if they won the Elimination round. They all agreed to let it ride and then started off for Restaurant Wars.

Tom Moonan let the chefs use his restaurant(the winning team had first pick of either the upper or the lower level to work on),so planning the decor wasn't necessary but putting together a menu that reflected Moonan's style of "sustainable seafood" cuisine was.

Team Two had the Brothers Voltaggio,Robin and Eli and they called their restaurant Revolt,a name that could've easily backfired on them.

The chefs chosen for the front of the house gig also had to be responsible for one dish and Eli was the frontman for Revolt and while his hosting services were excellent,his smoked arctic char appetizer was just deemed "okay" by the judges.

The Brothers Voltaggio made great entrees(even tho Bryan's beef duo was cold by the time it got to many of the tables)and Robin's pear pithivier was the hit of the night. Michael did get in her face while she was making it,trying to take over instead of "helping" as he claimed later on,but everything turned out well in the end.

Revolt won Restaurant Wars and Michael V was singled out for his cod with zucchini tenderloin and pressed chicken dishes to receive the ten grand that the QF winners had decided to gamble upon. Michael immediately asked if he could share his cash winnings with his team,a very honorable thing to do and one that was appreciated by all except his brother Byran.

Bryan was annoyed at his brother's domineering attitude in the kitchen and I can't say that I blame him. Michael,you're a great chef but you don't have to be a patronizing bully to your fellow chefs there. Part of being a Top Chef is being someone others are willing to follow and work with,not be overrun by and given little pats on the head to make up for it later.

The other team called their eatery Mission and if their goal was to succeed,they failed miserably at it. Jennifer overextended herself,which lead to the butter sauce on her trout plate being broken and bad tasting,plus her halibut with clams and mussels took forever and a day to be served because she chose to cook the shellfish to order.

I don't eat clams and mussels(much less cook them)but even I know that they're not quick cook to order items! Jennifer was in serious hot water there.

Laurine,fortunately,stunk up the joint with her poor service at the front of the house and sent off to pack her knives. Not only was she overwhelmed by the amount of people coming in to eat,Laurine didn't even take the time to explain the dishes to the judges during service(Padma had to ask her twice).

Also,the lamb plate that she was responsible for was a mess,due to her and Kevin(who was working on it in the kitchen)not agreeing about how medium rare the meat should be.

Kevin made a great pork belly plate,which spared him this time,and Mikey I's apps were good,even with Padma requesting some salt for the table upon first tasting his fish dish. Laurine was pretty much a middle of the road chef,so it was about time for her to go home,anyway.

Next week,Natalie Portman shows up and the chefs get a very pop culture challenge,to make a TV dinner based on a TV show. Sounds like a yabba-daba-yummy time to me:

On Heroes,Sylar got some of his memories back,thanks to a member of the Sullivan Bros. circus who jump started his brain waves. It didn't quite achieve the effect that Samuel(the sinister ringleader of the group)was hoping for,since Sylar still feels disconnected to those past acts of murderous mayhem and freaked out,big time.

Meanwhile,Peter hooked up with Mr. Bennett to find a healer to cure Hiro of his deadly brain tumor. As is the way of these things on this show,that proved to be tricky since the kid in question had his powers take a turn for the worse that put him on the defense with a shotgun in hand. Interesting to see one house of horrors put up against another there:

Next Monday's episode has a bit of a Halloween theme,as Clare goes thru a sorority initiation that resembles a bad slasher movie and Sylar's memory echo in Matt's head starts getting more out of control than he bargained for. With any luck,things will get very spooky,indeed:

A team determined to do well both physically and morally on this season's The Amazing Race is Brian and Ericka,husband and wife who have been wed for over two years after a nearly a decade of courtship. Ericka is a former Miss America winner from 2004 and feels that good behavior is highly expected of her due to that.

Brian,however,wants to rack up the good karma and set up some ducats in the favor bank by being as helpful as he can be to his fellow competitors on the race. That's a very smart move and a nice way to go here. Sometimes,it's the little things you do that allows fate to throw you a break at just the right moment:


THE JEFF DUNHAM SHOW: The popular puppet master gets a series of his own on Comedy Central,starting tonight at nine. While his politically incorrect cast of characters may not be for everyone,there are an equal number of targets that hit the social satire mark:

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