Thursday, April 22, 2010
TC Masters go pub hopping,Idol gets charitable and a former Hero makes an entry in The Vampire Diaries
The contending chefs on Top Chef Masters this week had faced off on each other before in Season One and some of them still had something to prove to the other. Rick Moonen,Graham Elliot Bowes,Mark Peel,Wylie Dusfresne and Jonathan Waxman were mostly cordial but Ludo Lefebrve was his usual charming self,especially with Rick Moonen(more on that in a moment).
The Quickfire challenge had the chefs make a dish to be paired up with a martini and the judges for that round were Gael Greene and the Real Housewives of Orange County(I don't watch any of those Housewives series but I think the ladies had more experience in judging the drinks rather than food). Jonathan Waxman won,for his pork tenderloin and shrimp stuffed with poblano and avocado butter.
That not only gave Jonathan five grand for his charity but an advantage for the Elimination challenge. The chefs had to make their version of classic pub food that would be served at an Irish bar and grill to the patrons as well as the regular judges. Jonathan got first pick of the plates and chose shepherd's pie.
He did a basic rendition of it,with lamb and veggies covered in a mashed potato and Parmesan cheese puree,that everyone loved. Jonathan seems like a very down to earth kind of guy,so it was good to see him have a double victory here by winning more money(ten grand)for his cause(Citymeals on Wheels)and get a spot for the champion ship round.
Joining Jonathan there will be Rick Noonen,for his fish and chips. Rick chicken fried sable fish and served it with twice fried potatoes along with lemon comfit tartar sauce and a fennel salad,sort of a gourmet doppelganger dish. While there were a couple of complaints about the potatoes,his plate went over well with the crowd and the food critics at Judge's Table.
The worst of the bunch was Ludo's take on Irish stew. He had no love for the dish and tried to get fish and chips at first but Rick had already chosen called dibs on that. Ludo spent a lot time whining about how it wasn't fair,since Rick is known for his culinary expertise with fish,and that he never gets to make French food on the show. Dude,first off,this is only the second season and second,isn't fish and chips more of a British/Irish tradition?
Ludo expressed his contempt for Irish stew(saying it was a dish with no taste or love both aside and to his fellow chefs) and it certainly showed on the plate. His vegetables were raw and the beef tenderloin was sitting in a watery mess of Guinness and roasted peanuts-who adds peanuts to an Irish stew? Granted,I'm of Irish descent and not fond of corned beef and cabbage but even I know that peanuts don't belong in that stew.
Onward to next time,where the main challenge is to make lunch for the cast and crew of the hit sitcom Modern Family. Hopefully,it will be a tasty time for all concerned:
The American Idol theme this week was inspirational songs,with Alicia Keyes as the guest mentor. It was all part of the yearly "Idol Gives Back" show that showcases the various charitable causes that the show gives to and raises money for.
For the most part,the performances were pretty good but not spectacular and in a couple of cases,rather underwhelming(Casey,Aaron,you guys wound up in the Bottom Three for good reason this time out-got to step up your game,fellas!).
There was one singer who stood out from the rest and yes,it was Crystal. Her performance of "People Get Ready" was divine and if she wasn't so authentically sweet,you could almost hate her for such constant excellence:
Due to the charity vibe this week,the Sanjaya award will stay in it's box and we'll just wave goodbye to Tim on his way out the door(finally!). However,I do want to put in a good word for my girl Siobhan.
While I do agree that she's lost her stride over the past few weeks,she really sounded like she was back on track with "If You Believe" and the judges were way too harsh on Siobhan for what reason I don't know. Siobhan sang that song in a lovely fashion and moderated her high vocals(something that many people have been telling her to do,since hitting those high notes has become a trademark of hers)nicely,yet she got dumped on,big time.
Please give this performance another listen and see if you hear what I hear(not trying to make a pop culture riff with that line,I swear!):
The Vampire Diaries certainly gets it's fair share of interesting guest stars and last week, David Anders(last seen on Heroes)dropped into town as Elena and Jeremy's never-do-well Uncle John who seems to be a threat to both Damon and Mystic Falls,since he has more than one secret agenda on his list(plus one of the nifty invulnerable to harm rings that keep cropping up on the unlikeliest of folks).
That drama bomb is merely one of many,with Stefan fighting off his new found taste for human blood,Matt getting sick of his slutty mom's antics,Jeremy snooping in Elena's diary for more info than he should get in one sitting and Elena stuck in the middle of the madness as always. This show is a lot of things but one of them is not boring,folks. Also,unlike some series that keep on teasing but never delivering the genre goods(V,this means you!),The Vampire Diaries knows how to entertain their audiences by not letting up on the horror and the heartbreak:
LEGEND OF THE SEEKER: Looks like we'll be getting two Darken Rahls for the price of one,as a bold impostor makes his move to claim the dead tyrant's throne and blackmail our heroes.
However, even in magical kingdoms,identity theft is still risky business(especially when the guy you're pretending to be is on the payroll of the Keeper of the Underworld):
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