Thursday, June 17, 2010
True Blood starts it's third season sizzle, Design Star's NYC debut and Top Chef takes on D.C.
The third season premiere of True Blood picked up right where everyone left off last time,with Sookie stunned to find Bill gone,Tara in the strong grip of grief about Eggs' death,Jason listening to Andy's advice in order to deflect suspicion away from what really happened with Eggs and Jessica trying to clean up her murderous mess with a truck driver.
Sookie's take charge side has shifted into first gear,seeing as she's the only one truly concerned about Bill's whereabouts and is more than willing to walk into the lion's den(or in this case,Fangtasia's dungeon basement)to enlist some aid:
Eric has plenty of probelms on his plate to handle,however,with an unexpected visit from the Vampire Queen of Louisiana and that sweetheart of a Magistrate to chat about the growing V blood trade in the area.
While some of the vampire community doesn't mind making a few extra bucks creating human junkies to the heady blood brew in their cold veins,many of the rule enforcers don't take too kindly to that notion:
There's a lot going here,with Bill escaping from his captors and trying to make his way home without too much bloodshed and Sam hunting down his long lost relations,not to mention Lafayette being called upon to sell off his V supply pronto while looking out for Tara(who got the worst kind of attention from her mother in this situation,as usual).
One thing you can say about this show is that it's never boring,folks. The pace might be fast and furious right now but the best way to deal with that is to hang on tight and enjoy this wild ride for all it's worth:
The seventh season of Top Chef is set in Washington,D.C. with Eric Ripert taking over Toby Young's spot at the Judges table and no time wasted in getting to the first Quickfire challenge. The seventeenth chefs had to compete in a mise en place tournament that had the last ones left standing whip up a dish using the items they had to prep(chicken,potatoes and onions).
While contender Kenny came in first during every round of the tournament,it was Angelo who took the win and the high stakes prize of 20 grand for his roasted wing and thigh with potato noodles and onion jam. I think it was the onion jam that aced it for him,Judge Tom really seemed to like that element on the plate.
For the Elimination round,everyone broke into teams of four to make regional food reflecting where they hail from for 300 party guests going to the Cherry Blossom Festival. The remaining four from the QF got to select their team members and once again,Kenny was up for the win with his cinnamon coffee rubbed trout with black bean mole and goat cheese polenta. Kenny is from Colorado,so the fish portion of his meal sounds right on the money there.
Yet again,Angelo beat out Kenny and won this round as well. The most critical thing that anyone said about his tasty take on Connecticut,an arctic char with pickled shallot and bacon froth ,was that it was a little heavy on the dill.
Despite that tiny tweak of tang,Angelo made it two for two and it looks like we'll be seeing more showdowns between him and Kenny this season.
On the chopping block,we had New Yorker Jacqueline who stammered out lame excuses for her disastrous duo of Hudson Valley chicken liver and port wine mousse. She kept bragging that it was low fat,which didn't make up for the grainy texture of the mousse at all.
Granted,I'm not a fan of chicken liver but even I know that a low fat version is not something that's meant to be.
The first one to pack their knives and go was John,for his maple mousse Napoleon that had very little maple flavor to it. Also,he used store bought pasty to make his dessert(which fell apart during cooking)and the end result was a too sweet to eat mess.
When Padma did her intro of the judges during the Elim,she did mention that Judge Gail was going to head up a show called Top Chef:Just Desserts,an intriguing concept given that dessert courses are one of the major downfalls of TC contenders.
I'm not sure what's on the TC menu for next week,but it's shaping up to be quite the double trouble challenge,more than this opener was.
The fifth season of HGTV's Design Star started off in NYC,with a bit of a makeover in terms of format and pace. The show is now being hosted by the judges,Vern Yip,Candice Olson and Genevieve Gorder(what happened to Clive? I miss him already)and they got to the famed white box challenge instead of the usual "divide into teams and decorate your living space" routine. Guess that regular ice breaker doesn't fly in Manhattan.
Folks were put in teams of two and asked to make their space over for the other person. Courtland did a great job in creating a room for Nina but she drop kicked him under the bus by telling the judges that her style was more "bohemian and chic",something she didn't convey to Courtland during their consult!
He didn't belong in the loser's circle anyway,since his design was lovely but worse thing about this was that Nina won the challenge(hers looked ridiculous,with all of those paper umbrellas on the wall). Hopefully,Courtland will be able to get on steadier footing with the next challenge.
While I wasn't happy with the judges about the Courtland/Nina deal,their choice of who to send home first made sense. Julie intended her room for Tom to be a calm and serene space but it screamed chaos and clutter,especially with that pile of goose feathers on the floor that was supposed to be a rug.
Despite that shaky start,I fully intend to stay tuned here,if only to see Nina go down in flames as she deserves to:
THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR: Congrats to Aarti for acing the sweet to savory food challenge this round with her nifty take on funnel cake. I'm glad that she won this round because she really needed the confidence boost(hon,take a page from Stuart Smalley and tell yourself that you're good enough,smart enough and yes,people like you!).
Doreen's departure was well timed,since her lack of focus on what she wanted to be as a celebrity chef was wearing out it's welcome rather quickly. That choice wasn't easy,between Dzintra's strange interpretation of cotton candy and Alex's smarmy charms at the serving table. Very unappetizing,to say the least:
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