Thursday, August 26, 2010
Top Chef D.C. tries to play ball,a True Blood romance and the new Design Star is...
Rick Moonen was the guest judge for this round of Top Chef D.C. and first on his plate to evaluate was the Quickfire challenge that had the chefs make a dish inspired by a food related idiom(some of the choices were "the big cheese","bigger fish to fry" and the always classy "hide the salami").
Ed went with "Hot Potato" and his herb and garlic potato gnocchi with spring vegetables took the win here. His prize was having this dish turned into a Schwan's frozen dinner,which I take it is far fancier than a Swanson's.
For the Elimination challenge,everyone had to work together as a team and create food that would go over well at a concession stand at Nationals Park for the crowd of folks going to see the baseball game. There was some confusion in the set-up,as Angelo had agreed the night before to be the one taking the food orders but at the last minute,kept trying to back out of it.
Kevin called him on it(and so did Tiffany,when they all went to Judges' Table)and I have to say that he was right-you shouldn't volunteer to do something like that unless you really think you can handle,plus changing your mind right before service was so not of the cool.
The dish that really went over like gangbusters was Tiffany's Italian meatball sub,that had sausage meatballs with fennel and cumin that Judge Tom especially enjoyed. Even a member of the Washington Nationals loved it so much that he wanted to have a second one to bring back to the dugout to eat later.
The big winner was Ed,once again,for his shrimp and corn risotto fritters. Eric Ripert particularly liked that they were less messy to eat than some of the other food offerings(he liked Tiffany's sandwich,too,but Eric is clearly more of an indoor eater).
Ed won a copy of Rick Moonen's latest recipe book and a trip to Australia,quite the sweet surprise there. Glad to see Ed doing so well and odds are that he and Tiffany might make it to the finale together.
I'm not so sure about Angelo's chances to go all the way there,since he's getting pretty scattershot with his dishes lately. His glazed pork sandwich had too sweet of a glaze and the bun he chose to pack his meat and fillings in acted like a sponge for the juices. The whole thing wound up as a soggy mess,made worse by the fact that Angelo runs a sandwich shop so maybe his choice of bread should have been smarter.
Kevin did himself no favors either with his chicken skewers that had sticks long enough to reach the back of your throat. On top of that,he put too many toppings on the meat itself(including shoe string fries and a pair of spicy sauces)so that folks could taste everything in one bite. That didn't work out at all,not to mention that his dish was the one ordered the least by the crowd at the ball park.
Finally packing her knives here was Amanda,who chose to serve a tuna tartare. A bold move to be sure,yet when she prepped her fish the night before,Amanda didn't add anything to prevent the tuna from oxidizing once fresh air hit it and the fish started to turn gray.
No one got sick from it but gray tuna is like brown apples-it may be alright to eat for a little while but the look is far from appetizing. It was just a matter of time before Amanda checked out,anyway but it couldn't have come soon enough for me.
Next week,the chefs are assigned to cook food suitable for space explorers and the results sound like they'll truly be up in the air.
Congrats to Emily on winning Design Star last Sunday-I wasn't quite sure that she was going to,for a moment there,since Michael's presentation appeared to be a bit more polished than hers. However,her concept is strong(make over your home to match your clothing style)and her new show,Secrets from a Stylish,starts on August 29.
This has been a rather awkward season,with several changes to the format that haven't thrilled long time fans and too much focus on personality clashes instead of design work. However,every series,reality or otherwise,goes through a tricky transition period once in a while and perhaps by the time the new round of Design Star begins,things will settle back into their former comfy groove:
Now that the cat is out of the bag regarding Sookie and her fairy origins on True Blood,along with Russell taking some freaky personal time to continue his maniac mourning period for Talbot and Eric making all sorts of plans there,let's take a moment to check out the status quo on Hoyt and Jessica.
When we last saw them,Hoyt was trying to get over Jessica by dating a mini-me version of his mother and Jessica has been dividing her time between her new hostess job at Merlotte and the shake-ups going on from vampire haters due to Russell's prime time expose of an anchorman's spine. She also seems to not have caught a clue about Tommy(Sam's shapeshifter half brother)and his major league crush on her.
At last,Hoyt was tired of playing games and wisely broke up with his annoying girlfriend,then headed straight to Merlotte's to confess his true feelings for and to Jessica. She didn't answer him right away,but when Tommy chose to get all pitbull and jump Hoyt in the parking lot,Jessica was right there with a declaration of her love and healing vamp blood for Hoyt to drink.
It may seem screwed up beyond belief,but there is something sweet about their relationship and I'm not the only one who would like to see this two crazy kids make it work:
TOP CHEF:JUST DESSERTS:Starting September 15,the ban of most of the regular Top Chef contenders' existence is the foodie focus of this sweet spin-off. TC judge Gail Simmons will be the hostess of this sugary showdown,along with input from Hubert Keller,Johnny Iuzzni and Dannielle Kyrillos.
Given the incredible variety of pasty challenges that have been showcased on other food related shows,this competition promises to be a tasty piece of competitive cake:
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