Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

TC Masters bug out, a TAR team is slowed down by speedy eating and a great start for Game of Thrones

The theme of this week's Quickfire challenge on Top Chef Masters was "back to nature",which meant that the chefs had to work with flowers,leaves and bugs. The crawly critters up for grabs included scorpions,crickets and beetles,high in protein and the gross out factor as well.

The completed apps were judged by the hosts of "Man,Woman,Wild",who chose Hugh Acheson's tempura fried crickets with carrot and sun-choke puree with a blood orange vinaigrette. His charity,Wholesome Wave, received five grand and Hugh was granted immunity for the next round.

The Elimination challenge had the chefs make a ten course tasting menu for diners who would also be donating a $100 for the plate of their choice. No time was allotted for shopping,so the chefs had to use what was available in the pantry.

That wasn't the only setback tossed their way;at one point,the water was turned off and later it was announced that a serving staff wouldn't be showing up. The main contention in the kitchen came from the lack of servers,causing Naomi and Hugh to clash over how the food would be sent out to the dining room. Everyone else chose to stay out of that line of fire for the most part.

When it came down to the food,however,there were two clear cut favorites. Suvir received 40% of the diner's votes for his chaat salad with yogurt and chickpeas. That earned his charity a nice chunk of change,a total of $1,700.

The ultimate winner,however,was Naomi for her celery veloute(soup)with salsa verde. She got 43% of the vote,which earned her charity $1,800 and as the judges' pick,an additional ten grand for her cause, Seed Savers. She may not get along with everybody but Naomi has the magic touch when it comes to tasty food,it seems.

Unfortunately,three of her competitors had the opposite effect on the plate. Mary Sue's tuna ceviche was deemed dull to the taste buds and one judge complained that the pickled onions overwhelmed the dish.

Celina's chocolate pudding with ginger spiced doughnut was her second attempt at desserts in this competition and one of the judges actually begged her not to go down that route again.

The pudding had a gritty,washed out flavor,which Celina blamed on the cocoa powder she had to use,plus the doughnut seemed a tad heavy. It looked as if her goose was truly cooked on this one.

Yet,it was John Currence who went home instead. His risotto was considered to be safe and predictable,with some debate over the adding of pine nuts to it.

Personally,the pudding sounded a lot worse to me but then again,if you're asking people to pay a hundred dollars for one plate,you ought to offer them some serious bang for their buck.

Next time,the chef are tasked to make low calorie meals for the gang on The Biggest Loser and one challenge gets literally cheesy-sounds yummy!

The teams on The Amazing Race:Unfinished Business flew to Austria,where it looked as if Jet and Cord might be lagging behind yet again but another pair got off to a slow start pretty quickly instead.

Father/daughter duo Gary and Mallory had trouble triggering the backseat camera to read their first clue upon arrival,which gave the cowboys a chance to make up for lost time.

When it came to the Detour,Gary and Mallory chose the eating challenge that was harder than it seemed to be. Each team had to eat a meal of wiener schnitzel on board a Ferris wheel restaurant in only twelve minutes.

No one was able to complete that task,so every team that tried that option had to do the other Detour challenge(carrying a couch)which ate up too much time. That bite was deep as far as Gary and Mallory was concerned,since they came in last at the Pit Stop. Lucky for them it was a non-elimination leg but they do have an extra challenge to face on the next stop. Maybe next time,they'll know not to break off more than they can chew:

The HBO miniseries Game of Thrones had a strong debut this past Sunday and is already renewed for a second season,giving folks more incentive to check out the show. Since I finished reading the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series a day after the show began,most of the plot is incredibly fresh in my mind.

However,I refuse to let any of the minor changes(the kids are a tad older than in the book and it's a reasonable change considering what they have to go through here)interfere with my viewing pleasure.

As we are introduced to the various members of the Stark and Lannister clans who will be connecting as the race for the Iron Throne starts,it's gratifying to see many of my favorite characters come to life on screen.

My personal stand-outs for this opening episode are Tyrion(Peter Dinklage),the undersized and scorned Lannister son who uses his wits to match up to his opponents,Daenerys(Emilia Clarke),an exiled princess being sold into marriage for her twisted brother's benefit and Jon Snow(Kit Harrington),the bastard son of the House of Stark looking to prove his merit.

Next week,more of the characters should be rounded out,including the young misses of the House of Stark,tomboy Arya and ladylike Sansa,not to mention the tension and mystery involving their little brother Bran's fall from the sky. Definitely worth watching,folks,no question about it:


THE VOICE: NBC launches their own version of American Idol as four well known singers,including Christina Aquilera and Cee Lo Green,compete with each other to mentor promising new talent. The big gimmick here is that they'll be listening instead of looking at the auditioning hopefuls,which might be interesting at first. With any luck,this won't turn out to be a one trick pony of a performance show:

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