Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, June 02, 2011

A Game of Thrones warrior stance,TC Masters experiment with flavor and a peek at State of Georgia

The five remaining chefs on Top Chef Masters were given a rather daunting task for their latest Quickfire challenge-to cook a hot and tasty breakfast using only a microwave oven to cook with. Just about everyone went for eggs,which I would have avoided since eggs are hard enough to get right on a regular stove.

However,it was an egg dish that won the five grand for charity here and Hugh earned it for Wholesome Wave this time around. It was baked with bacon,tomatoes and chanterelles,ingredients that his competitors used as well but I suspect that baking the egg is what made all the difference.

Onward to the Elimination round,where the challenge was to create a science fair exhibit suitable for teenagers that incorporated food into the demonstration of the scientific principle on display. Each chef had a scientist to work with and had to make a tasting portion along with a demo plate of food. As an extra twist,they had to cook with science equipment like beakers and Bunsen burners only.

As luck would have it,a couple of the chefs were science buffs,especially Floyd who had seriously studied biochemistry in college. He chose the Maillard Reaction as his showcase(it has something to do with how heat affects meat;sorry,folks my science knowledge is pretty basic)and used beef to demonstrate it.

Both the beef shabu shabu and the spice encrusted beef with potatoes were a big hit with the kids and the judges,putting Floyd in the Top Two for this round. He's been in the runner-up spot for quite awhile now and this seemed like the perfect challenge for him to earn a win.

However,he lost out to Mary Sue for the third time. She had viscosity(how thick or thin liquid can be)and she made different sauces to pour over the churros she had managed to make(getting the oil hot enough to deep fry those suckers was a challenge in and of itself). She was even able to fill the churros with creme de caramel,a nice little touch that meant so much.

On the lower end of the spectrum,Naomi is also a science fan but her elasticity display was a little too interactive. She had way too many samples of springy foods on hand,which looked messy by the time the judges came around for a look.

While she did get some points for her enthusiasm, Naomi's food was flawed. Special guest judge Padma pointed out in particular how the gelee that was stuffed into her calzone turned the whole thing into a soggy mess.

Traci's take on acidity with ahi tuna and lemon did taste good but not great. The main problem that the judges had with her was how very Science 101 her demo was and they really had hoped for something more creative and culinary from her.

Heading home here was Hugh,more for his attitude than anything else. His theme was emulsion and his choice of edible item to demo that in was mayo,not so bad. However,Hugh got annoyed with his scientist partner rather quickly and decided to ignore most of his input.

The worst part was the green goddess dressing that Hugh made for his salad. The mayonnaise was broken and he absolutely refused to acknowledge that. He kept arguing with Judge James Oseland about that all the way down the line,which was ridiculous. Hugh,if something is broken,it's broken-you need to accept that. Dodging blame and responsibility constantly for a mistake only makes matters worse,as a certain congressman in New York can tell you all about these days.

Oh,well-next time out, the chefs have to coach a plating from behind a wall and then Naomi feels like she's being picked on for being so young. Plenty of people wish they could have that problem,hon!

As the old king dies and another ruthlessly take the crown on Games of Thrones,Dany did her best to talk Khal Drogo into seeking the Iron Throne for himself. Despite the alluring argument offered by his bride,Drogo felt no pressing need to cross the seas with his men,something that the Dothraki have never done before.

His attitude swiftly changed when a merchant in the local marketplace tried to trick Dany into accepting a cask of poisoned wine. Ser Hugh stepped in at the right moment to prevent that from happening,even though his secret contacts offered him a pardon that would help him return home. Not sure what is up with that just yet but in the meantime,Khal Drogo's ire has been stirred towards those who threaten the mother of his unborn child.

His vow to conquer Westeros was pretty damn impressive,enough to make even an acclaimed barbarian sit up and take notice:

One of the many new series to debut this summer is State of Georgia,starring Raven Symone as the title character,an ambitious young woman from the South who is determined to become a superstar in the big city of New York.

Created by female friendly author Jennifer Weiner,this show has been a long time coming and hopes are high that it will do well.It's set to premiere on ABC Family later this month and based on the preview so far,it does look like entertaining light hearted fare. If the writing on the show is as witty and engaging as Jennifer's novels are,we are in for a treat indeed:


THE SOUP: While I'm happy that Joel McHale is doing so well on Community,I hope that he doesn't even think of giving up his E! show any time soon. His wry take on pop culture nonsense is a much needed oasis of laughs in a media saturated world:

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