Thursday, September 29, 2011
Top Chef JD samples some sweet sabotage,a second shot of 2 Broke Girls and some new TAR twists
Strange tastes were the theme of this week's Top Chef Just Desserts,as the Quickfire Challenge was to make a dessert featuring a root vegetable(which each chef had to dig out of a planter box).
The guest judge for this round was Jordan Kahn,an innovator in the field of savory desserts. This challenge threw some for a loop while others had non pastry kitchen experience that gave them a bit of an edge here.
The winner of this round,plus five grand and immunity,was Sally. Her mango pudding with turmeric(a veggie she was happy to get)and curried popcorn hit all of the right notes here.
There seems to be a little tension between her and Katzie,since the night before Katzie got insulted at Sally's teasing during dinner. If I were Katzie,I'd keep my eye on everyone since more than one person has been jealous of her past two wins.
For the Elimination Challenge,a new guest judge was brought in and given quite a warm welcome. Adam Horovitz,better known as Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys,was on deck here with one hell of a daunting dessert task.
A "Beastie Boys" pantry was rolled out,with food items that have been referenced in various BB songs(plenty of booze was on hand)but none of it was standard dessert fare. Each chef had to pick two ingredients to make treats to be served at a street art festival and in an act of "sabotage",they were allowed to add an extra item to another chef's menu.
Chris went for a pair of truly tough products to whip into a sweet dish,pork and beans and pate pizza. His sabotaged selection was canned ravioli,courtesy of Megan.
He wound up with a pork & bean brownie served with a pizza/ravioli stick and pine nut cream. The flavor profile was definitely weird but it somehow seemed to work out,since he made to the Top Three for this round.
Joining him was Sally,who chose cheddar cheese and prosciutto with Carlos adding a whole chicken to her plate. She turned all of that into a version of toffee cake with cheddar cheese ice cream and sweetened fried chicken skin on the side.
The winner,however,was Matthew who started off with whiskey and cornbread. His good buddy Chris added mashed potatoes and gravy onto his pile and was worried that he was going to be responsible for getting Matthew sent home.
Matthew managed to pull off a mashed potato cornbread cheesecake with gravy foam on top and whiskey caramel. The key element to winning this round was embracing the odd flavors rather than masking them.
Headlining the Bottom Three was Megan,with her Chivas cake that crumbled too quickly. The Brass Monkey sorbet that went with it didn't have enough of a boozy taste to it and the caramelized onions on the side made no sense at all.
Katzie's sabotage ingredient was Gorgonzola and provolone cheese,thanks to Orlando(see,I told her that she needed to watch out for someone other than Sally!)but she was her own worst enemy by choosing to make pomme frites with a variety of dipping sauces and sugars.
Not only were the cheese flavors muted in the sauces,the lack of cohesion in the whole offering was extremely off key. Main reason why-no matter what fancy name you call it,french fries just don't fit into dessert.
Rebecca was the one sent home,due to her ham and falafel panna cotta being overwhelmed with garlic,a not so sweet surprise there. Plus,her .40 ice cream wasn't very intoxicating either. She's a big Beastie fan(Ad Rock signed her cast)so this setback was extra sad.
Next week,it's time to make the donuts and ten grand is on the line. This promises to be a real make or break moment,so stay tuned,folks!
After watching the premiere of 2 Broke Girls online(hey,I had to watch the Hell's Kitchen finale that night,okay?),I decided to give the show a chance and saw it on TV at it's regular day and time this week.
It's been awhile since I gave a sitcom a real shot but so far,2BG is worth it. The basic ongoing premise is that wisecracking yet moody Max is planning to earn enough money to open a cupcake shop with sheltered yet marketing smart Caroline.
With the additional bonus of them becoming roommates after Max's boyfriend is tossed out for cheating on her,the show has a lot of comedic material for the ladies to make a full on funny wardrobe from. At this point,they're doing a lot better than expected and the chemistry between the leads(Kat Demmings and Beth Behrs)is pretty tight,I'll be checking in with the girls for a while here:
The 19th season of The Amazing Race started off this Sunday with a bit of drama before anyone could even board a plane. Vegas showgirls Lisa and Kaylani were in a panic when one of them lost their passport mid route to the airport. Kaylani had dropped it at a gas station and by the time the girls retraced their steps,her passport was gone.
Lucky for her,the guy who found it checked in with the gas station attendant(who had given a couple of other teams directions earlier)and he got it to her in the nick of time. Talk about some seriously sweet relief,folks!:
The ladies did better after that as they and the other teams landed in the city of Taipei in Taiwan and despite having to do a "Hazard" task for being the last ones to head out,they were the ninth team to arrive at the Pit Stop.
The last team to show up was Bill and Cathi,who got nearly hopelessly lost trying to find the Road Block challenge in Taipei. Phil informed them that this was a non elimination leg,which means they have a Speed Bump to perform on the next stop.
He then let them know that for the first time on TAR,the next Pit Stop would be a double elimination. No risk,no reward as they say and boy,this one is a real doozy of a dilemma to face there:
THE NEXT IRON CHEF: A new season will begin soon and this time,there are a number of big time Food Network regulars competing for the honor to battle in Kitchen Stadium,including a couple of former Top Chef contenders as well. Sounds like a real battle royale a-brewin' and one worth tuning
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