Thursday, January 05, 2012
Top Chef TX has a BBQ battle,the status of 2 Broke Girls and a new chapter of The Vampire Diaries
The guest judge on Top Chef Texas this week was Nathan Myhrvoid,one of the authors of a huge culinary encyclopedia entitled Modernist Cuisine,which was offered up as a prize to the winner of the Quickfire Challenge.
The chefs were tasked to make their own version of modernist cuisine,aka molecular gastronomy,and Ty-lor won this round with a watermelon treated with olive oil powder and vanilla bean honey.
He also received immunity,which complicated matters as the Elimination challenge happened to be another team situation.
The challenge was to cook a barbecue meal for 300 diners of the famous Salt Lick restaurant. Each team of three had to make three proteins(chicken,beef brisket and pork ribs)and serve two side dishes.
They were sent to a secluded nearby wooded area to cook all night,with a smoker and a huge cooking pit to work with,plus trailers that had small kitchens and beds. I mention the beds because frankly,it's foolish of these chefs to not sleep in shifts in order to be alert for the next day's service in a situation like this. For goodness sake,people,don't be so competitive that you're afraid to take a nap!
The team that took top honors here was made up of Grayson,Lindsay and Paul,who chose to go the Asian style route. Their sides were fried Brussels sprouts,which Judge Tom said were undercooked,and a watermelon salad.
The only other complaint was that the brisket wasn't seasoned enough but beyond that,the food was tasty and this trio got kudos for daring to use a flavor profile not usually found in Texas. Fifteen grand was awarded to the three of them to divide up and Paul now has a nifty chunk of change so far this season,about 35 grand. Nice going there,buddy!
Ed,Ty-lor and Sarah had trouble from the outset,as Sarah came down with a bad case of heat exhaustion during the morning's heat wave(see what I mean about taking a nap?)and had to go to the hospital.
That left Ed and Ty-lor on their own for the most part and the guys decided to cut up their meat before going to the restaurant so that they wouldn't get bogged down during service.
That early slicing dried out some of the meat but Sarah's chicken was still moist as she was able to return in time to help serve the judges. Ed had a really nasty attitude about her ordeal,being curt with her when Sarah asked how she could assist with the food and then making snotty remarks after she needed to take a break.
I've got news for you,Ed;it takes at least twenty four hours to fully recover from heat exhaustion(consulted my own personal medical expert there) and despite what you say,that condition is not something you can "power through",okay? I'm glad that at least Ty-lor was enough of a gentleman to have some concern for his team mate and be supportive.
The chef who was sent off to Last Chance Kitchen this time came from the team of Chris C,Chris J and Beverly. They went with beer can chicken(that Judge Tom does not consider to be barbecue style),ribs with Dr. Pepper sauce and a brisket that was overloaded with salt.
Chris C. thought that the sauce could dilute the excess salt but that decision turned out to be a poor one and sent him off to pack his knives. Next week brings us Restaurant Wars and it's boys vs. girls to boot.
The stress levels are high all around and even the judges are not immune to irritation. Should be pretty foodie and furious there(please excuse my weak pun,couldn't resist).
2 Broke Girls came back from their holiday hiatus and I'm happy to report that this first season is shaping up to be a solid one. With snappy quips and satirical swipes taken at such trends as flash mobs,pop up sales and extreme couponing,this sitcom keeps itself pretty fresh with the funny.
Also,the relationship between Max and Caroline is developing nicely,even more so with their having to house beloved horse Chestnut with Max's snooty babysitter boss during the winter.
That forces them to build more of a personal connection as they struggle to make that cupcake business money and while I do hope that the ladies don't have to wait too long for their financial dreams to come true,the journey is rather fun so far. It seems to me that these broke girls are in for the long haul of laughs and that we are all the happier for it:
Also coming in from the cold,The Vampire Diaries left us last time with Elena and friends trying to deal with Klaus and his new band of hybrid followers. Stefan's big plan is to play dirty as he holds the rest of Klaus' kinfolk hostage and is apparently willing to stand his ground even if that means death and destruction for the entire town.
The developments this season have been interesting,as Damon is forced to become a voice of reason while Elena's feelings for both brothers fluctuate at an alarming pace.
There's also Caroline and her now hybrid boyfriend Tyler who is totally Team Klaus in his loyalties(which doesn't surprise me at all,given that he strikes more as a willing follower than a leader)and Bonnie's breakup with Jeremy over his torch holding for the ghost of his vampire girl friend(very soap opera,I know).
Most of that is going to be on the back burner for the moment as the whole Stefan/Klaus showdown is heading towards DefCon One and I can hardly wait until tonight for that crazy train to take off:
DOWNTON ABBEY: Another long awaited delight will soon be upon us,as season two begins this Sunday. With the start of WWI and many romantic tensions left unresolved,there should be quite a few fireworks on display indeed:
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