Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, March 01, 2012

TAR teams do some cattle calculations,a gander at GCB and our new Top Chef is....

The finale challenge on Top Chef Texas had Paul and Sarah create a four course tasting menu,with a sous chef staff of their choosing. That selection process wasn't easy,as they had to taste a dish made by each candidate and make their picks based solely on the food before them.

The batch of potential assistants included folks eliminated during and before the competition,along with a pair of master chefs. Paul wound up with Ty-Lor,Keith,Chris C,and Barbara Lynch(one of the masters). Sarah had Grayson,Heather,Nyesha and Tyler,the guy who Judge Tom kicked out early on for his bad butchering.

Each group was given a restaurant to take over and had to prepare enough food for a hundred guests. The judges were also split into two groups and divided their meal times between each restaurant,with special guests like Cat Cora and winemaker Bill Terlato.

Most of the food prep went well,with some minor aggravation from Tyler that Sarah clamped down on(that guy wouldn't have lasted long in the regular competition there)and some trouble with fish on Paul's end that was quickly remedied by a handy back-up purchase.

Paul started off his meal with chawanmushi(an egg custard)that had edamame with spot prawns. The first round of judges adored the silken texture of the dish but unfortunately,the second wave received an overcooked batch.

Things were going well by the time the third course went out,a congee served with scrambled eggs and smoked albacore. Both sets of judges liked it but the first batch thought it was a little awkward in terms of the entire menu. However,Hugh Acheson insisted that the change in texture was a key moment in the meal.

Paul's dessert was enjoyed by all,yet there was a decided difference of opinion about it. The coconut ice cream with puffed rice and jasmin gelee was considered to be more savory than sweet,which Judge Tom really liked. Others found the Thai spice foam to be stronger than they preferred but not overwhelming.

On Sarah's side,she took a few risks that seemed to pay off well. Her first course was a squid ink tagliatelle with coconut and spot pawns(interesting how Sarah and Paul's flavors echoed one another). The judges raved almost nonstop about this one.

She then followed that up with a rye encrusted trout with fennel sauce and pickled beets. Sarah had a small scare during the second round of judging as her boyfriend mentioned that he had a bone in his fish and she ran lickety-split to check the judges' portions.

Turns out that those fish were bone free,but Emeril did find the crust to be dry and Judge Tom thought it was under seasoned. Those pickled beets for the first set of judges had a rawness to them,perhaps due to the haste of the pickling.

When it came to dessert,Sarah was all aces. Her hazelnut cake with candied kumquat and a white chocolate ganache was a hands down winner. For a moment there,that sweet treat looked as if it might be the tipping point between Sarah and Paul for the ultimate victory.

Yet,when it was said and done,Paul was declared the winner of Top Chef Texas. Congrats to him for not only being an excellent chef but a pretty nice guy throughout the entire competition. It's good to see positive energy being rewarded there.

Sarah tried her best but maybe if she hadn't indulged in some of the bullying antics involving Beverly,her focus would have been stronger when it most counted. Just saying! The reunion special is next week and hopefully,some of the negativity will be cleared up,along with seeing who the Fan Favorite is(my fingers are crossed for Grayson).

Debuting this weekend on ABC,the initials of the title GCB were supposed to stand for Good Christian Bitches(from the novel by co-creator Kim Gatlin) but are now meant to be for Good Christian Belles(pick your poison,I guess). The series stars Leslie Bibb as Amanda Vaughn,who returns to her former Texas hometown after her husband is locked up due to his involvement in a Ponzi scheme.

Amanda and her kids move in with her ditzy mother Gigi(Annie Potts)and run into Amanda's former frenemies from high school such as Carlene(Kristen Chenoweth)and Cricket(Miriam Shotts). Old and new wounds are opened between the ladies and the girl games begin.

This show appears to be the network's replacement for Desperate Housewives(which is in it's final season)and while the cast has plenty of top notch women on board,it does come across to me as rather cartoony in tone. No doubt a lot of people will be against the show just for the title alone but that could also lure in a flock of eager for controversy viewers,too. Not sure if I'm going to watch this one but seeing how long it lasts on the air should be interesting:

The teams on The Amazing Race stayed in Argentina for the second leg and after a very long bus ride,hit a Detour that had most of them opting to put together a solar panel dish. That was pretty hectic but what proved to be most challenging was a Road Block that involved math.

One team member had to tag along side a cattle auction and determine the weight of the cows being sold. Since math,especially division,is not my friend at the best of times,I pitied everyone who had to tackle this one. Doing long division is hard enough without the added distraction of bidding for beef there.

The team who came in last happened to be the clown couple,David and Cherie,and I was really sad to see them leave so soon. Team Big Brother is much more annoying,particularly Rachel with her constant whining and stupid remarks like "I'm not as smart as you!" and "I'm just a girl"to her boyfriend.

Anyway,sorry to say goodbye to David and Cherie,they had a lively spirit that would have enhanced the race considerably:


MAD MEN: At long last,our retro delight will be back,starting on March 25. The wait has been tough but I'm sure it will have been well worth it:

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