Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Top Chef Seattle's Restaurant Wars continue,Downton Abbey's wedding woes and Face Off returns for a royal rumble

The second half of Restaurant Wars played out on Top Chef Seattle last night,as Kirsten and Sheldon went head to head with their eateries. It was boys vs girls in the team make-ups and each set of contenders were given an empty space to work with,which meant that they had to create their own kitchens as well as dining space.

Sheldon's concept for his restaurant Urbano was modern Filipino cuisine,something that neither Stefan or Josh were familiar with. Stefan decided to take on front of the house duties and that seem to work well for him at the beginning.

As time went on,however,his charms wore out fast as tables from the first service were slow to leave. A backlog of customers had already formed by the time the judges arrived. Stefan managed to get them seated but was neglectful and terse with them at times,so not the smart thing to do there!

Lucky for him,the food was good enough to win. Josh did very well,even though some of his dishes didn't exactly have the true ethic flavor palate required.

One of his better dishes was the dessert,known as halo-halo. It was coconut sorbet with avocado mousse and bananas,which the judges loved a lot. Stefan also had a dessert offering of dark chocolate covered macadamia nuts and ginger tea but his sour mood spoiled the joys of that sweet.

Sheldon was pretty much all aces with his food and the judges' favorite dish of the night was his adobo. It was a plate of pork belly with mung bean puree and a pea shoots salad,which Stefan failed to describe properly when serving it. His attitude was beyond terrible there,seriously.

Sheldon is a sweet guy who treated everyone well,right down to the dishwasher who helped out with the food. I'm happy that he won but it's too bad that victory became an advantage for Stefan.

Speaking of advantage,Josie was able to use Kristen's good nature against her during judges' table and threw her right under the bus as fast as she could. True,Kristen should have been more take-charge in the kitchen when it came to getting Josie's dish done right and she did overextend herself by getting too ambitious with some of her concepts.

However,Josie was being slower than usual and insanely passive aggressive,which dragged down the whole service. Brooke was doing a lovely job as front of the house and the first couple of courses went out smoothly.

Josie's bouillabaisse was a traffic accident from hell. First off,she was supposed to have the broth ready the day before service but she didn't start it until the day of and about a half hour before customers arrived,it still wasn't done.

Then,she "forgot" to add the gelatin and didn't seem too concerned about that. Kristen told her to use cream instead to make a foam to be put on the plates but Josie didn't even bother to make sure the applicator worked properly!

The dish came out late and the fish was unevenly cooked,plus some people got a little bit of broth and others didn't. Josie kept insisting that she was just doing what Kristen told her to do,which was total bull but instead of calling her out,Kristen held her tongue which cost her a spot in the competition.

To be fair,the judges did find fault with some of Kristen's own dishes such as the beef bourguigon,that tasted great but didn't have the expected red wine sauce.

They also had trouble with her dessert,a deconstructed macaroon. Judge Gail was most insistent that it didn't possess the correct flavor profile associated with that classic French treat. Since Kristen's theme for Atelier Kwan was classic French with a twist,I guess that's fair.

For her to go home for Josie's subtle sabotage is not,in my opinion. Clearly the judges' table was divided on this decision but they did reach some sort of conscious and why they felt the need to keep Josie on with her streak of slow motion screw-ups while Kristen has become a frontrunner is beyond me,folks.

Well,what's done is done and hopefully,Kristen will be able to beat CJ in Last Chance Kitchen. One thing is for certain and that is that Stefan will probably take whatever opportunity he gets to bring Josie down,since Kristen was his girl,so to speak. I could be wrong about that,yet I won't be surprised if he plays a part in getting Josie kicked out at some point.

It was supposed to be Edith's day to shine at Downton Abbey,but her wedding to Sir Anthony ended in heartbreaking disaster. He jilted her cruelly at the altar and I do mean cruelly,folks.

What kind of a gentleman lets the lady arrive at the church in her wedding gown(which looked beautiful,btw)and walk down the aisle with her father in front of a full house,only to call the whole thing off just as the minister starts the show?

Edith's been bitchy at times,true,yet a good portion of that is due to competing with Mary for attention from all sides and here,she was really sweet and happy towards everyone. I know that Countess Violet meant well by telling Edith to just let him go but she could've at least smacked Sir Anthony for his hideous timing!

*Sigh* I hope that Edith can find real love and true happiness before this season is over. Maybe she should take a cue from Sybil and look below stairs,since that new footman Alfred was quick to come to her defense in the servant's quarters and he was right in that she could do much better than Sir Anthony(I think so,too):

Speaking of Sybil,the next episode seems to be her turn for trouble. Not sure what's going to happen but it looks as if Tom won't be as reliable as he should be,especially with a pregnant wife to take care of:

The SyFy series Face Off started a new season this week and the main challenge was for teams of two to create a goblin king. With Labyrinth being one of my favorite fantasy films,I was thrilled to see what they came up.

The goblin kings had to represent a particular region where their kingdoms were set,such as arctic cold,jungle and swamp. My personal pick for the win was the Desert Goblin King created by Eric Fox and Jenna. The coyote skull face with it's golden tumbleweed crown was truly effective in both close-up and distant viewings.

The look that did win belonged to the Mountain Goblin King from Meagan and Anthony. It also happen to be a double victory for Anthony,since he won the opening challenge for Fantasy Queen,so this was a nice way for him to begin the competition.

The concept was to show the king turning to stone due to his stony heart and the face application in particular showcased that idea exceptionally well. Congrats to both of them in pulling that off.

The losing look was put together by Troy and Michael,with Troy going home for it. Their Volcanic Goblin King was a hot mess,not to mention completely covered up in all of the wrong places. That crown looked more like a dunce cap than a sprout for exploding lava,in my opinion.

Next week,the make-up artists get the chance to create a superhero for DC Comics,which promises to be truly geek-tacular:


SWEET GENIUS: Season 3 of this sweetly silly competition show is about to wrap up,due to Anne Burrell's return for another round of Chef Wanted. This won't be the last we see of Chef Ron Ben-Israel and his unique brand of baking fun,I'm sure:

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