Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Top Chef Masters do a little night shopping,True Blood losses and it's raining riots Under The Dome

It was a double elimination on the second episode of Top Chef Masters, starting with the Quickfire Challenge that had the chefs take over for their sous at the end of a mise en place relay race.

The winning sous chef works for Sang Yoon, so they received immunity. Meanwhile the rest of them scrambled to make a dish in thirty minutes using the ingredients that had been prepped(pomegranate,celery root, lamb and squid) without any extra time for finishing up what wasn't completed.

Once the dishes were done and a tasting by host Curtis Stone and Judge Gail Simons(from regular TC,who is now a regular judge for TCM) pronounced Richard Sandoval as the one to pack his knives and go.

Then the Elimination Challenge was announced,which was to make enough food for two hundred people to be served at a booth in the Asian Night market,a celebrated pop-up restaurant.

The dish had to be an American classic with an Asian twist,something that worked out better for some than others.

One of those who did very well here was Bryan Voltaggio with his take on chicken and dumplings.

 The broth that accompanied his gyoza dumplins with chicken feet and snap peas had the judges oohing and awing with delight.

What really knocked everyone for a loop, however was Douglas Keene with his version of "cookies and cream". He made a coconut and cardamom cream with a black sesame cookie "soil",plus a spicy take on Rice Krispies treats on the side.

Even Judge James Oseland(who hates any mix of savory with sweet) adored this and was happy to give Douglas his due during the Top Three table discussion.

The winner for this round,however, was Sang for his shrimp and slaw combo plate. He used shrimp heads,which are supposed to be the most succulent portion of the fish(it freaked out guest star Kathy Lee Gifford a little but she liked it well enough) and the Burmese cabbage slaw united both east and west culinary flavors to Judge Gail's satisfaction.

Sang won ten grand for his charity,Worldwide Orphans,a cause he got into after finding out that his father built many orphanages during his life time but keep quiet about it with his family. Nice to see a son take up a father's cause in his own unique way.

In the Bottom Three was last week's winner,Odette for her attempt at spaghetti and meatballs. Turns out she's not familiar with American or Asian cuisine and her concept was pretty good there,regardless.

Sadly, the fish meatballs she served on top of the rice noodles was far too soft. One of the judges referred to the texture as gluey,not the kind of style you would want any kind of meatball to be.

Lucky for Odetta, the judges decided to send Jenn Louis home instead for her meatball creation. She chose to turn a meatball sub into a banh mi sandwich and while the flavor profile was great,the thick bread she used for it completely overwhelmed the whole dish.

Her charity will still get a nice donation but she was doing so well here,especially in the opening rounds. Sorry,Jenn,better luck next time!

A lot is happening on True Blood right now but the big moment of the latest episode had Eric lose his vampire sister Nora to the man made virus Hepatitis V. As a last resort, she drank Billith's blood yet even that wasn't enough to save her from her true death.

Her backstory was showcased,which revealed that she had been a noble woman nursing poor folk during the Plaque and was dying of it herself when Eric found her and had Godric save her. I had a bit of a flashback to a certain season of Angel, where Darla's past as a prostitute dying from VD contributed to her being resired. Not accusing anyone of copycatting here,but it is awfully similar in tone there.

How Eric is going to take his revenge on the vamp camp(now run by a vengeful Sarah Newlin) should be something to see,particularly with Billith at his side. There are only three episodes left, so the wait won't be long:

While the residents of Chester's Mill breathed a sigh of relief on Under The Dome when the missile explosion didn't wipe them out, they were still upset to remain trapped in their town.

Damage done to the local water tower caused some panic regarding the local supply of water(a quick check on the lake proved to be disappointing,as the waters were contaminated by a propane spill). Folks decided to stock up on what they could at the grocery store but things went to hell fast and a full fledged riot broke out.

Sheriff Linda and Barbie did what they could to keep the peace yet being outnumbered by frantic shoppers and devious types out to take advantage of the situation lead to an untimely end for diner owner Rose:

Angie had escaped Junior's clutches and made it to Rose,only to be attacked along side her. However, she did get a strong stroke of luck as Barbie managed to rescue her and brought her outside where more than one person could see her. As the riot quieted down(due to a sudden rain storm) Big Jim offered to take her in and when Angie woke up, he made her an offer that she may not refuse.

At this stage of the game ,it may be wise to have Big Jim owe you a favor or two. Granted, her options are limited there but if she plays her cards right, Angie might have both of the Rennies exactly where she wants them. With CBS greenlighting a second season of the show, this could become a major plot thread as time goes on,so let's wait and see,folks:


CUTTHROAT KITCHEN: Alton Brown hosts a new cooking competition series on Food Network,starting on August 11, where the culinary hijinks promise to keep everyone on their toes and then some. Should be fun but will it be the next Chopped?:

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