Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Top Chef Masters get schooled,Under The Dome closes the curtains and a visit to Sleepy Hollow

The next to last episode of Top Chef Masters began with a recent blast from the past,as the latest to be eliminated chef Sang dropped by to judge the food in the Quickfire Challenge.

The challenge was to create a high end hamburger and most of them seemed to be sliders in terms of portion size. Sang wasn't told who made what before tasting them,so even he was surprised by the one that made the cut.

Jennifer's beef burger with srircaha ketchup and caramelized bacon won this round,plus a nice chunk of change for her charity(over fifty grand to date). Ever since she came back from being part of a double elim,Jennifer has been on fire and a nice streak of victories to boot.

Bryan was again disappointed about not winning any Quickfires this season but cheered up when he found out his sous chef had earned immunity for him in the Battle of the Sous(a pretty nifty edition to this series,I have to say).

The Elimination Challenge had the chefs prepare a four course meal to honor a quarter of L.A.county teachers.

Each dish had to reflect upon one of the teachers and each chef was responsible for one course. A new guest judge,Alan Richman from GQ magazine,joined the panel and was very impressed by an entree that took almost everyone's breath away.

That dish belonged to Bryan,who made a calamari Bolognese with squid ink and miso cavatelli. He had doubts concerning the choice of fish but Alan Richman declared that it was good enough to make him cry,uncommon praise indeed!

Bryan already was guaranteed a spot in the Finale but earning his first win(and ten grand for his charity,Share Our Strength) was that extra touch that means so much.

Joining him for the finale,Douglas earned his place with a smoked salmon that had three kinds of caviar served with it.

 Curtis thought it was a tad too rich for his palate but the rest of the judges loved it enough to let it pass.

Jennifer was in danger of being sent off to pack her knives for the underdone nature of her rack of lamb.

There was a mini debate at the judges' table about how well cooked lamb has to be(which I have no opinion,since I've only had it once in my life and that portion was thinly sliced rather than on bone) but the fennel porridge that came with it helped to save her bacon,so to speak.

That meant David Burke was the one who was sent home. His bittersweet chocolate souffle with raspberry sauce came out okay but deflated quickly as soon as it arrived at the end of dinner.

He made 60 of those suckers,no easy task there,and it was with great reluctance that he was dismissed. The finale is next week and the final Battle of the Sous Chefs aired last night,with Bryan's sous winning ten grand for his boss's charity and David's sous not allowed to help him out during the first day of prep. How will that affect the competition? We shall soon see and savor,folks!

Under The Dome wrapped up it's first season in a very loosey goosey way,as the butterfly born under the mini Dome caused the outer one to turn black.

 That naturally freaked everyone out(more than they already were) and as chaos lead folks to the nearest church to pray, Big Jim went on the hunt for the mini Dome. The group of four(Joe,Norrie,Angie and Junior) managed to open the small dome and release the butterfly,which chose Julia to be it's "monarch".

The big Dome stayed in place,however,and the egg from the smaller one grew in size. After taking it away from Junior's reach, Norrie got a chance to ask the unknown powers behind their situation to let them in on what was wanted of them. Their reply came in the form of a vision of Norrie's deceased mom, who insisted that the Dome was intended to protect them. From what, you may ask? Good question,but that knowledge wasn't shared with the group just yet:

 While that was going on,Big Jim prepared to have Barbie hanged in the town square(on a quickly built scaffold,no less!) and Julia had the fun choice of either hiding the egg or rushing into town to save her man from the noose.

She decided to send the egg on a one way trip to the bottom of the river,which appeared to be the right answer as the much talked about pink stars started to fall in line. Quite a cliffhanger set-up here and while this initial outing of Under The Dome had it's ups and downs, I am willing to check back in next year to see what happens next:

The fantasy horror series Sleepy Hollow debuted this week,setting up it's premise of Revolutionary War era Ichabod Crane awakening in modern day Westchester,NY,along with a certain cranium deprived warrior.

Soon enough,Crane and his new partner,Lt. Abbie Mills realize that they have been tapped by fate(and possibly a secret coven of good witches) to bring the Horseman down in order to halt the end of the days. Pretty far fetched,even for network TV,I know and yet, this show does have a interesting spark or two worth exploring.

The two leads on this show(Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie) do possess a nice chemistry together and the pace of the plot is well balanced between the bizarre and the farcical. Not to mention that as a Westchester gal myself, it's nice to see this neck of woods represented here. So, I'll give Sleepy Hollow a strong shot at being a must-see mainstay on my dial and perhaps I won't be alone at that:


THE EMMYS: I don't usually bother with this particular award show,as it rarely honors something I actually like and watch. However, with Neil Patrick Harris on board as host, it should be worth a look:

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