Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, October 03, 2013

Top Chef gets down in New Orleans,The Amazing Race is up and away and a furious surprise on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Top Chef got off to a roaring for it's new season in New Orleans,as the fresh batch of chefs weren't even given a Quickfire Challenge to warm up. Padma and Judge Tom announced the first Elimination round with the tossing of Mardi Gras necklaces that had animal shaped beads,which told each person what protein they would have to work with.

Since the general theme was "New Orleans style", the meats in question were alligator,turtle and frog(all of which is supposed to taste like chicken but I have my doubts about that).

They had to prepare a dinner party for a group known as the Dinner Lab down by The Swamp(more on that in a minute) and since two of the contenders (Michael and Justin)had won their spots by competing on Padma's Picks online, they had immunity right out of the gate.

Everyone had two hours in the TC kitchen for prep and then granted another two hours when they arrived at their serving location. Turns out that "The Swamp" was not a restaurant but an actual clear spot by a real swamp with tables and cooking stations that had to be assembled by hand!

Fortunately,things were up and running by the time the Dinner Lab and the judges(with Curtis Stone from Top Chef Masters,plus Emeril) arrived to eat.

The top three chefs for this challenge were chosen by the number of Mardi Gras necklaces the diners gave them and Sara's deep fried alligator earned a place there.

 She was worried that the spicy kick from the smoked chilis added to the dish would turn people off(Padma's taste buds were stunned by it) but the folks from the Dinner Lab apparently appreciated the extra heat.

Joining her was Carrie,who served her poached frog's legs with a cold zucchini salad and oyster emulsion.

All of the elements were in harmony on the plate,which pleased the judges greatly. However,the victory was not her's to take.

That honor went to Nina, for her turtle meatballs with a raisin chutney and chayote slaw. Her seasoning was spot on and I have to say that I would try something like turtle if it was made into such a familiar favorite.

Usually,the chef who wins the first Elimination Challenge has a strong shot at becoming the next Top Chef champion,so congrats and good luck,Nina!

In the Bottom Three was Patricia for not being able to roll with the quick changes at their cooking locale. She wound up switching from a roulaude to sauteed gator with a yucca puree,due to not having a regular oven available.

Her dish,which she herself described as "pounded out meat" literally fell flat,particularly in flavor. Since Patricia happens to be a home chef, the judges did give her a break on this one.

Aaron made turtle two ways,one with a ragout with pasta and the other a comfit. However, it was his pasta that got him in trouble as he did it home made style which wound up mushy on the plate.

Not a bad idea but it didn't work out well enough,so Aaron landed in the Bottom this time out. Hopefully for him,it may be his last time there.

Ramon was the one asked to pack his knives and go,due to making the major mistake of cooling down his Thai dashi with ice.

  The flavors of the braised turtle were washed out by this technique and the look on Judge Tom's face when he learned of the ice treatment was priceless. He was as shocked as a swimsuit designer would be if she was presented with a bikini made out of candle wax;yeah you can do that,but why would you?

It's too early to discern which of the remaining chefs are going to do well or poorly(other than Nina) but hopefully this will be a fun season with plenty of Cajun flavor.

The Amazing Race got off to a quick start by heading out to Chile,where their first Roadblock was to have one member of the team go para glide while the other followed them along to meet their partner at the landing site.

The second Roadblock had one person go off in a row boat to collect five fish from three out of the many boats in harbor and more than one team didn't read the clue properly. The person doing the row boat fish gathering was supposed to be the same one who para glided,which caused a couple of mix-ups:

A big motivation for winning this first leg of the race was the prize of two Express Passes(used to bypass challenges for one leg only). One was for the team to keep and the second to be given to another team before the fifth leg.

Nicole and Travis did arrive at the Pit Stop first,but had to take a thirty minute penalty since they took a cab instead of walking,as the clue instructed. They were able to come in second( the love/ hate duo of Tim and Marie,who I already dislike,won first place) but come on,guys,read your clues carefully!:

Yes,it was great to have Nick Fury make an end credit appearance on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D this week but even he mentioned the real concern for this team,mystery gal Skye. So far, she seems eager to be of use but how much help she can be is yet to be determined.

True,Skye had a few bright ideas when the plane was seized by Peruvian soldiers lead by a very friendly former ally of Coulson's who wanted to make off with that "object of unknown origin" found in an ancient temple. That reading of the safety pamphlet actually came in handy there!

However,judging by that text message she received at the end of her first mission(the second for Fitzsimmons,btw and how cool was Melinda May?) suggest that she's a plant by the real Rising Tide and might prove to be a serious thorn in S.H.I.E.L.D's side as time goes on:


MASTERS OF SEX: Now that I have Showtime,I'm giving this new series about Masters and Johnson a chance and the premiere episode was interesting to say the least. The drama here is not presented as sleazy as one might think,altho this trailer is definitely not safe for work,so you have been warned:

1 comment:

Thaddeus said...

Agents of S is sharp enough at the moment, but they need to step up their game, I think. Most of my friends agree that the pilot was better than the second ep.

I've heard that Masters only gets stronger as it goes. I was making my friends laugh by saying that the leads should've been James Marsters from Buffy and Scarlett Johannson. I occasionally have a fondness for puns.