Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Top Chef gets creamed by cheese,a new ally at Sleepy Hollow and more Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D action

The guest judge for this week on Top Chef was John Besh,who took the chefs on a field trip for their Quickfire challenge. The lot of them headed out to farm country,where the main task was to make a dish highlighting the Creole tomato.

Twenty minutes of time was given and Padma even had one of the cars packed with cooking utensils and kitchen ware to make things that much easier.

Some of the chefs felt underwhelmed by being assigned a tomato as the main focus while others rose to the challenge. Just cooking outdoors alone was tricky but nothing that hasn't been done here before.

 Nina once again proved why she's a front runner here by winning immunity for the next round with her chilled watermelon and tomato soup. She also was allowed to take first pick of what course to prepare for the Elimination challenge.

For the Elim,the chefs had to make a three course meal for John's executive chefs at his restaurant,La Provence,and use Philly cream cheese in their dish(the only other dairy available to them for this round was milk and cream).

Nina went with appetizers and the rest of the gang used the classic TC knife pull to find out what course was to be their lot. Ten grand was offered up as the big prize for this win,courtesy of,you guessed it, Philly cream cheese! I'm not a fan of this particular food item but hey, ten grand is at least worth trying for.

Justin made it to the Top Three here for his duck breast with mushrooms and corn puree.

His protein was a real stand out from the rest and the judges praised him for embracing the farm to table concept of the challenge.

There was some doubt about Nicholas' dessert,which was a carrot funnel cake with peach flavored cream cheese added in,would turn out yet it managed to be tasty enough to earn him a spot in the winner's circle.

 No one really went for the instant go-to for dessert with cream cheese,the cheesecake-maybe due to the baking time?

The win,however,went to Nina for her fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with an eggplant cream cheese puree. The confident simplicity of that ap just pleased the judges to no end.

Nina's starting to get nervous about coming out on top so much and I do agree that she might need to watch her back as time goes on. She's a nice enough person that I don't think will attract too many enemies but she also possesses a no nonsense streak that might irk some of the more overly sensitive of the bunch.

Speaking of which,Travis landed in the Bottom Three this time for his lamb chops which were not evenly cooked.

 The clunkiness of the veggies on his plate didn't help much and the awkward cutting for the chops(which he insisted was on purpose) made him a real contender to get the boot here. He whined a little at judges' table,which is starting to be a regular thing with him.

Lucky for him,Sara's lamb chops weren't any better. She really had trouble stuffing them with the cream cheese mix,due to the pastry bag giving her grief.

That part of the prep hit a delay snag that caused a ripple effect in her whole cooking time and she pretty much apologized for the plate.

Fortunately for them both, it was Bene who had to pack his knives and go for steaming his veggie sides. By doing that, they came out soggy and made the chicken on his plate an afterthought at best.

Well, he'll be in Last Chance Kitchen and have his second shot at the game there. Would love to see Travis join him at some point,his lack of accepting criticism is very unappealing here.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned this week,with a nice change of pace as Agents Fitz and Simmons became the focal point of the plot.

 The team was on a routine mission to discover what was causing a group of men to spontaneously explode and create a dangerous energy field in their wake. The cause happened to be an alien helmet that the guys had picked up from a rescue clean-up in NYC( watch The Avengers movie for better context) that transmitted a virus via electro magnetic impulse.

The upshot was that Simmons(whose first name is Gemma,we finally learned) wound up infected and Fitz's claims of pure friendship with her proved to be much more than that. He became very heroic by insisting on helping her despite the quarantine and if Ward hadn't beaten him to it, I do believe that he would have jumped out of the plane in order to save her from an unnecessary sacrifice of her life.

Putting the spotlight on the supporting players was a good choice yet the show still has a ways to go here. However, I am willing to be patient and let the ultimate focus of the season reveal it's self in good time because that's the grown-up thing to do(slight pun on the clip below there):

Sleepy Hollow also returned,with Abbie and Crane making more emotional connections as the danger around them grows stronger.

Crane was kidnapped by a mysterious group of men,who turned out to be modern day Freemasons, and had to relive a part of his past that still haunts him greatly in order to win their trust.

What made him feel most guilty was not being able to save the man who encouraged him to switch sides from death. His commanding officer(who was a demon in disguise) followed him and when he realized that Crane was letting his prisoner go, that brave man was shot in the back. This regret is considered by Crane to be a grievous sin on his soul:

Meanwhile,Abbie went looking for help after a vision from Katrina(who I am still not sure is alive or dead in that purgatory realm of hers) and even recruited her sister Jennifer to track Crane down.

The two of them found a "sin eater", a man able to remove the dark deeds of others from their souls. Henry Parrish was reluctant to get involved but the nature of his calling drew him into the search and the chance of unbinding Crane from the Headless Horseman.

I'm really liking the world building going on here and glad to see a new comer to the fight,plus Jennifer on board as well. I've tried a few new shows this season but so far, Sleepy Hollow is the best of the bunch even with the off beat premise of the plot. Folks need to take a few notes from this particular playbook to see how it's done:


DOWNTON ABBEY: Season 4 is only a couple of months away,yet all of the DA fans in the US are anxious to see how the show will hold up without Matthew Crawley. As much as we would've liked to have Dan Stevens remain at Downton, I am sure that the series will survive his loss as will all of us:

No comments: