Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Next Food Network Star's Debbie dilemma,Design Star debuts and TC Masters make mystery meals

The chefs for this last qualifying round of Top Chef Masters were Art Smith,Jonathan Waxman,Michael Cimarusti and Roy Yamaguchi,and their Quickfire Challenge was to make a dish using ingredients selected from only one aisle of the grocery store. Roy wound up with the pasta section but managed to add some of his Asian style of cooking to the plate. The judging committee(made up of Whole Foods employees)thought it was weird but tasty.

Michael also had to shop in unfamiliar territory;he's more of a seafood specialist and leaves pastry to his wife,who would've been proud to see him take an early win for his chocolate parfait with ginger and sesame crackers.

For the Elimination,each chef packed a "mystery box" of items for another member of the bunch(chosen by the patented TC knife pull)and make a meal using at least seven out of eleven goodies provided to serve to a group of culinary students,plus the judges. Michael didn't get fish but still put together a tasty dish of lamb with a sunchoke puree that Gael Greene adored.

Unfortunately,he ran out of time and didn't get to put his orange sauce on all of the plates before they went out. He took it in stride,which was cool of him.

Jonathan Waxman's plate of pork sausage with pork chop and cauliflower celery root puree may not have been pretty,but it certainly tasted good. Waxman kept joking about his bad eyesight and his advanced age yet,he seemed as lively as any of the other guys here and very well respected.

Art Smith took the win here,a bit of an upset due to the pattern of TC Masters winning both the QF and the Elimination. His fried chicken done two ways really pleased everyone,plus the mango pie(or cobbler,if you prefer)was the perfect topper to his edible offering.

Next week is the finale to see whose charity gets the $100,000 prize and the first challenge thrown to the chefs is a favorite of mine,the mise en place relay race! Awe to the some:

The new season of Design Star premiered this week,with a number of changes such as new judges(Candice Olsen and Genevieve Gorder),the ten contestants voting in the eleventh contender and having the judges decide who the winner will be instead of having the audience vote,yet some things remained the same.

Their standard first challenge is to decorate the home provided for them and many of the rooms were great. I particularly loved the crisp elegance that Tori and Jany gave to one of the bedrooms,with the lush arrangement of the beds and the color tones chosen for the room. The judges liked it,but most felt it was not adventurous enough.

The master bedroom was where disaster struck. Natalee and Tashica had ten grand to spend here but the end results didn't show that at all. Their concept was good,Hollywood glam,but the execution was pitiful to say the least.

Peeling paint on the floor,curtains hung up with duct tape,bedspreads that were chopped in half and not sewn up at the seams,shall I go on? Oh,yeah,can't forget the white scrap of cloth chosen as the rug! Natalee was sent packing,which was just as well,considering she nearly had a full body meltdown during this round:

I was very disappointed in Jamika this week;for the Final Four on The Next Food Network Star,it was all about rolling with the punches. Both of the challenges had to do with dealing with the unexpected and she really dropped the ball both times.

While it was right for Jamika to go,Debbie is still up to her old tricks and needs to follow Jamika right out the door. During the elimination round,she had her usual Asian flavorings taken away and Bobby Flay himself gave her some Mediterranean food stuffs to work with. One of them did not make it into her dish and when Bobby asked her about that,she out and out lied to his face.

To top that,when questioned about that at Judge's table,she lied about it AGAIN! What the what,seriously? I'm sorry,but at the beginning of this season,Bob Tuschman said that integrity was one of the important elements in selecting a FNS and flat out fudging like that is not a check mark in the plus column there:


HELL'S KITCHEN: I've seen motley crews before on this show,but this latest batch of bozos take more than the cake. From one guy who nearly came to blows with JP to both teams lousing up the second service so badly that Ramsey resorted to giving out cold shrimp cocktails,this opening round was a screw up of epic proportions. The worst one of the Gang Who Couldn't Saute Straight is Joseph,a former Marine who dared to challenge Gordon to a fist fight in the parking lot. Stupid move,buddy boy and yes,you are a bitch:

TRUE BLOOD: No,I didn't forget about my current favorite vampire series,folks. My favorite part of this episode was seeing a glimpse into Eric's past and watching his initiation into the ranks of the undead:


David Dust said...

It seems that you and I watch the same shows (although I don't watch the Food Network).

CLICK HERE for my Top Chef Master's Recap (Art Smith is GANGSTA, btw).

And CLICK HERE for my Design Star recap.

I don't do True Blood recaps, but it is absolutely my favorite show on TV right now.


lady t said...

Thanks,Dave-you know what they say,great minds think alike:)