Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

TC Masters Championships,Part One,True Blood troubles and Designstar kitchen disasters

Looks like we are not yet done with Top Chef Masters;the first of three championship rounds began last night,with the infamous mise en place relay race. The remaining chefs were divided into two teams(Salt and Pepper)and the Quickfire was monitored by Judge Tom. Hubert Keller managed to get the win for his team in the last part of the mise en place,which was whipping egg whites into a foam that clung to the bottom of the bowl even when turned over.

After that,the chefs were asked to make their signature dishes for one another. They all had a lovely meal together which naturally lead to the Elimination challenge,which was to recreate one of the signature dishes and add his or her own unique take on it.

Art Smith was assigned via knife draw Suzanne Tracht's ground sirloin with fried egg on top. His spin on that was to use ground lamb and have a "scotch egg" in the middle of it,more like a meatball than the stretched out burger Suzanne had made. Unfortunately,the lamb was a tad dry and the egg was overcooked.

Suzanne,in turn,had Art's fish dish to make over and she had some problems with it,too. The main complaint was that the grouper was cold upon serving,due perhaps to her having plating the food way too early. While the judges did agree that grouper is tough to cook,the potato gnocchi on the side was just as cold. She wound up with the least amount of stars,so Suzanne had to pack her knives and go.

Rick Bayless was a strong contender for the win,with his revision of Michael Chiarello's quail with bacon entree. Bayless cooked whole quails with a parsnip and prosciutto stuffing that had everyone in a savory swoon. Not only was he praised for not going on his typical Mexican cooking route,Bayless was also given pats on the back for his respect of Michael's original dish.

Anita Lo was the big winner,however,for her interpretation of Hubert Keller's lobster cappuccino with corn madelaine. The corn chawanmushi and champagne gelee wowed even Hubert and the lobster biscuit sandwich on the end of the platter had returning judge Jay Rayner doing the whole "we're not worthy" bit during the deliberations.

Round Two of the TC championships has the chefs doing a gourmet burger Quickfire,which should be no hassle for Hubert who has a $5,000 hamburger on the menu of one of his restaurants! I'm a burger fan myself,but for five grand,that sucker better be diamond studded,with some rubies and emeralds on the side:

It was the dreaded kitchen makeover challenge on Design Star this week,rather soon to toss the contestants into,in my opinion. At least one team managed to have everything done on time,which is a challenge in and of itself there. I thought it looked great,even tho Vern Yip hated the color scheme and said it looked like "a rainbow threw up in there."

Kudos to Torie for using that coppertone vinyl flooring as the backsplash. It was a lovely touch and despite the overabundance of knickknacks on just about all of the spare surfaces,that kitchen was a success.

The same can't be said for the second kitchen. Many projects were not completed,including the attempt at tiling the backsplash(Judge Candice was totally correct when she mentioned that for DS kitchens,tile is a four letter word to be avoided at all costs)and the marble counter tops having huge gaps in the seams. Tashica dropped the ball yet again by not having any of the accessories on display before time was up.

Amy wound up going home,since she was the team leader. No one was happy to see Tashica stay on,you could tell by the lack of reactions in the Green room. Going to be a tough row to hoe for Tashica for awhile. Next week has the white room challenge,which may give her a chance to prove that she's got some real talent...or not,as the case may be:

On True Blood,Sookie is seriously in over her head as her infiltration of the Fellowship of the Sun's headquarters turns out to be a trap. Gabriel is not much of a backup there and Bill's coming to the rescue may be delayed by the reappearance of his sire Lorena(nice going there,Eric!). Maybe her brother Jason can take time out from making googly eyes at the Reverend's wife long enough to be of some help here,then again,this is Jason Stackhouse we're talking about:

Back in Bon Temps,things are quickly going to hell in a handbasket as Tara and Eggs begin to realize that Maryann is working a mess of major league bad mojo on them,plus Sam finds out the hard way that Daphne is not to be trusted(I knew that she was going to lead him into trouble,just knew it!). Unfortunately for all concerned,none of them appears to have the power to stop Maryann's psycho magical sexathons or to escape her clutches before it's too late:

The clips for the next episode show that Sam survives this latest ordeal,but from what's in this Season Two trailer shown recently at the San Diego Comic Con,we haven't seen the worst of it yet:


THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR: The Final Two have been chosen and Debbie is not of them,yay! Her food didn't match up to her presentation skills in the Julie & Julia inspiration dinner,so she was out. I'm rooting for Melissa to win,she's really improved both her cooking skills and her style over the course of this show and I think she would make a great Food Network Star:

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