Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

TC Masters serve it up small,The Next Food Network Star and True Blood does Dallas

This latest round of Top Chef Masters had Michael Chiarello,Nils Noren,Rick Moonen and Lachlan Patterson dealing with a classic Quickfire from Season 1,which was to make a fine dining version of a traditional "junk food" delight. Lachlan's take on hot dogs lead to this prosciutto dish with pork sausage,which the tasting panel(lead by the infamous Jeff of Flipping Out)seem to like.

Sadly, Rick Moonen was not able to have his food ready on time(a first for this series),which made the victory for Michael Chiarello's swordfish meatballs,as a fancy style of fishsticks,all the easier to obtain.

The Elimination challenge was to create a three course dinner in miniature,as cocktail party food for some Top Chef fans(a couple of former TC contenders were in the crowd as well,Sweet P and Jarell). Rick started off strong with a opakapaka and barramundi ceviche that won over the party people and the judges alike.

Nils was no slouch,as his salmon with napa cabbage and chorizo entree went over like gangbusters. Salmon and cabbage are not on my Top Ten list of Most Desirable Foods,but the vividness of the colors that he brought out on the plate sure made it look tempting.

His only misstep was in the dessert,a chocolate and goat cheese ganache with orange gel. Sounds great,right? Unfortunately,Nils chose to give it a smoky flavor that pretty much repulsed everyone's palate. One of the guests actually said she didn't want to take a second bite and considering that it's a chocolate dessert,that's a sure sign of badness there

Chiarello won the Elim,even managing to convice Gael Greene that the basil(which she kept calling "lawn shavings") in his stawberries with goat milk gelato and chocolate hit the spot. Once again,the QF winner in TC Masters becomes the final champion at the end,almost eerie there,folks.

Speaking of finals,we have one more round to go before the big showdown for that $100,000 for charity and the last group up has to pack mystery boxes for their competitors to use in the Elimination Challenge. Should be something to see:

Big controversy brewing on The Next Food Network Star,as Devious Debbie struck again. The big challenge this time was a team one,where everyone had to make two dishes for a cocktail party on the beach(they went to Miami as the setting for the final rounds)and Debbie's job in the kitchen was to be the in charge person to get the food out,due to her catering experience.

Well,all she did was take care of her own two plates and pretty much ignored everyone else,making her food the best of the bunch. Melissa really showed some character this week,as she not only made an extra dish for vegetarians to enjoy but helped out her fellow chefs as well,plus called Debbie out at the Judges' Table for pretending to be "selfless". I think she got confused with her terms,as her actions were more selfish and self serving.

Michael was sent home this week,due to his wavering performance in front of the cameras and his food that lacked in flavor(since Debbie was the one who was supposed to be serving his stuff while he tended the bar,I smell sabotage). While it's probably true that he would've been off the show anyway,Debbie's bad behavior should have made her first in line for the exit.

According to Bob Tuschman's blog(FN head honcho and judge),Bobby Flay and Ted Allen were the ones who insisted on her staying,due to how good her food turned out. Hey,fellas,that was her whole strategy and you totally know it-you do have video tape to prove it,hello! Character and quality of food are equally important components in selecting a new FNS and if by some fluke,Debbie wins,it's ratings you will be losing:

True Blood returned this week,with Sookie and Bill going to Dallas on vampire business,which has a myriad of complications like an attempted kidnapping at the airport of Sookie and the presence of Jessica,taken along last minute to keep an eye on her before she gets too out of hand with Hoyt.

Bill is trying to be a good vampire mentor to her,thanks to Sookie's encouragement,but Jessica is still your average teenager let loose from a repressive household and therefore prone to pulling juvenile pranks whenever she can get the chance:

Eric is keeping close tabs on those two,even after giving Lafayette a much needed dose of his blood to fix his wounds(glad to see Lafayette back in fighting form again). He headed for Dallas pretty quick when Bill called him about the Fellowship of the Sun's involvement in Godric's disappearance and the failed airport grab.

Clearly Eric is playing his cards very close to the vest here,and since the plot lines of this series tend to stray slightly from the source material,I can't fully speculate on what the real deal is just yet. I do hope that Sookie's new psychic friend Barry also gets more of a buildup on the show than in the books,that would be very cool:

Meanwhile,back in Bon Temps,Tara's move to Sookie's house hasn't kept Mary Ann out of her hair,as she and her merry gang invade the place to give Tara a birthday party. Sam shows up to bring Tara a present from her mom that Mary Ann finds a way to toss out just before she heads into the woods to work some serious mojo on the party goers that gets downright vicious and nasty.

What her ultimate agenda is,I don't know,but she is not of the good and either Sam or Lafayette needs to be ready to help Tara get out of her clutches before the point of no return shows up there. Sam is getting rather distracted by Daphne at the moment,but he needs to be on full alert,if his threats to Mary Ann are to be taken seriously there:


THE FASHION SHOW: Part One of the finale starts tonight,with one of the Final Four to be eliminated before viewers get the chance to vote for the winner. If Reco is given his walking papers,I refuse to participate. He's been my favorite for awhile now and has proven his skills time and time again. Don't give up on him,Bravo!:

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