Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Top Chef Masters set up a surprise,True Blood's take on the circle of life and father/son issues Under The Dome

Top Chef Masters begin this week's proceedings with a Quickfire that paired Goose Island beer(which seems pretty fancy,as it came in wine bottles) with curry. The catch was that the chefs had to make their curry from scratch.

The guest judge for this round was Jason Bentley,the musical director of KCRW Radio,who happens to be a big foodie. Chef Sang was familiar with him and happy to have Bentley on board in more ways than one.

Bentley chose Sang's Thai yellow curry with chicken thighs and Kaffir lime as the winning dish of the challenge. Douglas Keane was displeased at his offering being put in the Bottom Two here but even he called it a "consomme"(with coconut water,sole and mango) and that is not the same as a curry! His sous chef earned him immunity for the Elimination round,so that was a good consultation prize.

For the Elimination Challenge,the chefs were divided into three teams and told that they were to prepare appetizers for a party to be set up by regular judge James Oseland. However, Oseland had a surprise in store as he informed them that the party was to be a surprise for host Curtis Stone,to celebrate his engagement to the lovely Lindsay Price.

Lindsay was just as surprised that Curtis was in the dark about this yet was thrilled to let the chefs know what his favorite foods were(Korean BBQ,crab meat and chocolate). One team had a fifteen minute time penalty during the shopping for supplies segment,due to their sous chefs losing out in the battle portion of the show. That didn't seem to give them a major problem in completing their dishes,tho.

 The Red Team, made up of Sue,Douglas and David Burke, were deemed the winners of this round and each received a nice donation to their respective charities.

Sue's curried crab beignet that had a cilantro aioli dipping sauce was a real hit with the judges and Curtis particularly appreciated the crisp yet creamy texture.

While each chef had to make an individual dish, all of them were required to collaborate on one plate and the combo for the Red Team was a Korean surf and turf. It had steak with lobster,which is not strictly Korean style,but it was pleasing to most of the crowd.

Douglas' stittake umami broth served in a shot glass and David's chocolate cheesecake pops were big hits as well. Nice going,guys!

 The Green Team was on the bottom,with Jennifer,Neal and Franklin who did two dishes on his own since Jenn's lobster ravioli was so complicated that she needed Neal to assist her in order to finish on time.

That didn't help Neal out much, as his lamb kafta with peanut sauce turned out to be a big fatty mess on a stick. At least Jennifer let the judges know that he gave her that extra helping hand. Her ravioli didn't have much flavor,since the pasta overwhelmed the lobster within.

However,it was Franklin who had to go. His salmon with avocado and cucumber was fine but the pink guava cocktail he served along side it was dreadful to drink.

On top of that,the ricotta donuts he made tasted bland and there was not enough chocolate given to them(James Oseland called it a "skidmark"). Shame that the extra effort didn't make for better results but his charity(Autism Speaks) will receive a nice donation. Next week is Restaurant Wars and that is always fun to watch,so let's stay tuned for that!

 The next to last episode of this season's True Blood was quite the doozy as parallel lines were drawn between Terry's funeral and Eric's liberation of the vamp camp. You have to give it to Eric,he doesn't mess around-Bill was just following in the wake of gore and destruction that his former ally(along with released vamp prisoners) was piling up in great chunks.

With Warlow not being strong enough to give his blood for protection,Bill let the vamps meant to face the sun feed on him in the nick of time and nearly faced the True Death himself there. I know I wasn't the only person watching who cheered as that weasel Steve Newlin finally got his well deserved end but letting Sarah get away wasn't too smart on Jason's behalf. 

Granted,Jason is not the most savvy when it comes to battle plans but I suspect that Sarah's escape will come back to bite him sooner than expected. The finale is this Sunday and according to EW,there is supposed to be a bit of a time jump,which may or may not help Sookie and friends push their issues aside to deal with the brand new change-up in their world-daylight dwelling vampires. We shall certainly see!:

 The cat's-in-the-cradle issues between Big Jim Rennie and his boy Junior came to a head on Under The Dome,as the dispute over the only remaining fresh source of water had Big Jim round up some help to fight with Farmer Ollie,who had a small army of armed men to back him up.

Junior switched sides as soon as he got the chance and for a while, his deal with Farmer Ollie seemed to be sealed as the dime was dropped on how the former Mrs. Rennie met her untimely end. Big Jim,however, was able to get all emotional at just the right time to have Sonny Boy take down his true enemy:

 During this stand down, Julia had Joe take her to the mini Dome out in the woods and when she touched it, a vision of Joe repeating "The monarch will be crowned" appeared before her. Now, some are speculating that statement is referring to the butterflies being seen both in and outside of Chester's Mill(plus,Angie happens to have a monarch butterfly tattoo on her shoulder,how convenient!) but I think the real monarch here is Big Jim.

 With taking out Ollie and now having Barbie kept an extra eye on him,it's no secret at this point that Big Jim is planning to be the main man in charge. That blow to his head during the recent fight with Junior reminds me of how kings in the past have been "crowned" with similarly violent blows and whatever these Dome induced apparitions are(which were not in the book,by the way), this one does sound a lot like a warning to me:


THE WHITE QUEEN: The Starz series is now under way and already,the power plays are brewing as kingmaker Warwick schemes to regain his hold on Edward. There are no dragons here but a game of thrones is definitely being played:

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