Friday, July 31, 2009

Top Chef Masters - 7.29.09

First Round of Champions!

Anita, Art, Hubert, Suzanne, Michael, and Rick are back this week.

Not-Padme welcomed them back, and introduced their Quickfire - They will be working in teams, of Salt and Pepper. It's the classic mis en place relay race, a prep challenge. Their judge is Tom! They need to shuck 15 oysters, dice 5 onions, butcher 4 chickens, separate 5 eggs and beat the whites until they hold when held upside down for 5 seconds. One chef has to do 2 things on each team.

Suzanne and Hubert were neck and neck with the oysters, and then Art took over for chopping onions (Hubert did the onions, too). Hubert was doing the onions much more traditionally, but Art got them done first. Anita took to the chicken, and was up against Michael. It was tied coming out of the chickens. Art took over for the eggs, and Rick did them for the other team. Art got some yolk in his whites, and Rick took it home for Team Salt... Art called him "Mr. Kitchenaid." The winning team each gets 5 stars each heading in to the next challenge.

Before the elimination challenge, each of them have to prepare their signature dish for the other chefs.

What a beautiful table they had!

Hubert: Lobster & Truffle Cappucino with corn mandeline.

Art: Seared Grouper with hearts of palm, Trumpet mushrooms and meyer lemon zest. He served this to President Obama came in for Valentine's Day, so he's a bit proud of it.

Anita: Seared Sea Scallop with potato puree & bacon, sea urchin and mustard greens.

Michael: Fennel Balsamic quail with mosto cotto mostarda, sauteed greens and roasted apples.

Suzanne: Chopped sirloin with green peppercorn sauce & fried egg.

Rick: Roast rack of lamb with black pasilla chili sauce with figs and red wine.

And who saw this coming? Their challenge is to recreate one of the other chef's dishes, putting their own spin on it.

Hubert (since he went twice on the winning team) got to pick which one he gets to do. He chooses Anita's, and she gets his in return. Rick got Michael. Suzanne got Art. They have 45 minutes and $300 to shop, then 2 hours to cook the next day for the critics and diners.

The diners are former competitors from the competition. Jay Raynor, Gael Green's Hat, and James Oseland are the critics.

Art's take on Suzanne's dish was a ground lamb with scotch egg and sweet potato chili fries and a tomato tart with a biscuit.

Rick's take on Michael's dish is Quail stuffed with parsnips, prosciutto, and red onions, and over greens.

Suzanne's take on Art's is roast grouper with gnocchi, english peas, bacon and parsnips. Some thought her fish was overcooked and the gnocchi cold - so it seemed it might have sat. James said it felt like once upon a time, the fish was brilliant.

Hubert made a seared scallop with cream of sea urchin over fingerling mashed potatoes.

Michael's take on Ricks was Rack of Lamb stuffed with fig mostarda, chick peas and fried rosemary. It was a little undercooked and underseasoned.

Anita's take on Hubert's dish was Corn Chawanmushi, Champagne gelee and a lobster tartar biscuit sandwich.

In the end, Rick and Anita have the highest scores for the night.

Rick got a total of 23 stars. Anita's total was 24 stars. She got an extra $10,000 for her charity.

Michael ended up with 18 1/2 stars. Hubert got 21 1/2 stars and is safe. Art has 15 stars. Suzanne's cold fish brought her only to 14 1/2 stars and she's out.

Who do you think will win in the end? I don't know. They are all awesome.

So You Think You Can Dance - 7.30.09

Cat is wearing her best shimmery Christmas dress today, which seems a few months off to me. It's got shoulder pads, and she didn't need that. She looks almost like a freshly mowed lawn mixed with a disco ball... And her hair is poofed up in front and in a french twist in back. It gives her fcce an unfortunate egg shape. Last night was a much better look for her.

The group dance is to Send in The Clowns, and they all emerge from a big box on stage. Clowns are creepy, but the dance is quite beautiful. It was choreographed by Tyce Diorio.

There are some more favorite past dances tonight, to pad the show to an hour, and I can't wait.

Right down to business. The first woman safe is Jeanine, so it's either Kayla or Melissa going home. I'm hoping for Kayla, because I just adore Melissa. L'il C uses some big words to congratulate Jeanine for getting into the finale.

Jessica & Will are back for an encore performance of last year's Emmy nominated routine, Silence. It's still beautuful. Will has seriously beautiful legs.

Which of the men will join Jeanine as the first one safe? Ade has that stupid pick in his hair, right in front, and I still really don't like it. Brandon is the first guy safe, and after last night's astounding solo, I am not surprised.

Woot for Twitch and Katee and the Door Routine!! I miss Twitch. He is so good. Some of these routines I would love to see some of this season's dancers try. They were such a strong group, it would be interesting to see. What a great dance.

Next, it's Chelsie and Joshua's routine that was choreographed by... Dmitri? I think. It is a fantastic and sexy dance, that's for sure. Why is it that so many of the best dances have props of one sort or another?

Solo time. Melissa is first and I really hope she is in the finale next week. Between Ade and Evan, I don't know. They are both wonderful, but I really love Evan and he has grown so much...

Performance by America's Best Dance Crew's first winners, the JabberWokkys, and I know they are great, but I am fast forwarding for the interst of time. I do wish that this season had had more breakers.. they are fun to watch.

Squeeeee - Bleeding Love with Mark & Chelsie! I adore Mark. I really do. This routine put me in near tears last year and I rewatched it many times. It's amazing - dancing and acting wise. When Chelsie kicked the briefcase this time, though, it didn't skid across the floor and opened up. oops. Oh well. The dancing was still unforgetable and gave me chills. I never noticed how tall Mark was before. Perhaps how not-short he is, after this season's shorties.

Kayla's solo was just a whole lot of flailing, so I really hope that Melissa is safe. And there's Evan and I think his solo was even better tonight.

Fast forwarding through Sean Paul because I really don't like reggae. I wish the Sabra and Neal's table routine had made an appearance.

The final girl in the finale is Kayla and my favorite ballerina is out. I suppose it was pre-ordained from the first show when the judges fell over themselves about Kayla. Melissa brought up the fact that she did hip hop, if only in a group number, and I wish I had taken more notice of her in it now.

Down to the guys - Nigel said that the thing about the show is that we have no losers, because people who are out at this point go on to do just fine for the most part. And in the finale next week? NOT Ade's pick. Evan is in the finals and I am so excited for him. He did great last night. Ade is really really fantastic, though, so I'm sure it was close. And, if it's any consolation, I bet that the Breast Cancer routine will get an emmy nod, so we'll see both him and Melissa again. I hope.

Now - who do you think will win? I think it's going to really depend on the dances next week. It's a super strong group.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Top Chef Masters: 7.22.09

I'm a week late! Sorry!

Jonathan Waxman is a former musician, and he trained people like Bobby Flay. Impressive. He's playing for Meals on Wheels.

Roy Yamaguchi is "the King of Fusion," and he is playing for Imua Family Services, to help kids with special needs get education and support.

Art Smith from Chicago, who is Oprah's chef, among other things. He's playing for Common Threads, a charity to teach kids how to cook. I like that.

Michael Cimurusti is a seafood specialist. He's playing for the Grameen Foundation, to empower women.

Not-Padme introduced their Quickfire to them. They drew knives for numbers and they have to cook from the aisle of Whole Foods, with minimal other stuff. They have $25.

Jonathan has the canned good aisle and had a hard time seeing properly, and was upset by that. Michel had the baked goods aisle and wasn't happy about that. Roy had the Italian food aisle and wished for soy sauce. Art had beans and grains and wished to make risotto.

Their judges are Whole Foods workers.

Roy had the pasta/olive oil aisle and produced - Pasta with fried egg and Asian flavors. The first reactions are "weird." However, one of the judges really liked it.

Jonathan had the International Foods Aisle and made - Mint, lentil, and roasted red pepper salad. It sounded really good to me.

Art had the beans and grains aisle and made - Multi-grain risotto with crispy rice salad. It got fantastic reviews.

Michael had the baking aisle and made - Chocolate parfait with ginger sautyrne syrup and sesame crackers. It also got really good reviews.

Jonathan got 3 1/2 stars. Roy got 4 stars. Art got 4 1/2 stars. Michael took it home with 5 stars. Good for him.

For the main challenge, they will draw knives but not reveal their picks. They will be creating a mystery box for other contestants and the chefs will have to use 7 of the ingredients in the box, to create something for culinary students and judges. The chefs are all hoping not to get sabotage, and seem to be nice about it. They have $300.

Roy drew Art. He got lots of produce and chicken.

Art drew Roy. He got Mahi Mahi, short ribs, and other good things.

Michael got Jonathan and gave him pork chops as one of his ingredients.

Jonathan got Michael and he got Lamb, portobellos, purple cauliflower, kumquats, and fun things... but Michael denied him fish.

They have 2 hours to cook.

Art made - Fried Chicken 2 ways, and mango pie. Gail Simmons thought it oozed Art Smith.

Roy made Short rib Kalbi and Mahi mahi. Gayle Green's hat thinks that mahi mahi can be boring, but loved the way he made it. Gail Simmons thought that it had too much lemon grass.

Michael made Loin of Lamb with sunchoke puree, brocolli rabe and purple cauliflower, and orange sauce that didn't make it to all the plates. Oops.

Jonathan made pork sausage & chop with cauliflower and celery root puree and black truffle. He bemoaned that he doesn't like more than 3 things on a plate. He called it an 80's retro dish. Gayle Green's Hat thought it was a charming idea and everyone seemed to like the flavors.

Critic's Table

Gayle Green's Hat thought that Michael's dish was better without the sauce, so she was happy not to have gotten a plate with sauce. Michael's roasted mushrooms had a bit of mandarin juice on them, and they sounded delicious.

Art's two chicken dishes were slightly competitive, but they loved his personality.

Roy's mahi mahi was unevenly cooked. Gayle Green's hat had perfect fish, but didn't like the mixture of the fish and the beef.

Jonathan's plating was questioned. His treatment of truffles (mircroplaning) was not questioned.

Jonathan's final total was 20 stars. Roy's final total was 15 stars. Michael's total was 17 1/2 stars. Art's final total was 22 stars, and Oprah's chef went on to the Champions Round.

So You Think You Can Dance - 7.29.09

Holy cow, next week is the finale?! How fast the season has gone. Melissa looked like she was caught off guard in the intro solos and ran up to her spot light. All of the intro solos were really good this week. Caat's wearing a very sleek purple minidress and her hair is simple and straight and I kind of love it.

Joining Mary and Nigel tonight is L'il C. Cat encouraged L'il C to pontificate. Mary was obviously upset at Janette's ouster last week and gave the voting audience advice to not vote stupidly, basically. Nigel wants to see more personality from dancers, because while they are great dancers, he's not seeing much spark, and people are simply voting on personality.

Guy's Group Routine (Pop Jazz, choreographed by Sonya. Song: True Romance by She wants Revenge) The outfits are a little odd, with Phantom masks with plaid shorts and neon gloves, bow ties, and lightnening bolts on their pants. They threw Brandon through the air and it was truly impressive. I couldn't tell if Evan fell off of the other guy's backs when he did his leap onto them, or if it was intentional, but if he did fall, he handled it well. Ade looks like he almost fell over at another point. All in all, though, it looked seriously tough and they did it really well. L'il C was super excited about Brandon and Ade in the same dance, and then he commended Evan for not getting swallowed up between two powerhouses, and thinks he stayed vividly throughout the routine. Mary was impressed by their abilities, which are not easy for men, according to her. Nigel thinks that Evan stood out tonight because he's never done a lot of things like it.

Jeanine & Ade (Samba, choreographed by Louis Van Amstel. Song: LoveGame by Lady Gaga) Any dance that starts with some stripping is good in my book. Jeanine has a giant feathered butt dress, and I think there are mardis gras beads around her chestal area, but she can move her hips pretty well and I impressed. It didn't seem as fluid as a samba should to me. Mary loved the first 15 seconds of it, but thought that once it got to the real samba bit, Ade was hopping around on the stage and was missing the samba roll with heal leads and thought it looked novice. L'il C loves the way that Jeanine looks, and wanted a Big Bang of Excellence, but was disappointed. He said that Ade looked frolicky instead of getting down. Nigel thought that Jeanine did a great job, but Ade was a disappointment, and then he sucked up to Louis.

Kayla's solo: More of the same from her. I'm a little bored by her solos, honestly.

Melissa & Evan (Broadway, choreographed by Tyce Diorio. Song: Get me to the Church on Time) They are half dressed bride and groom, and I wish that they somehow dressed by the end of the routine. It was charming. They are really cute. I wanted a little more zing from the choreography, though. L'il C wanted Evan to take the helm and dominate this routine, and doesn't feel like he did. He thought it was good, but wanted excellence. He said it was an A routine, but wanted A+. Mary was much more excited, and thought this might be the routine to get them to the finale on time. Though it is hard to take Evan seriously in his underwear and sock suspenders, she really enjoyed it. She also just loves Melissa. Nigel said that Melissa must be inspirational to a lot of ballerinas because they have had a lot auditioning for season 6, but doesn't think that they will be able to adapt as well as she has. He brought up the good point that the routine is more about personality than difficult choreography, and thinks that Evan brought that to the table. I could see that. I love these two.

Ade's solo: It was engaging. He does good solo.

Kayla & Brandon (Contemporary, choreographed by Stacey Tookie. Song: All I want, by Ahn Trio) The routine is about a woman who is having an affair with a married man and doesn't have the strength to leave him. More stripping on stage! Fun. The costume people must have fun with the breakaway shirts. They danced it really beautifully and Kayla has a great spark of personality. You could feel for her. And Brandon seemed like a bit of an ass, which was in character. L'il C thought it was really intense and beyond amazing, and thinks it is the first time Kayla's been equally matched in a partner. Mary placed them both securely on the hot tamale train and said the dancing was brilliant. No screeching, so I'm pleased. Nigel sucked up to Stacey, who is a star choreographer from SYTYCD: Canada. Nigel brought up the fact that the women have had it hard in choreography this season, and worries that they are all going to have to go to therapy after the season is over. He wanted a little more chemistry from the two of them, but loved the technique.

Melissa's solo: I think she draws me in more than any other female dancer this year in her solos. I love her face, and her dancing doesn't disappoint.

Jeanine & Ade (Hip Hop, choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon. Song: Move (If you want to), but MIMS) The routine is about friends who have gotten evicted from their apartment, and they have to dance with boxes. In rehearsals, Jeanine did a whole lot of tripping and falling. It seemed lacking pop in a lot of the routine to me. They did one part where they danced with their feet in boxes, which was kind of cool, and ended with sad face boxes on their heads, but I didn't love the routine. L'il C wished that moving was always that fun, because he would relocate every day. He thinks that they danced it way better than he thought, and he said that he saw a dirty, earthy groove in Ade. I didn't see it. He also felt that Ade pulled Jeanine down into the dirt with him, and declared the routine buck. Mary backed up and told Jeanine that she was awesome in the samba, because she spent the whole time picking on Ade. Nigel made an awkward joke about his wife's divorce attorney. Um..... back to this dance, Mary thought it was great, and applauded Ade for getting his butt down. Nigel thought that the two of them had taken some great notes and improved. Nigel thinks that they got down and people are applauding the dancers and not just the choreography. I didn't love it as much as they did.

Brandon's solo: Skin to win! I think Cat was a little overexcited by it. His solo was really quite soemthing. And I'm not just saying that because of the copious display of his body. He got a standing O for that one, judges included. Nigel called it one of the best solos they've ever seen on the show. Cat enjoyed having her arm around him.

Melissa & Evan (Quickstep, choreographed by Louis van Amstel. Song: As Long As I'm Singin' by Brian Setzner Orchestra) I thought it was quite wonderful, and the ending spin was awesome. They created the illusion that Evan was taller than Melissa, and it worked. L'il C commended Evan for dancing bigger than he's ever danced on the show before. He wished that Evan had had better retractions with his feet, but he was still ok. He called Melissa fabulous. Mary did some sucking up to Louis, and thought that the routine lost traction by the end of the routine and wasn't even impressed with the final spin because she thought it had fallen apart by then. Nigel says it's routines like that that made him want to start dancing. He didn't like the lindy hop section in the middle, where they lost energy.

Jeanine's solo: I liked her solo more than I liked Kayla's solo - she just has more personality. I think Melissa's was better, though.

Evan's solo: It's not as flashy as Brandon's solo, but he has so much personality, it draws me to him. He's so adorable.

Kayla & Brandon (Disco, choreographed by Doriana Sanchez. Song: Dance by Sylvester) Talk about white lightening! Kayla is in a shimmery white/silver dress. Brandon's outfit matches her, with silver insets in his bell bottoms. Nice. She ended up spinning him on the floor once, too, which was fun, and she also flipped him once (or assisted him in his own flip). They didn't grab me like I expected them to, but it was something else. L'il C thought they needed to see the music, and thinks they suceeeded and saw only the light and not the darkness. He certainly did pontificate, and liked the double death drop. Nigel pulled a Mary and went leaping up and screaming. Cat urged him to take his tablets.

Girl's Group Routine (Contemporary, choreographed by Sonya. Song: Kick It, by Nina Martine) It's about super heroes. Fun. Kayla is Storm. Jeanine is Wonderwoman, and Melissa is Buttercup. Who is Buttercup? I am not sure. The routine was fun and I could buy them as superheroes. Good work, girls. L'il C thought they did a good job sharing the stage, but thought they were being a little too courteous with each other intead of getting down and dirty with it. Mary loved it, and thought that Kayla was the standout, mostly because of some extra choreography. She thought the three of them should have been at Comic-Con. Nigel said "Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No! It's an arabesque!" He thought they all had equally good parts, and loved the slight differences in their costumes - Melissa had a little ballet skirt, Jeanine had some super cleavage going on, and Kayla was slim and sleek.

I have no idea who is going home this week. I think that Brandon had the best solo, and also liked Jeanine and Melissa's. I think Evan and Jeanine might be in trouble tonight, though Kayla might me there, too. I love Evan and don't want him to go, but I think he might be out...

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hell's Kitchen: 7.28.09

How can this group mess up this week? Will anyone prove to be a worthy chef? Will Van and J.P. come to blows? Can Joseph be a bigger ass? What will come of all the fire/evacuation foreshadowing? Let's see.

The confrontation from last week between Joseph and Ramsey ended in Ramsey booting Joseph and Joseph calling Ramsey a bitch. Repeatedly. Why the heck did he go on this show anyway? He was complaining after being kicked out about how he didn't need anyone to talk to him like Ramsey does. Has he never seen this show?

In the end, someone else is also leaving. Lovely and Tennille are up from the Red Team. Andy and Tony are up for the Blue Team. I think Tony is either an idiot or he gets really nervous under pressure. He can't form a coherent argument as to why he should stay, and he is gone. The men are down by 2, and Ramsey shuffled Robert over to them.

Discussion back in the apartment was all about how much of an idiot Joseph was. Tennille was reduced to text-speak. (OMG!!!! - she said each part of it)

After a little sleep, there is a fire (drill) at Hell's Kitchen and everyone is evacuated. Right there, Ramsey gives them their next challenge. It's all about preparation and team work - they will be serving a pasta meal to the fire fighters on site quickly. The first team to get their pasta served first wins. They have to cook chicken alfredo, meatball marinara, and a garlic bread appetizer.

Lovely is the first one to have issues at her station. Complaining about not having enough sleep and not having had a chance to brush her teeth yet, she was slow on the garlic bread. Andy wasn't doing that well on his side, either. 20 minutes into the challenge, and there is nothing out. Ariel jumped in and got some garlic bread out despite Lovely's worst attempts.

Over in the men's kitchen, the pasta is al dente, but the garlic bread is still not out. The women are rolling on the entrees, and their meatballs get good reviews. The garlic bread finally left the men's kitchen. Entrees followed in short order. And for the women? Ramsey was not happy that there was not enough chicken in the chicken alfredo. That problem was fixed in short order. It was down to the wire for the finish..... until undercooked meatballs were sent back to the women's kitchen, and it was Tek's fault. They fixed it, and it was again neck and neck. The women pulled it out in the end. Good for them. And yay, Firefighters are awesome!

As a reward, the women get to go to a spa for the day, and they will be going by helicopter. The men will be cleaning the firetrucks and the dining room. Dave managed to injure his wrist during the firetruck cleaning, but hid it from his team mates. And going up the stairs? Kevin rolled his ankles and had a medic come to look at it. While the medic was there, Dave had them look at his wrist, too. Both of them looked to be in really rough shape, and went off to the hospital for x-rays.

Dave had a torn FCR and a slight fracture of his wrist. He decided to keep on keeping on. Kevin had a severe sprain on one ankle and a ligament strain/stretch on the other. He's got a boot on one foot. He was also planning on staying.

Ramsey gave them a pep talk before the service. One member from each team will be waiters fir the night. Dave volunteered to wait for the Blue Team so as not to hold them back cooking. Ramsey made Lovely the waiter for the Red Team. He had them repeat after him - "We must complete a dinner service." Let's see if that works.

Ariel and Sabrina produced good appetizers, but Tennille couldn't finish them with good scallops.

Van is on appetizers for the men, and though his shouting in the kitchen didn't impress Ramsey, his risotto sure did. Tennille was using too much oil to saute her scallops, and Suzanne tried to stop her, pouring out the oil, but Tennille wasn't hearing it, until Ramsey told her she had it wrong.

Robert was clumsy in the Blue Kitchen, and Andy was crowding the scallop pan, and Robert got blamed for the sub-par scallops. Suzanne tried to help her, but Tennille put the same ol' rubber scallops back in the pan, which obviously didn't go over well with Ramsey... She couldn't handle more than one person talking to her at the same time. She has also obviously never seen the show before.

The men are busting out the appetizers, and Tennille nearly set the kitchen on fire in her insanity. She finally put out edible scallops, and the appetizers started moving out of the Red kitchen.

Out in the dining room? Lovely is taking her own sweet time getting orders into the kitchen, and then JP sent her to get a special bottle of wine, which caused her to be slower still...

Amanda can't count (and thinks that multiplication is addition and 3x3 is 6) and also has a hard time cooking lamb. Not good.

And Kevin, with his bad ankles? He's producing great meat at a good pace. Dinner service is going to be completed by someone - and it was down to the wire as far as which kitchen was going out first. In the end, the Red Team went out first, and the Blue Kitchen fell behind because Robert forgot a salmon. All in all, a MUCH better showing.

Ramsey has customer comment cards from the finished service. Red Kitchen's rating was 81% above average. Blue Kitchen's rating was 83% above average. Based on that, the Red Kitchen lost. Ariel is named the best of the worst, and has to put people up for elimination.

In the end, she put up Lovely because she is less experienced than the rest of the team. Her second nomination is Tennille because she was pan frying scallops and because she seems to be a weak link in the team. Ramsey told them that he didn't think either of them would win, but didn't end up eliminating anyone, because Joseph eliminated himself. He then did kind of a funny impression of Joseph, saying "I'm nobody's bitch." Before they left the room, he quizzed Amanda in some more math and she failed. Again. It's kind of funny.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Next Food Network Star 7.26.09

It's down to the final 3!

Emeril greets them for their next challenge. I really dislike Emeril. I do, however, love Julia Child. Emeril tells them about the upcoming movie - Julie & Julia (which looks awesome). In honor of the movie, they will be creating their own culinary passion on a plate - $1000, 3 hours to cook, 3 course, 20 people to cook for, a sous chef provided for them. They will be presenting their food for the dinner guests, and they will be demoing some part of their cooking.

And, the final 3 get an advance screening of the movie. Oh, I want to see it!

Melissa's three course meal is inspired by her own time in Paris, and it sounds delicious.

Debbie has her Korean-inspired menu all set, and seems to have decided to call her potential show "Seoul to Soul." That's cute.

Jeffrey was nervous about going over budget, and ended up only spending $317... he wasn't sure if he had bought enough, or if he had messed up somewhere along the way...

Their dinner guests include culinary superstars (many of them from Top Chef: Masters, etc...)

As expected, their sous chefs are previously eliminated contestants. Michael is Debbie's sous chef, Katie is with Jeffrey, and Jamika is helping Melissa.

Melissa's Menu: 1st course - Ratatouille & Potato Torte 2nd course - Brick Herb Chicken w/ Orzo 3rd cours - Cheese Trio, Salad, and chocolate orange Pochette.

Debbie's Menu: 1st course - Chili-Rubbed Prawns & Savory Corn Salad 2nd course - Korean Short Ribs & Crispy Grit Cake 3rd course - Asian Pear Eggroll w/ Rum Butterscoth.
(And, I'm sorry, did Michael just ask Debbie if she wants all of her garlic peeled? Maybe he knows of some use for garlic that I don't know of, but skins pretty much stay out of my cooking when it comes to garlic... just saying.)

Jeffrey's Menu: 1st course - Seared Scallop w/ Green Chili Chutney. 2nd Course - Seafood Risotto. 3rd Course - Chocolate Mousse w/Biscotti.

Problems abound - Michael is nervous about the way Debbie does her short ribs. Jeffrey is making risotto and has to be careful it doesn't seize up. Melissa's got one pan of ridiculously salty orzo, and also a non-baked torte... she had to switch her courses up a bit to give the torte more time. Orzo was switched to the first course.

Melissa is up first for her presentation. She did a really good presentation, all about why she loves to cook, and why she thinks she should be the winner of the show. I want her to win, because I just love her. It was straight to the heart and warm and Bobby Flay called her poetic. She had a really great memory device for remembering how to make good ratatouille. For her demo portion, she showed how to do her brick chicken with fresh herbs. She did a decent job on her demo. When she had her critique, people loved the potato torte, but some of her chicken was overdone. Her desserts got very good reviews, though some people just wanted more of her pastry. I think she did a good job overall.

Debbie's turn! She had a giant smile plastered on her face, which seemed a little fake, but her story was ok. Some of the diners wanted some more Korean flavor. Her second course (the ribs) also got some complaints from some diners. She is doing the demo on her dessert. Something about her style seems disingenuous to me. Her demo on how to fold a proper eggroll was cool. I might use that tip. I think her dessert went over best, but some diners complained that her dough was not cooked through. Oops.

Finally, it's Jeffrey. He undercooked his risotto on purpose to account for probable sitting time. Hope that doesn't come back to bite him. His presentation of his first course was really lovely, and he did his cooking demo right off, and it was a really great demo. Bobby Flay said that it was as clear at communication as you can get. His risotto didn't go over as well. As he said, "it was like a sea of unhappy faces." One of the diners said the risotto was the worst risotto he'd ever had. It was called a disrespect to Italy. Bobby Flay was stunned at how little Jeffrey spent out of the budget. Will his dessert recover it for him? It went over very well. I really want to try making biscotti, personally..

The diners seemed to really like Melissa's food (yay!) and Debbie, also. Jeffrey's demo was perfection, but his risotto was so bad, I don't know if he can recover from that.

At the judge's table, the final 3 got their critiques, and then got their chance to talk about why they deserve to have their own show. I want Melissa's show on my television. Just saying.

Luckily, she is the first one in the final 2! Yippee! Deservedly (looking at the whole show), Jeffrey will join her there. Debbie is out, and while she was ok, something about her rubbed me the wrong way.

SO - it's down to the Working Mom's Friend and the Worldly Trained Professional. I know who I want, but I think that either of them would be good.

Next week - it's their pilot presentations!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - 7.23.09

Cat hates Thursdays. Did you know that?

The group number is to One from A Chorus Line, and involved lots of "cracked" mirrors and white suits. It was very cool and well done, choreographed by Mia Michaels.

Cat is in a very shimmery in a leopard print sequined dress and big hair. Oh, Cat. Her dress has a LEOPARD FACE on it. I can't get on board with that.

Let the 100th Episode Fun begin!

Mia loves when performers return to choreograph. Previous dancers are in the audience tonight. Awesomeness. Mary made another botox "joke" and I fast forwarded through her blathering. Nigel pat himself on the back for creating television at it's best, and continued to heap praise on Tyce's routine last night. Olivia Newton John herself (a breast cancer survivor) called Nigel up to tell him how much the routine meant to her. I love it.

Highlight clip time!

I'm still sad that I didn't watch the first season. Don't know why I missed it. No excuse.

Montage of Mary screams could have been left out... just saying.

Melissa is happily safe this week. Kayla is in the Bottom 2. I think it's deserved. Janette joins her, and I think the stupid Celine Dion solo put her there.

Hok and Jamie time! The Hummingbird and the Flower. Love it!! Wade Robeson's messed up and I love him. And, I love Hok and Jamie!

Ade is safe and Jason is in danger. Brandon is in the bottom 2, and Evan is safe this week! I'm really happy because I just love Evan.

Time for the Bench Routine!!!! Yay for Travis and Heidi! I'm watching with a friend who has never seen it before, and she loved it.

Solo Redux time. Kayla's lines are admirable, Jason is interesting, Janette changed her solo up, and I liked it better tonight. Brandon had too much shirt on, but still kicked out a pretty awesome solo.

Ramalama!!!!!! The original group is joined by Wade just for fun. It is just as awesome now. Ramalama Bang Bang, baby.

Katie Holmes time. It was pre-recorded, so it's not as much fun. And of course, lip-synced. I know she can sing, but the lip syncing was a bit too obvious. If it's prerecorded, couldn't they have matched the music up with her lips? I mean really? I wish they hadn't tried to have her do both. Dancing to a track would have been enough. The hoopla was for this? Yawn. Give me more classic dances. I wanted to see the Table Routine. I don't care about Katie Holmes.

Nitty gritty time. Janette's Celine Dion killed her, and she's out. She could fit in Cat's pocket, but she's gone. Nigel admitted that Janette was his favorite to win, and he's really upset to see her go. Jason is out, too. I'm sad to loose him, because I think he is great, but I am not surprised. I thought he was outstanding in the zombie routine last night. It's the problem when everyone is awesome...

Do you think the right people went home?

Yay for a New Season - Hell's Kitchen: 7.21.09

(Late blog, sorry)

Introducing the new cheftestants!

They let Jean-Phillipe have a little pep talk with them, and laid out some video tips from former contestants. You know, simple things like turn on the stove, taste your food, don't cry...

Is that chick's name really LOVELY? Are you kidding me?

They have to cook their signature dishes right off the bat, in 45 minutes. The winner this year will be the head chef of a restaurant in Whistler, BC in Canada, and will work there during the 2010 Olympics. It'll be head to head, Red Team (Women) vs. Blue Team (Men).

Suzanne - Risotto. Ramsey thought the rice looked undercooked before he even tasted it. He had the competing man taste it, and he called it chalky. Ramsey was right.

Dave - Ostrich. Neat. Ramsey thought it was beautifully seasoned. Then, there were some brussel sprouts - and they were undercooked.

No one wind that round.

Tek - Honey Grilled Shrimp. Ramsey liked it.

Louie - Sausage Gravy over biscuits. Ramsey said "Aw, fuck me," when he opened it. Louie, diner owner, is proud to serve 5 gallons of this a week. Not something to brag about.

Women win this round.

Joseph - Roasted veal shank with roasted vegetables. Again with the undercooked veggies. Joseph got very defensive when Ramsey wanted him to taste the food without a fork. He had more bleeps in his confessional than Ramsey.

Taneal - Lamb chop with balsamic glaze. She wins.

Amanda - Margarita French Toast with Tequila Lime Butter and a shot of tequila. What? I mean, WHAT?

Tony - Mussels with chorizo. I like him because he's not a culinary school graduate, and manages a kitchen store. I can appreciate that.

Melinda -Poached lobster tail. She's pretty proud of it. Ramsey wanted to know where the tail went.

Jim - Seared Ahi Tuna. He wins. And I think I could like him. He wins.

Kevin - coffee steak.

Arielle - duck. No winner.

Lovely vs. Andy - no winner, no mention of what they served.

Sabrina - Chipotle rubbed pork. Ramsey Spit it out.

Van - Seared Foie gras with minted caramel. Interesting. He wins it.

The men win the first challenge. The women have to clean the kitchen. The men get a special take out dinner from Ramsey's restaurant.

Chef Scott is back to be a Sous Chef for the men. Heather (winner of season 2) is sous chef for the women. Cool.

Louie made a few seriously sexist comments about how women belong in the kitchen, cleaning. I really don't like him.

The poor women get bologna sandwiches for dinner. They also get a big binder of recipes which they have to memorize before dinner service. The men are living it up and not studying their menues. They regretted it the next day.

Lovely pre-cooked the desserts. It's a bad bad thing. They turned out like hockey pucks. Not ok. Suzanne was set to fix it.

There are some new dishes this season. The men were standing around like morons and didn't call orders back. Scallops are not coming out of the women's kitchen well. There was a landslide of awful on the red team.

And the men? Jim can't count scallops.

And what's this? Robert is back, dining, and Ramsey is planning on giving him a second chance. Cool. Hope he's gotten himself healthy.

The men were sending out some good appetizers. The women were having troubles upon troubles and troubles. The men finished their appetizers, and then Louie failed to sear lamb. Ramsey gave him a talking to and a lesson on cooking.

How much capellini can the women throw out? About a whole garbage can's worth. Melinda was looking really stupid.

And Louie? He decided to cook his own garnish (spinach). Joseph took it up with Ramsey and that was not ok with anyone.

Next MIA - Lovely, who was dehydrated, she said, and hiding in the back. And then Amanda froze all the salmon. Frozen solid salmon. Not ok.

The disaster continued as Louie was completely incapable of butchering lamb. Ramsey kicked him out. He's gone. First casualty of the show.

And - the women didn't get ANYTHING out that I know of, and Ramsey shut the kitchens down. Before critiquing the teams, he invited Robert back onto the show, and Robert accepted. I hope he's healthy now.

Ramsey declared that there was nothing positive to say. He said both of them had shocking services. The women set the dubious record of sending out NO entrees. They have to pick two people to go up for elimination. Melinda is one of them. They want to put Lovely up, too. Amanda might be in trouble for the salmon in the freezer. In the end, Melinda and Amanda were up. Lovely escaped this week. I fail to see anything lovely about her. Melinda is gone in the end, and I think it was a good decision. It should have been lovely, though.


What's this now? Ramsey put Robert on the Girl's team. I swear Robert has gotten bigger since last season, and I still worry for his health.

Next challenge? Shrimp. They have to show attention to detail, and they have to dehead, shell, and devein (or, as Ramsey put it, remove the *bleep* sack.)

For no known reason, Ramsey had Lovely sit out the challenge. It rained shrimp, and they have 10 minutes. Lovely was cheerleading and it wasn't helping.

The women seemed to be doing well and brought in 29 up until Tenille, who failed to remove the
*bleep* sacks in all but 1. Suzanne brought in 10. And how about Robert? He only brought in 4. The red team's total came up to 44.

It's a close match for the men. In the end, Jim needed only 2 acceptable shrimp to win it for the men. He managed to bring it in, and the men won.

Tenille was called out for being pathetic. For the punishment, the Red Team has to prepare a mountain of shrimp cocktail to serve to the entire dining room that night, including segmenting lemons and deseeding them. The men get a fancy meal at a fancy restaurant and dessert on a big ol' super yacht.

Tenille decided that the best way to get into good graces with her team was to boss them around. Not such a good technique.

Joseph continued to be a complete ass, telling Ramsey he didn't care about having lunch with him, because he didn't come for the rewards. He was a jerk about it.

Robert took charge of the Red Kitchen. Kevin gave Tony unwelcome lessons in cutting grapefruits, but failed to show him to cut it over a bowl so as not to lose the juice. Ramsey called Tony on it.

They are serving tableside scampi, and Van and Tenille are going to be working the front for that service. Tony continued to be incapable of learning how to segment a grapefruit over a bowl, and it didn't bode well. It continued to bode ill when Tony got excited about scallops and fired them before anyone called for them.

Lovely didn't have the pan for the scallops on, and then blamed Tek for telling her they were on.

And Tony, over excited about scallops, seared them on the outside and tried to serve them with a raw interior.

Over in the Red Kitchen, Robert was trying to burn the kitchen down. Tenille said "he's no differnt from us! He's just bigger and talks more." Out in the dining room, Van got into it with J.P. Ramsey warned them to keep their cool in front of customers. J.P. claimed it was a language barrier, because Van is from Texas.

Tenille, meanwhile, served a pregnant woman undercooked shrimp. Not ok.

Van was working his charm tableside, but then dropped the pan more than once. J.P. got all Ramsey on Van and yelled at him for running in the restaurant. Ramsey brought them out, and told Van to respect J.P. and told J.P. to do his job.

Meanwhile, Tenille is backing up tables like crazy. The Blue team is getting stuff out, but Andy sliced chicken, realized it was raw, and put it back into the pan. Ramsey didn't like that idea, and let him know it.

There were also problems with chicken and Sabrina on the Red team. Tony continued to show incompetence. Kevin hopped in and took over the fish.

Lovely tried to bring up raw seabass to the pass. Lovely thinks that Ramsey's eyes are off, and sent a burned piece of fish next. Not good.

Kevin, fortunately, didn't serve burned fish. It also wasn't cooked enough and was raw inside. Everyone tried to hop in and cook the fish. Chaos ensued as five people were on the fish station and no one was getting anything done.

Sabrina's burned chicken sent Ramsey over the edge. He sent out shrimp cocktail, because it required no cooking. After that was out, he shut down the kitchens.

Another wretched service. Each team was told to put up two people for elimination. Tenille thought she should be safe, but Robert disagreed. Tony stepped up to go up for elimination. There was much fighting about the other spots.

In the end, Tenille and Lovely were nominated for the Red Team. For the blue team, Joseph was an ass again, before putting Tony and Andy up for elimination. Joseph wouldn't give Ramsey a straight answer about why people were put up. "They know why, I aint no bitch." What? The others warned Joseph to show some respect, and the show ended with Joseph telling Ramsey they could take it out into the parking lot.

And what now? Insanity.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - 7.22.09

I think Cat got her dress from the set of Gold Finger tonight. It's a good look.

Tonight's the 99th show, with Mia Michaels and Ellen Degeneres joining Mary and Nigel on the panel of judges. Ellen is hilarious. I love her. Can we keep her and boot Mary (who recycled her English Muffin joke) please?

Yippee!! Group number is choreographed by Travis Wall!! They have LED lighs on them, and it's set to Let it Rock, which is a cool song. The girls have LED tutus which look to be made from plexiglass. It is a very cool dance and everyone got their chance to do something in their own style. I think they were wearing Jordi Laforge visors. Let's keep Travis, please!!! (And I still love Ellen - "By the way, I can do that.")

I cannot wait until tomorrow night! Go Ramalama!

Evan & Janette (Jazz, choreographed by Sonya. Song: Move, by CSS) They match up well height wise, so that is cool. The routine is based on wanting the other person to shut up, and they did it very well, I think. It takes a good dancer to get Sonya's choreography, and I didn't see Evan's happy go lucky style in there at all. I loved it. Cat said they were like two tightly coiled springs. I'd agree with that. Nigel said he's finally getting more from Evan (yay! I agree) and dripped praise on Janette. Ellen can do that, by the way, and loved her pre-show wine, and also thought that they were amazing. Mary also loved how Evan got out of his normal realm of dance. She wanted some more hitting at the end. Nigel tried to get into the spirit of the dance and get Mary to shut up. It didn't happen, and she called him an English muffin again, then told him to sit on Brie. Um. Ok. Mia thought that Evan made a step, emotionally and character-wise, and she wants to chew on his cheeks, but because he's so cute, he'll never be the hard hitting, twisted dancer that something like Sonya requires. She flat out told Janette she's her favorite this season. Wow.

Kayla's solo: Her hair is back again. Good move. Her solo didn't speak to me much, though. She's still adorable, but I like her better in choreography someone else gives her.

Brandon & Jeanine (Waltz, choreographed by Hunter Johnson. Song: Let it Be, by Hayley Westenra) I thought it was kind of lovely, but seemed to lack a sense of flow in parts. I didn't see much of the rise and fall I am used to in Waltz, and some of the lifts seemed disjointed. Nigel called it an extremely tough routine, and thought the music was too slow, and he didn't see the power he wanted from it. I would agree. Ellen disagrees with Nigel, and thought they were fantastic (with a possible Twila Tharp in line for the potty joke). Mary said it is possibly the slowest Waltz they've ever done on the show, and anyone would have a hard time with that tempo. She called their work respectable, but agreed with me that the lines could have been stronger. Mia said that perhaps Brandon shouldn't have been dreaming of birds and bunnies (a joke he made about rehearsals). She wanted to be brought to someplace magical, but said it was full of hiccups and stuck moments. Exactly. I love them both, but not so much in this.

Jason's solo: He's really growing on me. He also used more of the front of the stage. Good.

Ade & Melissa (Cha cha, choreographed by Tony & Melanie. Song: Yeah, by Chino Espinoza Y Los Duenos) Reunited! Yay for hippy shakes! I want to know if this song came first, or the hip hop song? I enjoyed the dance quite a lot, and I love Melissa. Nigel called it pretty good, with lots of things to show off with. He urged Melissa not to turn out too much, because it keeps the hips from shimmying. He also told her that she pursed her lips and pulled faces trying to be sexy, and she doesn't need to do that. I agree. Ellen asked if they are carpenters, because they nailed it. Go Ellen. Mary thought the execution of the material was right on, but wanted Ade to drop his hip weight into the floor, to drop his bum, because it was all up high. She wanted the cha cha to be more grounded. Melissa's footwork went from too turned out to too turned in, so it was a little teeny bit below what she expected. Mia thinks it was Ade's worst performance of the season, and she wanted him to be down and dirty. She thinks that Melissa did an excellent job, especially coming from being a ballerina.

Janette's solo: Why did she bring out the Celine Dion? Boring for a salsa dancer! She ended up looking like all of the contemporary girls on the show. I didn't like that at all.

Jason & Kayla (Broadway, choreographed by Tyce Diorio. Song: Mr. Monotony, by Kim Kriswell). It's a very jazzy number, and I love the way they couple together. It was kind of slow, though. I really liked parts of it. Nigel called Jason's toes and feet perfect. He again applauded Kayla's lines. He thought it was one of the best routines of the evening to show off personal talents. Ellen likes her seats, and called them both good nailers. Mary loves Tyce and thought that the two of them were bouncing off of each other, in a good way. She got a train whistle instead in ADDITION to her screaming. I wish she had kept with just the whistle. Mia says it's scary when she seems like the only sane one on the panel. She loves the fusion of bluesy styles. She wants Jason to work on his upper body, and feels like Kayla should sing and act because she could take Broadway by storm, and predicted lots of Tonys in her future if she chooses to go that direction. She thinks Kayla is the epitome of a girl. And that's a good thing.

Ade's solo: He managed to bring some hip hop into his solo, which also included lots of contemporary and leaping, and I liked it a lot.

Janette & Evan (Rhumba, choreographed by Tony & Melanie. Song: Heartless, by Kris Allen) Great song (I love Kris Allen!). I think they did a pretty good job. The Rhumba is not my favorite dance, because it is so slow. Nigel said that he loved the choreography, but isn't sure it will get votes. He thought that Janette had it down pat, but thinks that Evan didn't have any passion in his face, because of his "heavy eyelids," and said it was lacking a bit for him. Ellen admits that she knows nothing about the dance, but she loves Evan's face and eyes (I agree) and loves how unique he is. Thank you for that, Ellen. I agree. She loves Janette, too, and thinks she's amazing. Mary thought Evan did a very good job, and was there for Janette in all the difficult connections. She loved the thread the needle lift they did (it was very cool), and then called Janette "Little Miss Fire & Spice & Flavor." Mia agreed with Ellen, and said that not everyone has to be a sexpot, and loves what Evan brings to the stage, and thinks he did the sexy with a Zoolander face. And she still loves Janette.

Melissa's solo: She had some super big 80's hair, but I still love her.

Jeanine & Brandon (Pop Jazz, choreographed by Lori Ann Gibson. Song: Battlefield, by Jordon Sparks) I don't love this song, but they are doing a better job at this choreography. This was emotional and believable. I liked it. So did Nigel. This is what he wanted to see in the Top 8. I think this style really suits Jeanine. Nigel gave thanks for the show finally stepping it up tonight. Ellen is happy to see Nigel happy, and says they made it appealing to join some kind of armed forces, though the uniforms wouldn't provide much protection and they might get scraped up a bit. Mary screeched and I muted. Is it just me, or does she have Tanning Goggle Face? It's distracting. Mia thinks that they danced in a place that was more than dance.

Evan's solo: He managed to get a lot of moves and personality into his solo, and there was a very cool flip in there. It was oh so Evan, and I loved it. He's adorable.

Jeanine's Solo: She is so unique in the way she moves, and she seems really connected to her music. I dig it.

Ade & Melissa (Contemporary, choreographed by Tyce Diorio. Song: This Woman's Work by Maxwell) The dance is about a woman who has breast cancer. Wow. Deep. Ade lifted Melissa like she was as light as a feather, and she gave him the power to do so. I got chills a couple times. See, this was a strong piece of work. Beautifully done. Nigel was near tears. I mean, right near tears. He wondered about where choreographers get the strength to do dances like that. He predicts another Emmy nomination for Tyce for this piece, and he can't think of a better couple to have danced it than these two. I agree. Ellen feels privileged to see this dance in person, and says it is the most beautiful thing she's ever seen. Mary is really crying. She called Ade a gentle giant, and applauded Melissa's trust in him. Mia was also crying and called it an important piece of work. Half the audience was in tears. She loved the strength that Melissa gave to Ade and the strength he gave to her, and said Melissa is an angel.

Brandon's Solo: His solo fit more with the music this week, and he did some tumbling.

Kayla & Jason (Hip Hop, choreographed by Shane Sparks. Song: They're Everywhere, by Izza Kizza) She looks kind of Anime in her zombified school girl costume. Jason is like the Zombie king, and I liked it. Nigel loved Shane's routine, and thought it brought something extra to the hip hop this season. Ellen told them if they keep dancing like that, they'll have their own talk show someday. Mary thinks her little puppy dog was bit by something with rabies, and loved the dance. She gave them some screeches. Mia told Shane this was her favorite routine he's ever done on the show, and called it disturbingly hot.

Melissa & Ade's second dance and Kayla & Jason's second dance, Evan & Janette's first dance, and Jeanine & Brandon's second dance were my favorites. I think that the best solos were Evan and Jeanine, and the worst were Janette (Celine? What?) and Kayla. I have no idea who is going to be going home, because they are all so strong.

What do you think? Did you enjoy Ellen as much as I did?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Next Food Network Star -7.19.09

The Contestants are greeted by Michael Simon by the pool, and they are informed that they are going to be demoing their food LIVE on a local morning show. We are told that each demo will be rigged for disaster. I love it. It reminds me of a challenge in the first season with the awkward interviews.

Debbie is up first. She is up to make catfish, and they replaced her fish with chicken, and gotten rid of some utensils she would need. She ran with the lack of utensils, and rolled with the chicken instead of fish. She didn't even miss a beat. She did a really excellent job.

How will Melissa do? They have set the host to mess with her the whole time. She did a pretty good job when he kept calling her the wrong name, but had a bit of trouble when he added about a half cup of hot sauce to her tapenade. She got a little frantic and it wasn't great. Oops.

Jeffrey's next. He is going to be faced with technical difficulties. They kept telling him that he had microphone issues. He was holding a microphone in the same hand as a knife and it was a bit scary at times with the knife waving. He did decently with it, but could have been better.

Jamika was nervous going into it, and she has to deal with wrong time cues and a way too extreme close up camera. She did not look like she was having fun even before the technical difficulties began. There were some awkward moments.

The judges loved that Jeffrey rolled with the problems, but reminded him to engage with other people. Jamika was obviously perterbed and was chided for not having fun. Melissa was told to breathe, slow down, and not get frantic. Debbie was so good with the sabotage, Michael said that they wouldn't have known that she had problems from watching her. She is the winner of the mini challenge.

The main challenge is battling for a spot on the Red Lobster menu. They have 45 minutes to do a fish dish paired with a crustaceon or a shell fish. They can only use a wood fired grill. Debbie's advantage for winning the challenge is first choice in seafood.

There is a twist. They started the challenge - grabbed all their ingredients - and were stopped.

Jeffrey got his chilis taken away and got some Asian ingredients thrown at him, to keep him cooking without borders.

Jamika got her pineapple taken from her, and got celeriac instead. Oops.

Melissa was given a whole bowl of habeneros and got all her citrus taken away. She wasn't happy with that.

Debbie got all of her Asian ingredients taken away and was given Mediterranean ingredients - olives, anchovies, and capers.

So, they got to cooking and had to roll with their new ingredients. When it came time to present, Debbie forgot to use her capers, but because she used honey to even out some of the saltiness of her ingredients, they didn't feel like she embraced the Meditteranean feel.

Melissa's use of habeneros was wonderful. They were nervous she was going to overdo it, but she calmed down, and rolled with the punches perfectly.

Jeffrey's dish was lauded for being well put together.

Jamika was given good notes for the use of celeriac, but her shrimp was not well incorporated into the dish. They didn't appreciate her crabby attitude when she was working her way through the challenge. She was totally pissy about it and let it show. Not good.

Time for Evaluation.

They asked Jeffrey what his niche would be on the Food Network. They worried that though he talks about Cooking Without Borders, he always seems to gravitate towards the same thing. Bob worried that his Zen Calm = Boring.

Jamika's shrimp was not well-seasoned, and Bobby really wanted it to be spiced. Michael didn't like how she got mad and didn't seem to be having fun. She needs to work though things with a smile on her face instead of, as Michael said, putting her head down and plowing through.

Melissa's use of habeneros was wonderful. She learned from her mistake in the Live Demo, and calmed down. Melissa told them that she would love to do a show geared towards the working mom, and I want to see that show.

Debbie was slapped for forgetting capers. She was also slapped for lying in the first place and saying that she had the capers in the dressing. It's been a problem for her, to tell the truth.

The winner of the Red Lobster Challenge is Jeffrey. I was hoping for Melissa. Oh well.

Each of the ladies was given a change to talk about why they deserve to be Food Network Stars. Debbie talked about melding cultures. Jamika talked about how memorable and likeable and marketable she is. I don't see it. Melissa was very sure that she has the best long term viability of any contestant there, and I agree.

In the end, Jamika is gone. I think it was the right decision.

Who do you want to win?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - 7.16.09

The beginning group number is to So Much Better by Janet Jackson. It has kind of a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon vibe to it,and is very interesting. Melissa got a starring role, and spent a good amount of time en pointe. I couldn't tell the guys apart so easily, because they were wearing Chinese hats. It was a very cool number, choreographed by Wade Robeson and his wife.

Cat looks like a Disco Ball exploded on her, and her dress has a very unfortunate cut which make her look boxy. She also seemed to have an encounter with a bumpit in the hairstylist chair. It's sad, because she looked so good last night. At least her legs get to have their day. The dress is like a sparkly potato sack, and her hair and makeup looks like someone used her like one of those Barbie Heads.

Mia's door routine for last year, Tabitha & Napoleon's Bleeding Love with Mark and Chelsie, Tyce's Silence dance, Dmitry's tango were nominated for Emmy's. Awesome.

Bottom guy and Bottom girl are gone tonight. Nigel is absent today - because he is getting an honorary doctorate from a University in the UK. Cool. Cat declares it lady's night.

Recap of last night - and I'm still in love with Travis' choreography, and I still didn't buy the Pasa Doble.

The Top 5 Ladies joined Cat on stage. The bottom 2 are Randi in her gossimer blue gown and Melissa. It had better be Randi going home is all I can say, because Melissa is flipping brilliant.

(Fast forwarding through Audition Previews for Season 6 for the fall)

The Top 5 Guys join cat next. The bottom 2 are Kupono and his odd harem pants with a curtain tie back wrapped around his waist, and Ade and his silly pick.

Next week's performance show is the 99th episode, and Nigel and Mary will be joined by Mia Michaels, and Ellen Degeneres is also going to be on the show. And for the 100th episode, there will be some new performances of Award Winning routines - The bench, the hummingbird, and Ramalama! And of course, Katie Holmes. Cool.

Randi's solo was nice, but I hope that she's going home. I adore Melissa and she needs to be safe. Mary seemed to be near tears at the thought of Randi going home, and Debbie loves Randi's outfit tonight, but she is not a fan of the pasa doble at all. Mary almost attacked her for that one. A cackling attack. I was a little scared.

Kupono's solo was as weird as his outfit. Well, maybe not quite as weird. He had fun at least. His pants looked like they were in danger of falling off. Yipes. Mary didn't love his solo, and wants him to bring more if he has the chance.

Melissa's solo was beautiful and I adore her, and her big poofy bun. Debbie wants more in her solo if she gets a chance.

Ade's solo was the same as last night's, with the frantic movements to Unchained Melody, and I find myself agreeing with my husband. It doesn't fit with the music. He looked like he nearly fell in his backflip. And tonight, he's got a shirt on. Mary shrieked her love and Debbie talked over her because time was running out.

Performance time, Black Eyed Peas. Fast forward. I like them alright, but I just want the nitty gritty. They got confetti all over the stage and made quite a mess.

So, which girl is going home? In the end, it's Randi and I can't say I'm happy, because I like her, but I'm satisfied. At this point, I pretty much love everyone, so it's going to be really difficult to say goodbye to anyone.

And will it be Kupono or Ade? Kupono joins his partner in leaving, and I think that's fitting. He just isn't up to par with everyone else. The Addiction routine last week was astounding, though. I'll give that to him. I'm really glad that he cut his hair before coming onto the show.

Looking forward to the big week next week!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Top Chef Masters 7.15.09

This week's chefs are:

Rick Moonen, from NY. He is playing for the Cape Cod Sustainable Hook Fish Foundation.
Nils Noren is from Sweden, so I have to like him. It's like a cultural imperative. He's playing for the Friends of the French Culinary Institute, to give help to people who can't afford it.
Lachlan Patterson is from Boulder, CO. He is playing for the Denver Children's Hospital.
Michael Chiarello is from Napa Valley. He is competing for Clinic Ole, providing health care help to the Latino community.

Not-Padme introduced the Quickfire, where they have to cook with junk food. They have to use junk food to make something delicious. Michael chose first, and picked fishsticks and tartar sauce. Lachlan grabbed a hot dog, and Rick took the corndog. Nils snagged the fried shrimp. They are judged by people from the (BRAVO SHOW PLUG) show Flipping Out, who are fast food conneseurs.

Oops... Rick didn't get his food plated! Lachlan wasn't sure his sausages were cooked through! Duhn-duhn-duhn.

Presentation time!

Lachlan's "Hot Dog" dish - Prosciutto stufado with pork kielbasa. It was called kind of rare.

Michael's fish sticks - Swordfish meatballs with fisherman's sauce. It looked very good and got very nice reviews.

Nils' Fried Shrimp Dish - Shrimp with creamed corn, and pickled cherry tomatoes. They weren't sure that it took from the fried shrimp enough.

They were not happy with not getting Rick's food.
Lachlan got 3 stars. Nils got 3 stars. Rick didn't get any stars, obviously. Michael got 4 1/2 stars.

Not-Padme told them that their Elimination Challenge is to cook a three course meal for 100 people, all by themselves. It's a party for Top Chef's biggest fans - and they have to make appetizers, taking off from the three courses of a meal. They have $1000 at Whole Foods, then 3 hours to prep.

Rick's menu: Opakapaka ceviche, Branandeof scallop & shrimp, and a preserved lemon custard.

Lachlan's menu: Pineapple & Speck "fritta esotica", grilled beef short ribs, and strawberry frangipane tart

Nils' menu: Diced scallop, Slow cooked salmon, and chocolate & goat cheese ganache with a smoked lapsang tea.

Michael's menu: Shaved brussel sprout salad, spicy prawns, and balsamic marinated strawberries.

The day of service, they have 1 hour to prep before serving. Some of the chefs are using their waitstaff to help them plate as much as possible. Nils was done before the others and he was hoping that he didn't forget anything. He helped Rick in the end.

Not-Padma and the judges arrive. I'm beginning to wonder if Gael Green has a problem with the top of her head, like if she lost a chunk of hair in some terrible accident and it never grew back? Anyhow...

Nils seemed to get the best remarks for the appetizer round, along with Rick.

Many of them got very good remarks on their main course.

Michael had a problem with plating his dessert. He asked a woman to help him plate. Nils' smoked tea in his dessert was not a favorite of some of the diners - one person called it "too smart" for her. I think that was Sweet Pea from Project Runway.

Who will come out on top?

Michael's brussel sprout salad got good marks. Gael Green's Hat liked his prawns, but didn't like that you needed a knife to eat it. Gael Green's hat was also skeptical about "lawn cuttings" in her ice cream, but she liked it.

Nils' appetizer and entree got very good marks. The dessert was the least sucessful part of his meal, saying that the tea tasted like bacon. Since I know that Republic of Tea's Lapsong Souchang smells exactly like beef jerky, I can see that would not be pleasant in dessert. The judges called each dish gem-like, but didn't like the dessert, but they were impressed that he stood behind his dish.

Lauchlan didn't get many notes, but his food looked yummy. They didn't like the deep fried pineapple. They were split on the braised short ribs. One of the judges said his dessert had a strange meat like quality.

Rick got a lot of good marks for making his panna cottas individually. They really liked a lot of his food. They thought his dishes were high end, elegant comfort food.


Rick's total is 17 stars.

Lauchlin's total is 15 1/2 stars.

Nils' total is 17 stars, to tie Rick.

Michael's total is 19 1/2 stars, so he wins.

How many more episodes before the Championship Round?

So You Think You Can Dance - 7.15.09

Top 10 week! Now, partnerships are shuffled. Let's see how it shakes down!

Cat is looking lovely in a relatively simple emerald green dress. It looks braided. It's fun. Fabulous earrings. Good look!

Joining Nigel and Mary tonight is Debbie Allen. Mary looks like she is wearing a black doily around her neck, along with some very sparkly jewelry (necklace and earrings) that would have been quite nice with a simpler dress, but now it just looks like they are fighting. Debbie says that she threw her cup o' Hagendaaz a couple of times about the judging and decisions that have been made thus far. This week, Nigel reminds us, the voting is for the individual dancer, not the couple. Everyone will be dancing a solo, in addition to their dance with a partner.

First, it's a group number with the Top 5 girls - Bollywood with Nakul! What fun! (That's maybe why Debbie is wearing an Indian inspired top). The only girl who did Bollywood before is gone now, so this is new for everyone. They have decided to call themselves the Bollywood Bombshells. The costumes are fantastic, as to be expected. See, I like a larger group number for Bollywood dances. They had a part where they had masks on the backs of their heads and danced to show them off. It was very cool. All of them did great jobs on it. Impressive. It got really fast at the end. I love Bollywood dancing. Nigel nearly kissed the choreographer, and fawned over the beauty of these girls, and commended them on a fantastic group number, saying they are lacking nothing. He put them on his hot bangers and mash train, and then backed up and called them hot spicy tandoori. Mary gave us the zinger of "Bollywood, Bolly-WOW!" Right. Debbie just loved the dance, and said that the girls inhaled the cultural fusion. Or something. She thinks this is the best Top 5 girls ever. I think it mught just be.

Kayla & Evan (Viennese Waltz, choreographed by Tony & Melanie. Song: Kiss from a Rose by Seal) It's a problem, because Evan is the shortest guy, and Kayla is the tallest girl, and she'll be dancing in heels. Melanie put Kayla's heels on Evan to see how that worked. Um. Not so much. For the actual dance, they worked well. The rise and fall was there (although the camera work was dizzying, so maybe it was more the camera rising and falling than them. I barely noticed he was so much shorter than her. Her dress was beautiful, and he looked just dapper. He did a very nice straight lift near the end, and her lines were just perfect. I wonder if they put him in lifts? They did! Evan had lifts, and Kayla was in flats. Or barefoot? Wonderful solution. Nigel wanted more close holds. That's a choreography issue, not a dancing issue, Nigel. He thought that they danced it well, and applauded Evan's partnership, and Kayla's lines. Mary thought that Evan was lacking in power and his leg action was not right, saying he was plopping his feet down instead of gliding. She did like Evan's lifts, saying he made them look effortless. She gave Kayla big wows, and called her fabulous. Debbie called it a wonderful surprise and told Evan he "handled his big woman." She seems charmed by Evan. She called Kayla white lightening.

Voting numbers are for the solo order - 1-866-TEMPO-##

Brandon's Solo: It seemed well choreographed and he did a lot of spinning around and around, but it showed off his style pretty well.

Janette & Ade (Hip hop, choreographed by Tabitha & Napoleon. Song: Love Sec Magic, by Ciara featuring Justin Timberlake) Ade is the funk doctor in the dance, bringing funk to Janette. I hate his pick. I hate his pick. He used it to hypnotize her. He brought funk to her by ripping off her skirt to reveallittle hot pants. She played the character very well, and though the fact that he is so much taller than her made them look a little off in their synchonization. I wish that Nigel would call Napoleon & Tabitha what sounds like "NappyTabs." Not so good. Nigel then made an inappropriate and unfunny joke that made Mary shriek. Not ok. Mary then screamed that it was funky. Woo. That's a quote, unfortunately. Debbie said that "these children wore me out." She gives some love to Tabitha and Napoleon.

Randi's Solo: She looked like she was wearing a nightie, or an ill-advised bridesmaid's dress, but she did a nice job. She's super cute.

Kupono's Solo: He's doing more than spinning around and grabbing his shirt this week, and his solo was really funky and I liked it. He reminded me of Mark. That's a good thing. He made his costume himself. He need to stick with dancing, because it looks like he was caught in a fishing net and escaped with a sharp knife. Not good.

Jeanine & Jason (Contemporary, choreographed by Travis Wahl (I miss his blond hair). Song: If it Kills Me, by Jason Mraz.) It's the former partners of last week's eliminated people. They danced it beautifully. There was passion and feeling. When their chracters finally gave into the passion, and she ropped his shirt open.... I got chills. And they ended with a very convincing kiss. Nice. Amazing. Wow, Travis. Just wow. Nigel was so excited to see Travis coming back to choreograph, and said it was fabulous work made better by the people who danced it. It was stunning. Mary was left speechless. Thank you, Travis!!! Sadly, she found her voice and screached that they are stars, and broke out into tears with love for Travis. I muted the hot tamale train. Debbie said that the show has gone beyond competition and has entered the realm of just being a conversation of dance. She them told people they want to buy tickets for the tour.

Melissa's solo: I love this ballerina. She's just amazing. I hope she sticks around for a good long time.

Evan's solo: It's hard to show Broadway in the short time allowed in the solo, but I think he did a pretty good job. He's just so darned likeable.

Kayla's Solo: She again took Nigel's advice and has her hair back. Her lines are undoubtably stunning. I don't think the song choice was good - it was very repetative - but she did a beautiuful job.

Randi & Kupono (Pasa Doble, choreographed by Tony & Melanie. Song: Dies Irae by Karl Jenkins) They are both a bit confused, nervous, and overwhelmed with the pasa doble in rehearsals. She's rocking a brunette wig and it helps with the character, actuall. Her dress was fantastic. The strobe lights went a'flashing, and they rocked it out. It could have been so much bettwe. He looked kind of pained in the lift, and I don't know if he meant to drop her at the end. Nigel said he didn't know if the dancing was as good as the choreography. He didn't think that Kupono had the strength, and I agree. He was also unsure to the wig on Randi, and didn't like the coupling, and didn't think it felt authentic. Mary didn't think it was believable, and thought that Randi did a slightly better job than Kupono, but called it mediocre. Debbie agreed with the others.

Ade's solo: He removed his shirt for our viewing pleasure. My husband didn't understand the slow song and the frenetic movement.

Janine's solo: This girl knows how to do a solo. She engages the audience, and gets a lot of feeling into the dance. I love her.

Jason's solo: His solo was very cute, but i hate when they stay way in the back of the stage. He's charming. He made Cat attempt a southern accent, which is something she should never do again. Ever.

Melissa & Brandon (Broadway, choreographed by Tyce Diorio. Song: Aquarius from Hair) They look like perfect flower children. Melissa's face is so expressive and beautiful. The flowers in her hair suit her. They just seemed to float together. And they got a smoke bomb at the end. Fancy. Cat claimed to smell patchouli. I hate patchouli. Nigel gave some love to Tyce. He also said that the dance was done beautifully and brought back memories for him. I can see Nigel as a bit of a hippie. Mary squealed her love for them. Debbie said they evoked the harmony of the dance.

Jeanette's solo: Hot salsa momma! It's hard to do a solo salsa, but she showed off her hip movements admirably. Good for her!

Time for a Top 5 Guy's group routine! They are doing an African dance, choreographed by Jeffrey Page. Rehearsals were a bit rough for some. Poor Evan looked kind of weird in African Tribal wear. He did his best, though. The Bollywood routine was much better. These guys just looked not grounded enough, and they didn't really get down into the earth... still, it looked completely exhausting. Nigel loves African dance and gave some love to Jeffrey Page. He singled Evan out, saying the poor boy looks like a dancing milkshake, but still said that he didn't stick out like a sore thumb. Mary screached her love for the dance, and thought Evan was a cutie, and he held his own in something so clearly not his own genre. Debbie loved that Jeffrey's choreography was pure and authentic, and she thought that the guys did a great job with it, because it is not easy.

So, after tonight, I think that Kupono and Randi could be in trouble, though Evan might also be down there. Kupono and Randi gave the only really weak couple's dance, and based on solos, Randi might be gone.

Jeanine & Jason's contemporary by Travis was my favorite of the night. It was beautiful. Melissa & Brandon were up there, too.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Next Food Network Star - 7.12.09

The five remaining finalists thought that they would be heading to the airport to simply head to Miami. Little did they suspect, they are up for a challenge!

They have to work in one of 5 high quality restaurants in the airport, and make a dish that is consistent with the cuisine there.

Jeffrey get AeroNuova, the Italian restaurant.

Michael gets La Vie, a French restaurant.

Melissa gets Piquillo, a tapas restaurant.

Jamika gets Deep Blue, a sushi restaurant.

Debbie gets Five Steak, an American modern restaurant.

Whoever wins gets their dish put on the menu of their restaurant!

They only have 30 minutes.

Things get a bit tough when the airport regulations have things like knives tethered to cutting boards, and Michael needs an oyster shucker, with no oyster shucker to be had, so he changed plans.

Jamika's dish is a Seared Red Tuna salad with an orange miso vinaigrette. She starts talking about intestinal distress during her presentation, and that was a bit much. Ted Allen called it TMI. They didn't think her dish was very original.

Debbie's Pacific Spinach Salad is steak free for the steak house. The judges were confused and Susie didn't like that Debbie said that only women want to watch waistlines.

Jeffrey made poached egg bruschetta, and his presentation was really fabulous. They seemed to like his food.

Melissa made chicken with chorizo and potatoes, and showed up some cool Spanish skills. She also gave some great presentation with some really cool new stuff about herself. The judges loved her presentation and her dish.

Michael made a clam and shrimp with hollandaise or something. He was kind of boring in his presentation, and the judges had troubles with his actual dish. Not good.

Michael came out on the bottom with his dish. Jeffrey came out on top. Melissa would have to have been close to winning, too.

And, off to Miami they go!

They get to the Eden Rock hotel, and their suite is something else. They are sent immediately to the lobby. They have to cook for a cocktail party as a team at a nightclub. They have 2 hours, and each person needs to come up with at least 2 hors deuvres, and a signature cocktail.

As winner, Jeffrey gets to assign tasks to people. They got to menu planning, and Melissa was the only one to realize that they needed to at least have one vegetarian choice. They had $1500 total at Whole Foods. When they got to the club kitchen, they had 2 hours to prep and cook. They are making a Chili Spiced Margarita. Except their simple syrup is not coming to a boil well. Scary. Everyone was running around like chickens with heads cut off.

Jeffrey was playing host, Michael was at the bar, and the women were in the back plating and getting food out.

Jeffrey's appetizers were - Cuban bite - pork with prosciutto, with an orange, bean sauce. His second was lump crab meat, spicey tomatillo sauce, and peppers. Ted didn't like the store bought chips, and his food kind of fell flat.

Jamika's got a jerk chicken skewer and mango cilantro shrimp with a sweet pineapple slaw. She handed the food over and ran. The judges felt like they were a little ignored and thought her jerk chicken should have been spicier.

Debbie was only plating her own dish and Melissa felt that wasn't quite fair.

Michael was his usual obnoxious self at the bar.

Melissa's dishes are a Miami salmon shooter, a chipotle chicken bite, and a veggie asada. The judges liked that she was likeable. They thought her food lacked a little finesse.

The chili margarita was not spicy enough for the judges. People were hungry and the food wasn't going out quickly enough. Debbie was sitting on her own dishes and not expediting like she was supposed to.

Bobby Flay went back into the kitchen to find out what was happening back there. Michael went back into the kitchen to do some food, and brought his dishes out to the judges.

Michael's dishes are margarita salmon and a chili lime shrimp. He was working the crowd. I don't want him on my tv. The judges thought his food was not flavorable enough.

Debbie's the last one out. She served a spicy passionfruit chicken on daikon, and ribeye with korean flavors. The judges thought she had the best dishes of the night.

Selection committee time!

The biggest problem with the party was getting the food out.

Jeffrey was chastised for seeming to hold back in his flavors.

Michael was a bit too big in personality for a lot of people (and me, too). Bob said that if his salmon was marinated, it was a surprise to the salmon. His decision to have freshly fried shrimp was also questioned.

Jamika needed to not let the stress show.

Melissa's vegetable dish was the tastiest of her three. They worried that she spread herself too thin, but she explained that she decided to do the third dish so there would be a vegetarian option, and they loved that point.

Debbie was really not a good expediter. Debbie claimed she was being selfless, and Melissa brought up the fact that she was doing a lot more plating than anyone else. Bob did the math and realized that Melissa was telling the truth. Apparently, expediting a kitchen means expediting her own food to Debbie.

While the judges deliberated, Jeffrey got very angry at the fact that people couldn't get their cooking done ahead of time.

The judges are loving Melissa, are nervous that Michael hates the camera, and think that Debbie didn't act as a team player, calling her behavior shameful. I kind of agree.

Jamika is safe this week, as is Melissa. Jeffrey joins them. The bottom two are Debbie and Michael. In the end, it was Michael going home. I think that was a good decision. I find him utterly obnoxious, and Debbie gets another chance.

At this point, I think that Jeffrey or Melissa is probably going to win it. I am rooting for Melissa. How about you?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Top Chef Masters 7.8.09

Sorry for the late recap - busy busy busy...

And this looks like an episode worth waiting for! It's got Neil Patrick Harris!!! Yippeee!

Tonight's chefs are:

Douglas Rodrigez, who calls his cuisine tortilla-free latino cuisine. He's playing for Ayuda for the Arts, a Hispanic Culinary Scholarship foundation.

Anita Lo, who tends to work on the line in her restaurants. Her charity is Share, a charity for breast and ovarian cancer.

John Besh is from New Orleans, and he is playing for The Make it Right Foundation.

The last chef is Mark Peel, who worked for Wolfgang Puck. He's competing for Doctors Without Borders.

Not-Padme tells them that their Quickfire Challenge is going to be the Cook an Egg with Your Hand Behind Your Back challenge, from the Top Chef Allstars challenge. The judges are Gail Simmons, Terry Reish, an egg farmer, and Monica something-or-other, who runs a new breakfast restaurant.

They have 30 minutes, and have one arm in an oven mitt behind their backs. Mark looks to have a bit of an advantage, because his father had one arm, and he grew up watching him do things one handed.

Douglas' dish is: Open-faced corn cake with scrambled eggs & ham. They loved it.

Mark's dish is: Duck Egg pasta with egg & olive oil cream sauce. They were impressed by the fact that he made pasta with one hand, but he forgot the olive oil! D'oh!

Anita's dish: Soft scrambled egg & shitake mushrooms with truffle oil and oyster sauce. This got great reviews and is gorgeous.

Poor John only got one dish plated... so they have to share. His egg is not well cooked, and it was a bad mistake.

Mark's score is 2 1/2 stars.

John's score is 1/2 star. Ouch.

Douglas' score is 3 stars.

Anita's score is the maximum 5 stars. Good job to her.

They have to cook for Neil Patrick Harris and some of his friends, at the Magic Castle in LA, and they get a magic demonstation from Max Maven, magician & mentalist. They get cards dealt to them (which are blank when he draws them!) with different qualities of magic printed on them. They have to cook with their dealt cards as inspriration -


John Besh got Surprise and is planning on doing something with liquid nitrogen.

Douglas got Spectacle and doesn't want to give anything up.

Anita got Illusion and is doing something with seafood.

Mark got Mystery, and didn't reveal much, either.

They have 2 hours to prep, and Tom gave a little visit. Hi, Tom!

After prep, they went ot the Magic Castle, which is a private club and get to the final cooking.

Mark's Mystery meal is: Tai Snapper in parchment with garlic mashed potato and leeks. The diners took a while getting into the parchment, but really liked it.

John's dish requires some help from NPH for the liquid nitrogen fun, and is salmon tartare with frozen cauliflower blini, and a cucumber salmon rose salad with frozen horseradish sorbet, and a Tempura Fried Lobster wrapped in smoked salmon.

Anita's Illusion list is a braised daikon with kombu caviar and steak tartar, which looks like a scallop, and a seascape underneath made of rice crispies. Reviews are mixed.

Douglas' Spectacle is Duck Four Ways, including an oyster ceviche, empanada with foie gras and figs sliced duck breast with confit, and a flaming coconut with soup. He put sterno on the outside of the coconut and it was a little dangerous... he wanted to use 151 Rum, but couldn't get any.

Time for some magic! Gael Green's hat liked the magic show, including a bunny emerging from a magician's mop of hair.

Critic's Table time.

John wanted to use different techniques that people don't know him for. Gael Green's Hat didn't really like the cauliflower blini, but Gail Simmons liked it.

Anita's presentation was very cool, but her broth was questionable as a side, but good as a sauce.

Douglas's flaming coconut was questioned. Gael Green's hat loved the oyster ceviche with the duck confit.

Mark's mystery dish amused Gael Green's Hat. Gail Simmons loved the pairing with sake.

Scores are tabulated.

John's total score is 12 stars.

Mark's total score is 18 1/2 stars.

Douglas' total is 13 stars.

Anita's score is 22 1/2 stars, and she moves on to the next round.

Good night. I wanted more NPH. Oh well.