Tag Archives: tv

Top Chef Podcast – Just Desserts season 2, Ep. 2: Disharmonious desserts

Top Chef Podcast – Just Desserts season 2, Ep. 2: Disharmonious desserts
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During the newest episode ofTop Chef Just Desserts, there was plenty of drama but not much delivery — delivery of entertainment, that is.

When life gives you lemons, make dessert! The Quickfire welcomed famed cake artist Margaret Braun as guest judge. She challenged the pastry chef’testants to create a delicious and original dessert with lemon as the star ingredient. What we learned from this challenge: Chocolate and caramel aren’t the greatest flavor pairings with lemon. We also saw an infringement of Top Chef Rule #27 by Orlando: Don’t talk smack about the guest judges (the ones who are culinary professionals, that is) — they’re more experienced than the chef’testants and they deserve respect, plus it just looks tacky and unprofessional (and could come back to bite you in the ass later). Matthew ended up taking the win and immunity in the Elimination Challenge with his Lemon Vanilla Créme with Mint Purée and Hazelnut Sable.

For the Elimination, the chefs had to team up in trios to build towering cakes for an event at the Walt Disney Philharmonic in L.A. The rules: each team member had to create a layer for the cake that represented them (in flavor?) and they all had to make it look purty on the outside. Not an easy task when one has to present their creations in the hot sun and/or the person decorating it doesn’t know what they’re doing.

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Top Chef Podcast – Just Desserts season 2, Ep. 1: Soda shop sweets and fairy-tale treats

Top Chef Podcast – Just Desserts season 2, Ep. 1: Soda shop sweets and fairy-tale treats
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Top Chef Just Desserts is back with a vengeance this season with a new cast, new challenges and a new hairdo for Johnny (a more deflated-looking version than his former bouffant). But one thing for sure that hasn’t changed: the bitchery! (Yes, I made that word up. Deal.)

We could already see some of the strong personalities come out in episode one, like the very forthright Orlando Santos whose shop is named “Orlando’s Chocolate Treats” (I swear these jokes write themselves), Sally Camacho who is the head pastry chef of WP24 (a Wolfgang Puck Restaurant) at the Ritz Carlton in L.A., and Chris Hanmer, the youngest American to win the title of World Pastry Champion (in ’04). And then there were those who left us scratching our heads, asking, “How did they get on this show?” (*cough* Craig *cough*)

Of course, the chefs were thrown right into the first Quickfire challenge right after their little meet-and-greet. The chefs had to pair up to create a “modern soda fountain treat” at a Soda Jerks ice cream shop. Some looked avant-garde and chic, while others’ desserts just looked — as James Oseland would snootily quip — too “pedestrian”.

We also learned a new term this episode, “NFG” which stands for “non-functional garnish.” It’s something I have been very vocal about in past seasons of Top Chef and basically means, “if you can’t eat it, then get it the heck off of that plate!”
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Tonight’s Top Chef Just Desserts preview: New faces and fairy tale sweets (videos)

Tonight’s Top Chef Just Desserts preview: New faces and fairy tale sweets (videos)
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Another sweet installment of Top Chef Just Desserts premieres tonight on Bravo, welcoming 14 new pastry chef’testants and some familiar faces as Gail Simmons, Johnny Iuzzini, Hubert Keller and Dannielle Whatsherface (Kyrillos) return to the judges table.

Like last season, one chef will be eliminated each week (unless we have another surprise double elimination or someone gets carted off to the loony bin again) until one chef remains to claim the title. The winning chef will receive $100,000 furnished by KitchenAid, a feature in Food & Wine magazine and a showcase at the Annual Food & Wine Cayman Cookout.

Celebrity guest judges this season to include Beastie Boys’ Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, the cast of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, renowned Pastry Chef Francois Payard, and acclaimed chef Cat Cora among others.

During tonight’s premiere episode, we meet these fresh new faces who are immediately thrown into their Quickfire Challenge (though the preview video below gives no clue as to what it is). For their Elimination Challenge, the chefs team up to create fairy tale inspired pastry creations and show pieces.

My favorite quotes from the preview videos (below):
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Tonight’s Top Chef All-Stars reunion and Masters premiere previews

Tonight’s Top Chef All-Stars reunion and Masters premiere previews

top_chef_logoTonight’s Top Chef doubleheader brings us the “controversial” Top Chef All-Stars reunion episode at 10 p.m. (ET) followed by the premiere of Top Chef Masters season 3 at 11 p.m.

As for the All-Stars reunion, the previews (below) are making it out to be pretty escandalo — but I’m sure it’s a lot of hype (though it will be nice to see all of them one last time). They will, however, be grilling Jamie about her lack of participation and penchant for cutting herself and hiding under tables during the season.
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Top Chef Podcast – All-Stars Ep. 14: Caribbean conch fight

Top Chef Podcast – All-Stars Ep. 14: Caribbean conch fight

top_chef_logo_lgOnly four chefs remain on Top Chef All-Stars and they’re definitely starting to get “in the juice” (whatever that means).

I’m a day late on this post and recording the podcast, as I’ve been in the Caribbean myself (well, close enough) this week and was without access to the Bravo channel. But, not wanting to let down our readers/listeners, I’ve come into work just to throw this together and to make sure you all can rest a little easier this weekend knowing that we didn’t skip out on you this week.

Those preview videos sure have been fooling me, because I swore that the 100-dish “consistency” challenge was supposed to be the Elimination Challenge. Anyway, the chefs had to pair up and make 100 dishes that all looked and tasted the same. After hating on and smack talkin’ the girls, Team Blais-Isabella were the ones with egg on their faces when they lost the challenge. It’s called karma, boys, and she’s a bitch.
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Top Chef Podcast – All-Stars Ep. 10: Right on Target

Top Chef Podcast – All-Stars Ep. 10: Right on Target

top_chef_logo_lgIt was a very zany episode of Top Chef All-Stars last night, between the loud, crazy antics of the Sesame Street characters during the Quickfire and then the madness that ensued at the Target lock-in challenge. I was mentally exhausted after watching, to say the least.

The Cookie Quickfire with the Sesame Street characters as judges was fun and lighthearted (except for Dale whose name is never uttered with that phrase). For some reason, Blais just didn’t get that an ice cream blob doesn’t equal “cookie” — in fact, it doesn’t even qualify for “ice cream cookie sandwich status”. I really liked Dale’s use of sweet and salty in his cookie and thought it was a fun take on the challenge (despite his dislike for making cookies). And did anyone else catch Elmo calling Antonia’s brown splooge cookies “cow chips”. Get it? Because “chips” kinda sounds like “sh*t” when you say it really fast.

The Elimination Challenge was like one long Target ad. I liked the concept of cooking using only ingredients and utensils found at Target — but that was about it. They could at least have had a spending limit or challenge to feature Target’s healthy/organic products. And why in the heck was it at 3 a.m.?! Yeah, I get it that they wanted the chefs to have free reign of the store, but c’mon! No wonder Dale’s “stoner food” tomato soup and grilled cheese won — because that’s the only thing you’d want to eat at 3 a.m.
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