I finally wised up and looked at the list of chefs who will be competing as noted on Wikipedia. No Ben Ford. LOT'S of familiar names though. I'm still gonna hope for John Besh to win it all since I think he got screwed out of winning Next Iron Chef.
There will be 24 chefs competing in 6 groups of 4, with the winner of each round moving on to the Finals. The first 4 went this week.
The Quick Fire challenge had the chefs make a dessert for "dessert experts" who turned out to be 4 Girl Scouts. One chef's tried to make a cake and the cake didn't set and the frosting didn't work out either...so he kinda dumped it onto a plate thinking it'd be hated. He was right, it got the lowest score. One chef made 3 different desserts using strawberries, one was a shake, one was chocolate covered, but I can't recall the third...I think it was "chicken fried." He ended up tied for 2nd with another chef. The winning chef was from France (of course) so he ended up with 1.5 points more than the 2 chefs in second.
Then they had to prepare a 3 course meal for the elimination round, but could only cook with things found in a college dorm; a microwave, hot plate, and toaster oven. I was really impressed by the ingenuity of the chefs. They all got along and had fun with each other. They had to go shopping for their ingredients, and the French guy said that he never shops for his food, he places orders, so he was a little clueless. One chef ended up accidentally putting all of his ingredients into a freezer because he didn't know it was a freezer, not a fridge. Veggies in a freezer isn't good. He worked around it by creating different dishes, including a dish where he steamed kale so that the liquid from thawing it wouldn't have been as much of an issue. The elimination round was judged by 3 food critics and the host who apparently has won more local Emmys than anyone in New York tv. I didn't much care for her, but probably because she isn't Padma. At the end, the French guy won and his margin of victory was 1.5 points, so the dessert challenge is ultimately what won it for him. I have to say, he was really smart to use the dorm's shower and shower sprayer to drain and rinse his pasta. Although, I hope he made sure that the shower head was clean first.
I liked this episode much more than the first one. It was a LOT like the first season, but I was a little disappointed in that the mission involved rescuing a kidnapped child and getting the kidnappers to turn on each other. I think they did something very similar in an earlier season. The big news was the arrival of a Miami cop who is now onto Michael and friends since his "protection" is gone. Michael, Fi, and Sam have caused a lot of mayhem over the past 2 years, and without anyone running interference, Michael is now in the cops crosshairs. The officer is played by Moon Bloodgood. I LOVE that name, and it's her real name. She looks a little like she could be the sister of Summer Glau. Someone should put the 2 together in an action series where they play sisters who kick ass. I'd watch it!
Chef Irvine had to make dinner for 250 people in honor of Barbie's 50th birthday. he had to drive around in a VW Barbie mobile, and prepare the food outside of a HUGE mansion in...Malibu or course, silly! He got help from 2 Mattel employees, and one wanted to help but wasn't particularly adept, the other seemed to really get into it and really seemed to work and try hard. They had to make appetizers that would fit on Barbie serving ware, so everything was about the size of an olive. I actually thought that it was one of the better shows because although things went wrong with equipment not working and the guests arriving too early, I FINALLY saw Chef Irvine put his foot down. First, they tried to have him add an additional dish (for Ken) and for the first time, he said no. Good for him! Then later, the guests arrived about 20 minutes early and started yapping with the Mattel employees who were helping him, and he had to tell them to back off as they were working. Awesome!
The goal of this episode was to "hide" veggies in food to get kids to eat them. Alton used Parsnips as the veggie as it is sweet but blends in better than say Carrots or Beets. He made muffins, "potato" chips, and an applesauce like thing using parsnips and pears. Good Eats continues to be the BEST instructional cooking show on tv with it's blend of Bill Nye/Julia Child/History Channel like information and cooking instruction. I'm gonna buy some parsnips at the next trip to the grocery store (probably today!) and see what I can use them to make.
I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here:
A LOT went down this week. Spencer and Heidi are GONE due to her gastrointestinal issues. Her sister-in-law, Stephanie, tried to claim that Heidi and Spencer were left alone in a chamber for 3 days without food and that was shown to be a lie. So replacing Heidi and Spencer was Heidi's older sister, Holly. I thought, OH NOSE! Not ANOTHER one! But, she turns out to be a really cool chick (as far as one can tell from the show) and told a story about how she was going to live with her step-brother once he returned from serving in Iraq, but not long after he got back he fell off a roof and died. Tragic. She went out and won the gals their first food comp, and now seems to be having a "showmance" with Sanjaya. Daniel actually pleaded with the show to keep their infrared night cams trained on the 2 of them at night. Hehe. On the show, Holly looks a little like Chelsea Clinton, but I've seen other pictures where she looks very different.
They actually aired a segment about how the stars are all bug bitten, and Sanjaya just looks terrible. I'd noticed that the "celebs" were wearing these tiny patches on their chests, and they turn out to be incense like items to keep the bugs at bay. The "celebs" also get to hose themselves down with some sort of liquid incense, but nothing seems to keep the bugs at bay.
They also had a segment where the "celebs" told about their "big break," and of course Janice went on and on and basically told the story of her from 18 until she got the cover of Vogue in her early 20s. Patti got all upset because she's not on the show as a result of a "big break" but a big fall. Watch me cry. Are you crying? Nope. No tears from me either.
Daniel would suddenly toss out a "where's the powerbar" comment directed at Janice as they KNOW it was her who stole one of the bars that WERE NOT WON by her. Of course, it's all on tape. As is the other repulsive thing Janice did. One night, the night cam caught Janice get out of bed, squat next to her cot, and pee. The next day, Lou came to camp with a note imploring the cast to not pee in camp as it attracts rats which in turn would attract snakes. LDP couldn't BELIEVE that he ACTUALLY had to get a note and read it that said that. Of course, the first thing Janice did was say, "Who could have peed in camp?" What a frakking loon. Later, Lou decided to have a private conversation with her because after the women won food, she was first in line to get some, and then made 3 more trips for more food, while some people hadn't gotten any pick of the food yet. Of course, she responded by claiming that she wouldn't eat anymore and just being a PITA. This lead to the funnies moment of the week. In the "confessional," Lou made his hand look like a gun, opened his eyes wide and stuck the "barrel" into his mouth and then snapped his head back and flailed his arms out onto the confessional couch. I laughed pretty hard at that, and actually rewatched it a couple of times. The camp tried to confront Janice later about her behavior, but she just took it as picking on her.
Daniel got the least amount of votes to stay and had to leave last night. What the heck is wrong with people? He was one of the best things about the show. he wouldn't take Janice's insanity, and ACTUALLY WANTED TO PLAY BY THE RULES! For all of that, he ended up leaving. Well, I'll keep watching, but it just got a WHOLE lot less interesting.