Category Television

The Great Food Truck Race Recap: Welcome to Hotlanta

It seems like no one else is talking about The Great Food Truck Race, but people seem eager for some information on it. So with the penultimate episode airing yesterday, it’s worth recapping what has happened in quite possibly the greatest food-themed reality TV show on the air (though Restaurant Impossible is a close second). I mean, where else can you see stunningly adorable vegans compete against some Korean BBQ that will go as far as cheating to stay in the game? No where!

After traveling across the country with some bumps and bruises, three trucks remained in this episode: Lime Truck from the OC (don’t call it that), Hodge Podge from Cleveland and Roxy’s from good old Boston (I might be a tad biased [also, I’m sorry for all these asides in parentheses]). It’s been crazy, but this week the trucks were in Hotlanta, a city I’m slowly become more familiar with.

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Top Chef Just Desserts 2.1 Recap: Little Red Riding Hood and the Thrown Under the Bus

Remember when I had Wednesday nights free because Top Chef was finally off the air for the first time in months? Well, all was fine and dandy until I remembered at the last possible minute that Top Chef Just Desserts started last night. So I grabbed my ginger beer and rum and made a nice big Dark ‘N Stormy to get through it.

Just like every first episode of Top Chef, there are far too many people to even care about and all the chef’testants pretty much mix together. There’s sassy black woman, poised to be the villain Orlando and grossly incompetent Craig who can’t seem to do anything but sully the good name of Harry Potter. So the ever lovely Gail and Johnny show up with the first quick fire before anything has really begun.

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The Great Food Truck Race Recap: Trucking Ain’t Easy

Last year’s Great American Food Truck Race was a short-run reality series that tapped into the growing popularity of food trucks in America. One year later, the series now returns with more trucks and more wrinkles. Oh, and they’ll now be competing for $100,000 instead of last year’s prize purse of $50,000.

Tyler Florence, who is the definition of neutral returns as the host. I like Tyler, and always enjoyed his Tyler’s Ultimate show for not having a lot of bells and whistles.One of the first shows on Food Network shot in HD it’s just him in a kitchen making simple American food. That being said, “his staff has no color”.

Eight trucks appear this season, running the entire spectrum of cuisines and geographic locales. They all have one thing in common, they describe themselves as “gourmet”. There is also an incredible California slant to this collection of competitors with 5 of the 8 trucks calling California home.

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Judge Emeril? A Texas Three-Step? New Top Chef 9 Details Emerge

In the last calendar year, we’ve had almost 40 weeks of Top Chef programming on Bravo. Split between Just Desserts, Top Chef 7, Top Chef All-Stars and Masters there were only a few Wednesdays where you couldn’t find someone packing up their knives and going. Since Masters took its final bow a few months ago the waters have been quiet. Mercifully so, as I’m quite sure that Jesse would have gone insane if he had to breakdown one more quickfire challenge.

Whatever the reason, our respite seems to be coming to an end. Just Desserts 2 is two weeks away and though there haven’t been any concrete details, Top Chef 9 was certainly coming at some point. Well now we have a few details and they are juicy to say the least.

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Top Chef Masters Finale Recap: Going out with a Whimper

The pain is finally over after months of watching Top Chef Masters. Remarkably, this was the most boring, least stressful finale I’ve ever seen on Top Chef (I blacked out during Just Desserts, so maybe that was worse). No games, no hoops to jump through, just an abundance of time to make three courses for twelve people.

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Top Chef Masters Recap: Do you even know your own family?

We’re finally here – the second to last episode of Top Chef Masters! Then the show looks to be going on break for awhile until Top Chef Something-or-Other debuts and makes me want to gouge my eyes our or drink heavily (if it’s Top Chef Just Desserts, it will be both).

With Curtis welcoming the chefs into the kitchen while wearing an outfit I’m 99% sure I own, the chefs are tasked with the final Quickfire. Each station was partitioned and the chefs would have to make a dish and the person on the other side would have to make the same dish with only verbal instruction.

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Top Chef Masters Recap: No seriously, I think the gas main is broken guys

After a week of glorious freedom, it was weird sitting back down to watch the chef’testants in Top Chef Masters dwindle once more. But with so few chefs and barely any drama, the show is running full steam ahead and jumps straight into the challenge.

Seeing the chefs scoff at commoner appliances and ingredients is nothing new, but this Quickfire challenge was cruel, unusual and delightful to watch. With only 10 minutes on the clock, the chefs had to make a breakfast using only a microwave to cook.

And the dish has to be served warm. And the dish has to be actually cooked in the microwave.

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Top Chef Masters Recap: Taste Test & Date Night

The final six chef’testants are still battling it out to earn the title of Top Chef Master. And since there are so few of them now, I might actually start remembering names! Jumping straight into the action, the chefs learn two harsh realities about the Quickfire.

a)      Immunity is off the table

b)      There is no cooking in this challenge

The taste test is always a fascinating challenge, but since this is Masters the dastardly Magical Elves decided that a blind taste test wasn’t enough – it was also deaf and odorless! Wearing masks, ear muffs and nose plugs, the six chefs had to identify five ingredients by taste alone.

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Top Chef Masters Recap: Seven Minutes in Heaven

I didn’t even realize it that last week started with the final 8 chef’testants. Or maybe I did and I just didn’t care because it’s taken way too many episodes for me to remember who any of these people are. Well, besides Hugh-ibrow. But thankfully, the streamlined version of Top Chef Masters seems to know that people want to see challenges and food.

It’s got to be tough on the chefs since they never have any idea what is in store for them when they get to the kitchen. One day it could be jars of bugs and another it could be the penny farmer market. But this time, the table of ingredients was heavenly – caviar, truffles, foie gras, etc. So the chefs got to make anything they wanted using these ingredients with one rule: they only have 7 minutes to do it. Inspired by Tom Colicchio’s astounding performance last season when he prepared an excellent fish dish in 8 minutes and 37 seconds.

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Top Chef Masters Recap: Drive-Thru Failure

I’m still confused at what Magic Elves are trying to do with the intro-recap at the beginning of each episode, it kind of works but if you just tuned in a minute earlier, you would see it too. But it now means the show is jumping right into challenges. It really makes me realize how much time in Top Chef is wasted with drama and people hanging out in the apartment.

The Quickfire was genius with its forced scarcity of ingredients. The chefs were presented with a table of ingredients, proteins and veggies but everything had a price tag on it. So with only 20 minutes to cook and a single dollar, everyone struggled to craft an appetizer.

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