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Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

JMHO, but I feel like Elizabeth knew the fix was in from the start in the finale, so why not call out what's going on? You know you're not going to win so try to get in the snark where you can.

Like I mentioned up thread, Jaimee and Victoria really were totally on board with trying to help Elizabeth and if you look back, there were a lot of team challenges and otherwise that no one wanted Courtney on their team.

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

Well, not everyone who is passionate about food and may want to launch a career in it needs to or wants to work in a restaurant. Having a highly successful blog, becoming a well-known cookbook author or food writer can be a goal to aim for, too.

But I was also hoping for a Christian win because he was the only one whose cookbook I would have bought this season; he had a coherent style, and seemed like a genuine, cool person.

I have a feeling that TPTB really screwed up on their planned storyline this year. They thought everyone was going to cheer for Courtney and her plucky "Mary Magdalene" storyline (that's at least what one of my friends has been calling her), and see Elizabeth as the nasty mean girl from the start. Didn't happen, I think because Courtney revealed herself to be too much of a manipulator and too arrogant from the start. You never saw her really develop any "friendships" with the other competitors, at best just a grudging respect. Meanwhile, look at how happy Jaimee and Victoria seemed to be to work with Elizabeth at the end. I get the sense in retrospect that everyone else knew this was going to be Courtney's year from the start and just had to suck up and take it. (It's almost enough for me to want to rewatch this season from the start just to see how much it was planned.)

As the saying goes, you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear...

1 day ago
sockii in Food Media & News

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

A lot of times no, they don't follow through, or it's in a half-assed way. See: Kathy Prieto last season whom Gordon supposedly offered an "internship" to:

http://www.trashtalktv.com/07/31/kath...

I did a round up a couple months ago of what's up with the season 4 contestants. A lot of them seem to end up in the private chef/catering world, if they weren't in it already, or just went back to whatever they were doing before.

http://www.spacial-anomaly.com/master...

I do think Luca made out pretty well last season; his cookbook is ranking nicely in Amazon (and it IS actually a good book!), but I do think he already had solid connections in the NYC restaurant world anyway before even going on the show.

1 day ago
sockii in Food Media & News

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

That's the problem I had with her from the start - she wasn't walking away from her past but trying to put it to use while trying to proclaim being Miss Innocent. Yeah. No.

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

That's no big news about Leslie - I posted the same info the day after the season premiere. It takes about two seconds on Google to find it.

What was funny was seeing Melissa all over the MasterChef Facebook page last night dissing the show. If nothing else this season has been pretty good for trolling...

Sep 16, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

Leaving aside the exotic dancer issue, I just simply cannot figure out what Courtney's cookbook focus would be. It's not like she made that many dishes that really stood out in my memory (as much as the judges might have swooned.) I guess her gnocchi, but then a lot of luxury/odd stuff most people won't make (truffled lobster mac and cheese? Pig's ear and quails egg?) Or will it just be a ton of desserts?

I honestly wonder if we'll actually see a book at all.

Sep 16, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

Not much of a baker either, but elsewhere someone commented that the cake wouldn't brown and wouldn't rise the same.

Either way I smell a rat.

Masterchef US Final 3 tonight--conclusion (expect spoilers here)

Well that was...disappointing. What I was dreading, but still, disappointing. Do they not see how unpopular their special predetermined pick for the win actually is with the general public this year?

Sep 15, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News
1

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

Yeah, Philly/New Jersey person here. I've been to 4 or 5 weddings in the past couple years, from a backyard pig roast to an elegant all-the-works glam fest. Not ONE has had anywhere to indicate dietary restrictions.

Sep 13, 2014
sockii in Not About Food
1

Looking for rehearsal dinner recommendations in Moorestown, Mount Laurel, Marlton areas

Most BYOs I know of in the area don't have large private rooms and aren't equipped for such large parties. Haddonfield has some great BYOs but they tend toward the smaller size, or you'd have to see about having the whole restaurant for the night, I think.

If you want really good food and a space that would work for a nice event, I might suggest Marc Vetri's Osteria in the Moorsetown Mall. http://osteriajersey.com/home/

Sep 03, 2014
sockii in New Jersey

Masterchef 9/1 OMG SPOILERS

A HELL of a lot before cameras roll, no question.

(I'd never heard of one before last night myself but then I am not a baker, either.)

And I still don't know how much you can trust the critiques vs. what they want to edit it to look like. It was time for Jaimee to go for certain. I don't know that hers was any harder to break into/cut/pull apart than his. The judges can say whatever they want tastewise to justify the decision they plan on making.

Sep 02, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News

Masterchef 9/1 OMG SPOILERS

Blech, I hope not. They always seem to want a guy vs. gal finale, so I am hoping it might be Christian vs. Elizabeth, with Courtney getting the 3rd place bitch/egotist boot a la Jessie last season, and Becky the year before. I could honestly take either Christian or Elizabeth winning at this point, although I hope/think it's Christian.

This next week, with the visit from home, should be interesting. I know that's when Luca really shone last season and suddenly was in the big spotlight.

Sep 02, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News

I really like <fill in chain> and I look forward to returning

I've had the biscuits when they are awesome, and when they are awful. Avoid Red Lobsters in areas without a lot of turnover/business. There is nothing more gross than one of their biscuits that is cold and has been sitting around for a while...it makes you question ever attempting to eat one again.

Sep 02, 2014
sockii in Chains

I really like <fill in chain> and I look forward to returning

I feel almost ashamed to admit this, but I honestly have had some decent experiences at TGIFridays this year and don't mind returning. They seem to have seriously improved the menu options and quality of food of late; the salads I've had for lunch have been very good, full of quality greens and toppings, and I like some of their "small plates" (especially the Thai Pork Tacos and Ahi Tuna Crisps).

There's one near my mom's house and she is always requesting to go there now when I visit, if just for the Jack Daniels Chicken Sandwich. She is like a grilled chicken sandwich addict and it's totally her favorite. If I'm stuck on the road or in a chain wasteland I'd take them any day over Applebees, Outback, Chilis, etc. But their mixed drinks generally suck.

Sep 02, 2014
sockii in Chains

Next Food Network Star -finale (spoilers)

And you're implying that we should just accept such words and insults because it's "guys just being guys", or something like that?

If women don't speak up more about the crap that gets said to us simply because of our gender, then change will never happen. Saying that just because it happens all the time, we should let it pass is just something I'm cool with. Sometimes it takes a few example cases for anyone to pay attention and realize "this is not OK".

MasterChef Canada coming to Cooking Channel

If you watched Cooking Channel at all over this holiday weekend, you couldn't miss the ads for MasterChef Canada that's going to start airing Sept 9.

As an MasterChef US (and BBC when I can see it) junkie, should I make sure to catch it? Anyone know if this is the most recent season? I know I'll be needing some kind of fix until MasterChef Junior starts again soon...

Sep 02, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News

Anyone else enjoying Create TV?

"Mary Ann Esposito seems to hold a regular slot (although, for the life me of I don't know why)."

Aw, I actually like her, because she reminds me of all of my sweetie's kind of dumpy-looking Italian grandmas who come into his medical office in South Jersey (whenever they bring food, it's amazing). And I've actually made a couple of her recipes that came out incredible.

Sep 02, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News

Masterchef 9/1 OMG SPOILERS

Her makeup was pretty scary this episode, during the restaurant takeover. Holy eyebrows, Batman! This ain't Delilah's Den.

Sep 02, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News
1

Masterchef 9/1 OMG SPOILERS

I don't care about the tone of her voice (I hate Courtney's baby-girl/phone-sex voice much more) so much as her milquetoast personality and inability to take charge/stand up for herself. I mean, girl, I get it. I was the awkward nerd who got bullied in school too. But I don't use it to whine and cry and just declare everything a failure before even getting started. I was SO ready to see her go home after the dim sum challenge last week.

It was such a predictable set-up, though. OMG, no way Christian can pull it off! OMG, his dessert looks like a disaster but it actually tastes edible, and meanwhile the "expert" it fails in every way! *Yawn*

Sep 02, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News
1

Amazing Peruvian in Lambertville

Just ate there for the first time tonight and absolutely loved it. We lucked out here after striking out at the first three places we tried to get in (Brian's was full, Harrison House was having a private party, Maron was almost empty but not taking any more tables because they had a large party coming in.) We were about to head home in frustration when we saw the sign for El Tule, and wow! I guess our first three strikeouts paid off with a great meal.

We shared the wonderful ceviche sampler to start, then I had the parihuela which was loaded with crab in shell and a nice flavorful but light broth. Sweetie had a special of red snapper that was just loaded with fresh crab meat. We also shared the wonderful Tres Leches for dessert.

We seemed to luck into arriving there just before the place got packed, and service was just fine. Next time we're in Lambertville we'd absolutely return.

Aug 31, 2014
sockii in New Jersey

Short stay in midtown

I'm not sure what constitutes uniquely Philly to your desires. Osteria and Amis are two Italian restaurants by one of our city's top Italian chefs, Marc Vetri. Personally I am the oddball that doesn't like Osteria all that much but I do enjoy Amis. However, if you're headed to Italy I would kind of skip it. Amis is good but not even close to what you're going to get in the boot. :)

If you want Italian-AMERICAN, just head down to South Philly for the experience and the food at one of the longtime favorites there - which isn't what you'll get in Italy itself, that's for sure.

I wouldn't try to take a pork/broccoli rabe sandwich on the plane - way too messy and not something I can see eating cold. I'd get an Italian hoagie from Salumeria instead.

Aug 27, 2014
sockii in Philadelphia

Restos near Hamburg

Well, if sushi is okay for seafood, I'm going to totally recommend Eastern Garden in Sussex, in the A&P shopping plaza. It's one of those strip mall sushi-Chinese food combo places, but the sushi is really legit. They do a really nice chirashi and have some specialty rolls that are worth trying (I am addicted to their Golden Dragon roll with lobster, also the "Spider-Man" roll which is their spin on a classic Spider roll.)

I grew up in the area and my mom still lives there, so I am constantly visiting. And Eastern Garden is the only restaurant I really can recommend around that area, I'm usually in at least 1-2 times a month. It's BYO but there are two decent wine shops right nearby (Woody's and Patrick's) plus a couple big liquor stores on 23 between Hamburg and Sussex with larger selections.

https://www.facebook.com/EasternGarde...

Staff is super-nice and if you let them know you want authentic stuff, you will get it. I also recommend the Age Tofu and "Revolution" scallops with bean sprouts and broccoli.

(Basically it's a 10 minute straight shot down 23 from Hamburg to get there.)

Aug 26, 2014
sockii in New Jersey

Restos near Hamburg

Yeah, I've tried their wines and found them very "meh". Definitely a skip, and disappointing compared to much better Jersey wines further south.

Aug 26, 2014
sockii in New Jersey

Other options at Ruth's Chris?

Looks like you can do three of their veggie sides as an entree choice as well, but if you're not big on butter I don't know if that would be a good choice...

Aug 19, 2014
sockii in Chains
1

Low Salt Restaurant Food

Seasons 52 also offers a low-sodium menu (check the website) but even there it's pretty limited. I think they tend to amp up the salt to make up for the fat in a lot of their dishes.

Aug 19, 2014
sockii in Chains

Next Food Network Star -finale (spoilers)

"Once upon a time, the network would air the winner's show the following day. Nothing for Lenny."

That was before they added the "audience decides" part of the series. Obviously, with the winner supposedly determined by viewer votes in recent years, they aren't going to shoot a real pilot until after the vote is complete. (If you believe the audience votes actually count, which I'm not sure I do.)

Aug 19, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News

Looking for light and upbeat or soothing conversational cooking shows

I love and can always listen to Jacques Pepin, especially his "Fast Food/More Fast Food My Way" series which is my perfect relaxation crack. There's always some little trick I can learn from him, but at the same time it's not necessarily overly complicated. His voice and presence just soothes me and makes me want to curl up with a good bottle of wine. Most of these you can watch on YouTube on the KQED official channel.

Also the "Jacques & Julia" series (all available for free on Hulu), always a lot of endearing fun watching two great chefs preparing some classic dishes and generally enjoying good food together.

Aug 18, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News
1

New Korean restaurant opening in Newtown...KO

Thanks for the review. I keep pining for one great, perfect bowl of soondubu in these parts...why is it so impossible to find? (Without having to at least head to Koreatown in NYC...)

Aug 13, 2014
sockii in Philadelphia

MasterChef US: Possible Top 6 spoilers

Did Jaimee escape from the set of "Elf"?

Aug 12, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News

MasterChef US: Possible Top 6 spoilers

It's always unpredictable at this stage of the game if team captains get potential immunity or not - even if they are on the losing team. I don't have an issue with her choosing to save herself; when it's this close to the end you're stupid to not take immunity if you have the chance. Lots of good contestants have fallen from deciding to be noble instead of safe.

I still would be shocked if Leslie wins, just because I think it would look bad if a guy who is well connected in Hollywood and doesn't need the money ends up with it. As much as they're playing a redemption storyline for him, I see it sort of like what they did with Krissi last season: make her look like a terrible bully early on, then "redeem" her but boot her out just outside of the top three or four.

I'm starting to get a feeling it could be Christian this season for the win. He's played it pretty cool so far and made a few dishes I actually remember, and a New Orleans cook would be a different perspective they haven't had for one of their cookbooks yet. Also, the cynical part of me thinks that THEY might think that having a young, African American man win this season would "look good" after Joshua Marks' suicide. (Did I just say that? Yeah, I did. And it's no dig at Christian but I could see them playing that card crassly.) The only issue with that is he hasn't really had a stand out personality yet. We hardly know that much about him, so I could be wrong. It could be Cutter as well if they want to go down the redemption arc route. But I think it's one of the remaining guys for the win for sure.

Aug 12, 2014
sockii in Food Media & News