Ah, synergy. The fourth episode of the third season of Top Chef Masters brought together those who can't eat anything with those who can cook anything. Yes, The Biggest Loser contestants were in the house, and the cheftestants were tasked with making a severely reduced calorie version of their favorite foods. But would two of the two most successful shows in the NBC Universal world taste great together?
The third episode of most reality cooking shows is when a bit of calm is meant to set into the kitchen. The chefs have experienced a few eliminations, not heard their names called and now think that they might actually win this thing. So, of course, that's when the third season of Top Chef: Masters decides to get freaky by telling the cheftestants that they'll be cooking bugs for their quickfire challenge. Because the number one rule of reality cooking shows is that you can never be too comfortable in the kitchen.
Local celebrity -- and reality TV cake-design champion -- Mike Elder brought in four of his friends, all national culinary reality-show heavyweights, to compete for handmade sculptural trophies yesterday at the "Icing on the Cake" sugar exposition and competition, a benefit for the local domestic-violence shelter Newhouse, at the Overland Park Sheraton Hotel; the fundraiser netted $15,000 for the organization.
It was a particularly terrific night for California-based Debbie Goard of Debbie Does Cakes: The Oakland designer won both the "People Choice" prize -- voted by the 450 participants at the event who used cash instead of ballots -- and the judges' prize for her towering construction that had, like all four competing cakes, a Kansas City theme.
Top Chef Masters gets off to a somber start as host Curtis Stone informs the cheftestants that chef John Rivera Sedlar had to drop out of the competition because of an emergency. But the mood is immediately lifted when -- surprise -- previously eliminated Hugh Acheson returns to the kitchen.
He dryly pledges that he has brought a smaller salt shaker -- an overly salted scallop was his undoing on the show's premiere last week -- and we jump right into the cooking.
A new chef and a well-designed food truck weren't enough to overcome a bad plate of brisket for Sandy Digiovanni last night on America's Next Great Restaurant.
Despite high praise for Sinners and Saints -- an innovative concept that offered diners either a healthy or a decadent version of a dish -- Digiovanni had chef/host Bobby Flay inform her that the panel would "not be investing in her restaurant."
The third season of Top Chef Masters premiered last night, and much like the beautiful, over-the-stove, time-lapse camera shots that briefly flitted onscreen, everything felt a bit rushed. There's a new host, Curtis Stone; a new judge in critic Ruth Reichl; and a new format -- one chef goes home every week. And, frankly, they haven't quite figured out how to put the pieces together.
Still, Julian's Celina Tio managed to advance, despite failing to plate her dish in the first quick-fire challenge. And when the show gave the 12 chefs time to breathe, they proved that they could be entertaining.
When I was younger, I had elaborate systems. I would alternate among beer, water and soda, in a futile attempt to keep the proper balance of hydration, caffeination and inebriation during a 12-hour shift of the NCAA Tournament. But that was when I was younger.
Time and inertia make lazy sports viewers of us all. I am significantly more likely to drink whatever is at the front of the fridge, and on days like today, last night's leftover pizza is looking pretty good. So, Fat City readers, we've got 12 hours of NCAA basketball to get through. What's your strategy for eating and drinking today in order to give yourself the best opportunity for maximum enjoyment and least discomfort?
America's Next Great Restaurant premiered last nigh,t and while the dream ended for one contestant from Kansas City, bartender Sandy Digiovanni moved on to the next episode of the reality restaurant show.
The show opens on a loving homage to KFC, Subway and Chipotle with
graphics done in the style of Morgan Spurlock. These are the franchises
that have made America the heavyweight it is today. Host Bobby Flay,
who is a bit like Robert De Niro reading cue cards on Saturday Night Live, tells us that the contestants will be pared down from 21 to 10 over the next hour. It's going to be Shark Tank meets American Idol, without the dialing in to vote from home.
When America's Next Great Restaurant premieres this Sunday at 7 p.m. on NBC, you'll see a familiar face among the 21 contestants. Sandy Digiovanni, the former owner of Stack's Drive-In, is hoping to win the reality restaurant competition that has a franchise deal as the grand prize.
NBC Action News recently interviewed Digiovanni at Out of Bounds (3601 Broadway), where she described her idea as a "fast-food concept with a healthy twist."
Top Chef Masters returns in April for a third season on Bravo, and one of Kansas City's own is hoping to take the title. Julian's Celina Tio will be part of the 12-contestant cast competing for charity (hers is Harvesters) on the reality cooking show.
This isn't the first time that Tio will be coming to your living room. Last year, she made a strong run on The Next Iron Chef, making it to the penultimate episode of the Food Network competition. Top Chef Masters premieres on Wednesday, April 6, at 10 p.m.
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