Tamra Barney takes out the trash {The Real Housewives of Orange County}

January 14, 2009

Viewers were surely annoyed that they had to wait a half hour before getting to the “Drunk Gretchen” scene at Tamra’s so called formal dinner party, a party so embarrassingly distasteful, I thought the hired chef, Brian Malarkey, might torch the entire table with his fire-themed deserts.  The big storyline “Tamra gets Gretchen drunk to bring out Gretchen’s dark side,” apparently backfired on Tamra when Gretchen and Tamra’s son, Ryan, looked like they were

Tamra's son, Ryan, brings out "The Dark Side of Gretchen"

Tamra's son, Ryan, brings out "The Dark Side of Gretchen"

going to “hook up.”  Ironically, Tamra stated in an interview segment that a person’s actions are more important to her than what a person says.  She was referring to Gretchen, but Tamra might have well been looking in a mirror. Gretchen has no one to blame but herself for drinking too much Tequila, but Tamra kept ordering her son to bring Gretchen shot after shot as well as encouraging everyone else to go along with her scheme.  The most entertaining part of this whole fiasco was that the other housewives looked mortified at what was happening.  It was clear that none of them wanted to be there; Jeana was the only one who made any attempt to socialize, and the husbands just sat back and watched as if they had front row seats to the WWE.

Simon Barney in his pre-Tequila days

Simon Barney in his pre-Tequila days

The men reminded me of the husbands from The Real Housewives of Atlanta who sat back at numerous dinner parties and watched their alpha wives mark their territory. Bottom line:  Tequila doesn’t lead to bad behavior, Tamra Barney does: she embarrassed herself, her guests, her etiquette teacher, the chef, her husband and his new Tequila brand business venture, and me—for admitting I watch this show.  Calling her son a “manwhore” didn’t help either, and hopefully that phrase will not become Ryan’s latest tattoo.  The funniest line from the show, however, did come from a tipsy Gretchen: I have big boobs, I con do what I want. Click here for Bravo TV’s rogue’s gallery of photos.

PJ

P.S. As of today, Vicki is the only housewife to write in about last night’s episode:

I had a great time at Tamra’s dinner party. It was fun getting all dressed up for a formal party at home instead of going out to a restaurant. All of our homes are so beautiful and I feel we don’t spend as much time in them as we should. It was amazing having Chef Brian Malarkey cook for us. It was overwhelming to watch how much work goes into the preparations for each dish. I have been to his restaurant Oceanaire in San Diego a few times, so it was nice to experience his menu and

Vicki Gunvalson

Vicki Gunvalson

talent at Tamra’s.

The only reason I made the comment at dinner about Lynne being so laid back was because I have never been around anyone like her before. It seems like nothing would ever bother her at all, and it doesn’t seem like she has a care in the world. Coming from me, Ms. Type-A Personality, it is nice to see someone with that level of calmness.

Yeah, right.  (I guess she forgot about almost vomiting over the oyster appetizers).


Rush Limbaugh dishes about Caroline Kennedy

December 21, 2008
The Photogenic Rush Limbaugh

The Photogenic Rush Limbaugh

On Friday Rush Limbaugh added his two cents about the Al Sharpton Lunch in Harlem and took on the role of Miss Manners by giving  Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg advice about

Caroline Kennedy looking lovely at a New York Public Library fundraiser luncheon with Jeffrey Rosen and Stephen Schwarzman

Caroline Kennedy looking lovely at a New York Public Library fundraiser luncheon with Jeffrey Rosen and Stephen Schwarzman

being photographed eating in public.  According to Limbaugh, it’s a “rookie mistake” to be photographed eating, let alone in public.  He said no one wants to look at a picture of someone with their mouth full of food;  however, because Caroline Kennedy is so thin, he was apparently happy to learn that she was actually eating in the first place.  Limbaugh looked to the Pope as a role model in this public relations arena;  Pope Benedict refused a dinner invitation to the White House because he doesn’t eat in public.

El Rushbo then moved on to reveal Burger King‘s latest product: Beef Scented Cologne.  Apparently market research revealed that people enjoyed the smell of  the inside of a Burger King restaurant, and wanted to carry the scent with them between meals.  (Be be on the lookout for these scent wearers

The effects of Eau de Burger King

The effects of Eau de Burger King

running down the street from a pack of dogs)!  Limbaugh said that Burger King’s customers “smell bad enough” anyway, so it isn’t going to make a difference.  I think Limbaugh should help out the economy by hiring anther joke writer;  El Rusbo’s next bit was offering his own line of bath and beauty products for purchase on-line through the EIB Network: Trans Fat Soap-on-a-Rope.  No Thanks.

PJ


Hell’s Kitchen has become boring

June 25, 2008

Hell’s Kitchen has become boring as the season comes to a close. Ramsey’s rants, chefs preparing the same menu for dinner services, and the dwindlinging variety of personalities, are making the remaining episodes quite tedious and anti-climatic. Now that there are only three left (Jenn left last week because she was slow and whined too much), Ramsey has brought in his own sous chefs to perform a haphazard job in the kitchen on purpose. Corey was sent home in the end because she could not imitate Chef Ramsey’s method of telling the chef’s how they are f***ing up the meat orders. I’m looking forward to the finale next week because Ramsey is bringing back former crazy chefs to help (or hurt) Christina and Petrozza. I predict Petrozza will win the job as Executive Chef. I think Christina is too young and unseasoned (pun intended) to run a restaurant. It will be fun to see if she can win Ramsey over: she’s already been on several “reward” dates with him for winning individual challenges. I will say that this week’s epsode had a funny moment: A voiceover of Corey saying that had to prove that she wasn’t a dumb blond as we see her disrobing down to her bra and panties before trying to get Louross to get into the hot tub with her!

PJ


Christina wins Hell’s Kitchen

June 19, 2008

I really thought Petrozza had a chance until the two finalists had to work with former cast-chefs and prepare a dinner service. The less experienced Christina was not only more organized than Petrozza, but was able to negotiate her crew’s diverse personalities. For example–she asked Matt to make his award winning risotto. That kept Matt on task for awhile. The largest challenge for the finalists was getting the losing chefs to help them win, when most of them didn’t care. The funniest chef was Jenn, whose eyes were bulging out of her head with jealousy. She did try to help Petrozza, though, by trying to get him to organize a menu and dinner service plan. But Petrozza crashed and burned. I could tell it was all over when he was organizing asparagus pieces in “X” shapes around the plates while the entrees got cold. The turning point of the show was Ramsey talking quietly (for once) like a golf tournament announcer before Christina and Petrozza turned the handle to walk through the door to their future (gag). What a nightmare to not be able to open that door! In the end, Ramsey chose Christina because of her “potential.” I should have seen it coming when Christina started to refer to Ramsey as “Gordon.” I guess Ramsey thought he couldn’t mold Petrozza into executive chef material, and for that reason alone I am glad Petrozza will remain Petrozza and not a Ramsey clone.


Stephanie wins Top Chef after lackluster finale {Top Chef Chicago}

June 12, 2008

Stephanie wins Top Chef Chicago and becomes the first female Top Chef, but aside from her victory, the rest of the show was BORING! I decided to post this in fancy “Vivaldi” style font because it suits the high brow foodie audience for which the finale was intended. I could not appreciate Stephanie’s daring pecan and olive ingredients that so impressed the judges. The producers keep forgetting that those of us at home can’t taste the food.. I could appreciate, however, that Lisa’s soup caused the renowned guest chefs to “slurp” and ask for seconds. Like I have said before, Lisa did her homework before arriving in Puerto Rico and performed better than she ever did in Chicago. She was uncharacteristically at ease during the finale due to the fact that there wasn’t anyone around to argue with her. If you have ever watched Hell’s Kitchen, you can easily imagine Chef Gordon Ramsey eating Lisa alive (and probably throw up afterwards). Richard’s tanks of exotic gasses didn’t set him apart from the others. As I watched him pour liquid nitrogen into his bacon flavored ice cream, I thought isn’t that the stuff doctor’s use to freeze warts off of people? (ick) I believe Richard’s downfall was that he thought he could pull it all together on the second day, but surprise—no sous chefs! They bring back the old format for the finale: 2 finalists cooking head to head with the help of former cast mates. Otherwise,Top Chef should move over to the FOOD network. I hope to see more of Stephanie! Maybe she will write a cookbook or get her own television show. She is a heck of a lot less annoying that Rachael Ray!

PJ


Chef Lisa squeaks by with garnishes and dipping sauce {Top Chef}

June 6, 2008

Richard made it clear from the onset that he didn’t think Lisa had the talent to be in the final four, and later referred to her as “a gray cloud in the kitchen.” However, Lisa arrived in Puerto Rico with a new haircut and ready for the challenges. For the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs had to cook with plantains for celebrity guest judge, Wilo Benet. There were a couple of amusing moments: when the timer went off, the chefs raised their hands without Padma yelling, “Knifes down! Hands Up!” Richard managed to singe his eyebrows and sound like a woodpecker when chopping. Stephanie won the Quickfire, and as a reward she got to pair-up chefs with sous chefs (season cast-offs). Stephanie picked Dale because she “has known him for about 10 years.” Richard was paired with Spike (who sported a new hat), and Nicki was assigned to Antonia. The paring of Andrew and Lisa could have produced a lot of drama, but Andrew announced, “Never have I thrown somebody under the bus. I play with honor!” He kept his cool throughout the preparations, despite Lisa acting more than a little bossy. Richard brought along a roll of bright green painters tape to make labels and this “ingredient” helped to keep him organized the small kitchen. Dale had a brain fart and left the pork belly out on top of the stove overnight, but with Dale’s help, Stephanie managed to improvise and wind up in the top two with Richard. Her food sounded delicious (especially the Pork Satay on a Sugar Cane skewer with miso almond sauce and cilantro vinaigrette) and for a fraction of a second, I forgot that the chefs spent 7 hours dismembering pigs. I was surprised at the decline in Antonia’s performance during this this episode. She had said that on the hiatus, she had been “working 100 hours a week” at her restaurant, so that may explain why she was not in her usual top form. Lisa had practiced cooking Puerto Rican food at home, and came to Puerto Rico familiar with the local ingredients. Antonia ended up leaving for her “unsophisticated dishes” and “undercooked pigeon peas.” I made the mistake of wasting a few minutes trying to figure out the judges’ decision: didn’t Lisa have several less than successful dishes? Lisa did make great garnishes and dipping sauces, but personally I would have passed on her Roasted Pork-butt. Baring any more undercooked lentils, Stephanie is a the strongest contender for the final two. Lisa will be a big surprise if she lasts another week. Richard’s past performances have been uneven, but he won the elimination challenge this week—and a car!

PJ


“You wanna see scary?” Matt leaves Hell’s Kitchen

June 4, 2008

As I expected, Matt left Hell’s Kitchen this week. Ramsey made it clear that Matty was just a “fraction” worse than Corey and Christina . Matt and Christina had traded “shut ups” the entire day after losing the individual challenge. It was a close call between Christina and Matt and for a minute it looked like Ramsey was leaning towards sending Christina home, telling her that she needs more experience. But Christina stood her ground, stating that she is only getting better each week of the competition. Matt’s exit was memorable; there were flashbacks of his victories (the best Risotto in Hell’s Kitchen) and defeats (making Ramsey throw-up during the first episode) and then Ramsey waxed poetic with the following limerick:

There once was a boy named Matt,

whose kitchen performance fell flat.

He was far from neat.

He was miserable on meat.

So I kicked him out

and that’s that.

The other chefs offered their opinions about Matt this as well :

Christina : Matty, you’re driving me f***ing up the wall, bro. You’ve got to close that mouth sometime.

Bobby: Matt is like Full Metal Jacket. I’m worried about Matt.

Petrozza: I am relieved Matt’s gone. You know what? I’ll be relieved when Matt’s in a different state. Make sure you lock the door behind that guy.

The chef’s became one team (Black) instead of two (just like Survivor when the tribes merge). Ramsey paraded out two big bald guys dressed in Blues Brothers get-ups and carrying a quarter of a million dollars in cash in tow suitcases to get the chefs motivated to win. Jen won the first individual challenge (a Top Chef Quickfire) with her thinly sliced rib-eye. However, this challenge proved that this group had culinary skills. Jen chose Corey to accompany her to Vegas to have dinner with Chef Rock, last season’s winner. The rest of the group had to bring in the restaurants deliveries. Christina took charge which annoyed Matt. By the time, Jen and Corey returned, Matt had a migraine. The chefs still couldn’t communicate, so it was business as usual during dinner service: Cory burned her hand, blew oil on his face, Chef Ramsey yelled,”Raw Meat!” and made everyone come over and feel the difference between raw and overcooked meat. Then Ramsey threw a steak across the kitchen (yummy). Jen made an excellent batch of Risotto and then over-salted the next batch. Christina and Bobby seemed to share a brain when each of them cooked a combination of meat, chicken, or fish in the same skillet. Petrozza reminds me of Pigpen of the Peanuts characters. Ramsey said, “You work like a pig, yet you produce such amazing food.” It looks like the chefs won’t get a chance to team, start uniting as a team,” according to Ramsey, because next week they will be running a “cooking school” for scantily dressed models.

PJ


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