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).


Lauri leaves Bravo’s O.C. {The Real Housewives of Orange County}

December 10, 2008
Lauri Waring Peterson is the newest ex-housewife

Lauri Waring Peterson is the newest ex-housewife

Lauri Waring aka,”Mrs. George Peterson,” has left The Real Housewives of Orange County in the middle of the fourth season.  Bravo TV had preempted this episode as “shocking,” but Lauri exited quietly to spend more time with her family.  From the previews, I was expecting Vicki to have a hissy fit and leave the show amid some kind of scandal, but that didn’t happen.

I think Lauri’s reasons for leaving Housewives are similar to Tammy Knickerbocker’s; she and her kids need time to deal with things privately.  She said that she hopes she doesn’t offend anybody by leaving, but why would she?  Lauri has been an easy target of criticism by fans of the show, yet any negative remarks probably stemmed from jealousy.

Vicki, Quinn (a one season housewife) and Lauri at last season's cocktail party

Vicki, Quinn (a one season housewife) and Lauri at last season's cocktail party

Even during the first season Vicki remarked that it is easy to be jealous of Lauri because Lauri is prettier, skinnier, and has bigger boobs.  But Vikki goes on to say, “I’m rooting for her..I just want her to succeed in life.”  At the opening of the first season, Lauri had been working for Vicki’s insurance company for 3 years.  Newly divorced and living outside the gates in a townhouse, Lauri said she didn’t need to work when she was married, but now she had to work to support her family.  We all could see that Lauri wasn’t happy with her change in lifestyle, especially when everyone around her seemed living on easy street.  But I had to give her credit for making the best of her situation, and striving to be a good parent to her less than perfect kids, and many viewers could relate to  Lauri’s day to day adversities.  But when Lari met her soon to be husband, real estate developer, George Peterson, the collective claws came out and Lari was labeled a “gold digger.”

This photo is from "georgeandlauri.com"

This photo is from "georgeandlauri.com"

Lauri’s wedding was beautiful, almost dreamlike in atmosphere, and George remained laid back and in love throughout.   Their married life seemed so serene…I would love to stop over to Georges unpretentiously decorated house for ice tea and prune roses with Lauri before heading out their ranch to ride horses.  I think fans were waiting for change in Lauri, and she has changed a little bit.  On the first episode of this season, while she was eating dinner with George at The St. Regis and calling him “Babe” every other breath, she said that she didn’t want to go to Dubai for their honeymoon because it was “too commercial.”  (Gag)  The titanium credit card (another gift from George) was another vapid moment.

However, Lauri has remained true to herself: honest, humble, strong, beautiful, and in my opinion, the one of the more REAL housewives in  Bravo’s  Housewives series.  I will miss her and I wish her all the best with her family.

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.


Chef Bobby sent home for lack of Beef Skills {Hell’s Kitchen}

June 16, 2008

Communication was key in Hell’s Kitchen last week, and it was Bobby who ultimately failed. The fact that Bobby “cremated” rather than cooked the Beef Wellington, according to Chef Ramsey, didn’t help him either. The final four chefs had an individual “cooking school” challenge–teaching a non-cooking, scantily clad housewives how to prepare homemade pasta with fresh lobster and sauce. Christina came out on top with Corey, a close second. Chrisitina, a Culinary School student, probably had an advantage here. Petrozza and Bobby were too distracted by their students’ large melons to focus on the tasks at hand, and Jen struggled with letting her student prepare the meal without interference.

Neither Jenn nor Corey were happy for Christina (surprise). Jenn said, “I just wanted to booty-bounce her across the room.” Again, cleaning Hell’s Kitchen was the punishment. Hell’s Kitchen is gross, and this week we got to see the black crusty bits in the fryer and the ice cream scoop stuck in chocolate. The chef’s made it through dinner service and Chef Ramsey targeted Bobby to harass, but Jenn also felt the heat. For once I felt that Jenn didn’t deserve the wrath of Ramsey, but she made the mistake of sticking up for herself–a big no-no because to Ramsey, sticking up for oneself means questioning King Gordon.

Both Christina and Corey would have liked to have seen Jen go home, but at least Jen can cook a decent Beef Wellington.

PJ


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


“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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