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).


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


“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


Chef Spike could not revive his frozen scallops {Top Chef}

May 30, 2008

The Quickfire Challenge this week was a vegetarian’s nightmare. The chefs had to show their “butchery skills” at Allen Brother’s meat plant and cut seven chops with a “frenched bone” from an American raised long-boned rib-eye, USDA Dry Aged Prime Rib rack in 20 minutes. After returning to the Top Chef Kitchen, each of the five remaining chefs had to cook a tomahawk chop in thirty minutes. Spike, a grandson of two butchers, soared through both parts of this challenge, and as a reward he was able to have first pick of ingredients from Rick Tramonto’s kitchen in Rick Tramonto’s Steak and Seafood restaurant. For the elimination challenge, each chef had to create an original appetizer and entree. Chef Tom Collicico took on the role of “Expediter” for the dinner service. Tom’s quiet demeanor was quite a switch from Chef Ramsey’s famous freak-outs in Hell’s Kitchen. Previous Top Chef winners Harold Dieterle (Season One), Ilan Hall (Season Two), and Hung Hynh (Season Three) were invited as the judges’ VIP guests. (I must say that Ilan looked a little out of place wearing a brown tee-shirt)

Stephanie won the challenge with her Sweetbreads with Golden Raisins & Pine Nuts appetizer (she was proud that she could make sweetbreads taste like Chicken McNuggets) and her Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushrooms & Apple Sauce entree . Richard’s Hamachi with Crispy Sweatbreads, Radish, Avocado & Yuzu appetizer was the favorite dish of the evening, and Lisa’s Peanut Butter Mashed Potatoes was the best side dish. Chef Tom thought that Antonio’s entree tasted best out of all the steak dishes.

Lisa and Spike wound up as the bottom two, Lisa was at the bottom for the fifth time. I think Padma saved her because she thought Lisa had “an amazing pallet.” The frozen scallops turned out to be Spike’s downfall. Spike tried for a long time to drain the water out of them with paper towels, but he still could not turn them into fresh scallops. Moreover, at the Judge’s Table Spike told Rick that he shouldn’t have had scallops in his walk-in that “weren’t high quality.” (Ouch) Rick rebounded with, “I’ll take that shot, bro. I had frozen scallops in my cooler, but you got to take the shot that you used them.” On the positive side, working in Rick’s hot kitchen made Spike remove his signature silly hat. I really hope he tossed it into the wood burning oven. Next week the four remaining chefs head off to Puerto Rico. Will there be an all women final three?

PJ


Matt, Louross, and Jenn crash and burn in Hell’s Kitchen

May 28, 2008

Chef Jenn looks so sweet in this photograph, but her teammates saw a different side this week. Jenn managed to lose the first challenge by not putting sauce on two of the dishes. For their punishment, the Blue Team had to become a maintenance crew and scrub the outside of the restaurant. Lourross tried to lighten the mood by pulling his work outfit over his head to which Jenn said, “You’re stupid and you got a wedgie.” Bobby thought Jenn was being bossy and said the quote of the week: “I come in peace, but if you break my sanctuary, you will feel it.”

Both teams completed dinner service (barely) this week, but still managed to gross-out Chef Ramsey and his guests. Petrozza was busted for putting dirty lettuce leaves in a shrimp cocktail. Louross sent out raw steak, prompting Chef Ramsey to cry, “Raw Steak!!!” and round up the Blue Team to come over and “feel the meat.” Is this what really goes on in a restaurant kitchen, or just a TV kitchen?

Matt wins the gross-out award for letting sweat from his forehead drip into pasta water (Ramsey said that was the reason the customers were sending the appetizers back for being too salty). Matt tied a dinner napkin around his head to try to fix the problem, but Ramsey just made fun of him for wearing a diaper around his head and acting like a baby. “This is not The Simpsons, Homer,” he said to Matt after the dinner service. Cory begged Matt to “cook like a normal person,” but nothing helped.

Meanwhile, Jenn undercooked her first dessert which prompted Ramsey to tell her to “F*** Off!”

Ramsey let Petrozza pick two teammates for elimination as well as choose which one of them should go home. Petrozza chose Louross for his lack of skills. Then Ramsey called Matt and Jenn forward and told them to take off their jackets and switch teams because he was “unconvinced by the both of them.”

To Jenn: “you may be able to manipulate your team, you can’t manipulate me.”

To Matt: “You’re lucky to be here. Look around. You’re out of your depth.”

Needless to say, neither team was happy about this switch.

But as usual, Gordon had the last word: “Louross was never short on energy. He was just short…(pause)…on cooking skills.”

From the previews it looks like Matt becomes even crazier next week. I predict Ramsey will eliminate Matt or Jenn (or both) next week.

PJ


Chef Matty’s in heaven on Hell’s Kitchen

May 14, 2008

Chef Matt Sigel soared high above Hell’s Kitchen this week, far from the the Blue Team and Wrath of Ben. After beating Ben in a blind taste test challenge and securing a win for the Red Team, Matt thoroughly enjoyed watching Ben, “getting his ass kicked tonight.” Matt did not hold back his comments: “You can’t cook, buddy” and “I love it when Karma bites you in the ass.” Matt was proud that Ramsey said his risotto was “the best risotto ever served in Hell’s Kitchen.” But Matt couldn’t have been happier when Chef Ramsey found out that Ben didn’t have the lamb ready:

Ramsey: What’s on that ticket? Come on!

Ben: 6:30

Ramsey: What time is it now?

Ben: 8:00

What were they doing for an hour and a half? The Blue Team couldn’t get it together, and aside from Louross working hard at the salad station, Ramsey watched the rest of the men go down in flames. Ben didn’t help by telling Ramsey he “couldn’t work in this system”; ironic because it was Ben who spearheaded the men’s system of incompetence.

I give the guests on the Blue side a lot of credit for their patience and tolerance. Some walked out the door, but one women broke out a Breakfast Bar and remarked, “This is really embarrassing, you know? I don’t want to have to eat a snack at a restaurant.”

In the end, neither kitchen completed their dinner service, but it was the men’s team who lost. Ben continued scheming by asking everyone to nominate themselves. This strategy worked for Petrozza whose “level of maturity” won praise from Ramsey, but it backfired on Ben and he was sent home.

Meanwhile, Ramsey asked someone from the Red Team to volunteer to move over to the blue team for the next challenge. Corey wants Matt to return; she’s been gunning for Matt since he switched teams. During the Red Team’s reward (spa treatments), she openly told Matt, “You’re the next to go.” But Matt didn’t let Corey get to him; from under his chocolate face-mask and cucumber slices, he reminded her that it was he who helped them win. Then he told the women (strategically, I think) that he only cared if Ben went home first. No one enjoyed the spa treatments more than Matt who was even served iced tea by Ben.

This week Jen and Rosann both faltered during the dinner service, but Ramsey singled out Jen to receive his Navy Seal training techniques. Jen was dumbfounded and went through a whole range of emotions, but her funniest comment was: “Chef Ramsey, he got it out for me. He supposedly likes vocal people. He want a leader, he wants somebody to stand down. Now I guess he on his period or whatever today, so he gets pissed off at me when I try to be vocal and be the leader.”

(Above: The drama continues with chefs Matt, Corey, & Jen)

PJ


Hell’s Kitchen episode leaves bland aftertaste

May 8, 2008

Despite all the in-fighting, backstabbing, and alliance-making drama amongst the chefs in Hells’ Kitchen, this week’s episode registered lukewarm in entertainment value. The men are still excluding Matt (they call him “Matty”). Ben let fly with a few “you’re a little BEEP” remarks. Corey tried to “target” Louross by removing her jeans and tee-shirt and climbing into the hot tub. However, Louross wouldn’t bite because the water (not Corey) was too hot for him. Corey said that she “had a boyfriend” although I don’t think that would have stopped her… Both teams completed the dinner service to guests who were celebrating a Sweet Sixteen Party. The guest of honor was polite when she sent her raw steak back. Her mother tried complaining, but because mom had the personality of a houseplant, everybody ignored her. Shayna was sent home for preparing food too slow. In the end, Matt might prove to be the smartest chef in the Hell’s Kitchen; realizing his position in the men’s team’s food chain, he volunteered to go over to the women’s side. I hope they all can turn up the heat next week.

PJ


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