Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Posts Tagged ‘Just Desserts’

Yigit Wins First Season of Just Desserts

Posted by CJ Cregg on November 19, 2010

Somewhat surprisingly to me (given that he dealt very poorly with the pressure of the competition in the last few episodes, Yigit Pura won Top Chef Just Desserts.

Admittedly, I haven’t had the chance to see the season finale, as I was out of town, but I’m sure it is scintillating.

Also, as long as Morgan didn’t win, I can be happy.

 

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Life is Like a Box of Chocolates: Just Desserts (S1: E9)

Posted by CJ Cregg on November 10, 2010

Om nom nom

Final four!

For today’s quickfire, our p-chefs have to tell their life story through a box of Godiva chcolates.  They have to make 4 chocolates to represent stages in their lives.  The winning chef’s chocolate box will be modified and sold.

Our chefs are running around like mad.  Morgan is making a bittersweet ganache to celebrate his failed marriage.  Awesome.  Zac’s dark chocolate truffle with pretzels looks great.  Danielle’s golden moment truffle is when she started her business.  Not love.  Cuz no one loves her.  Zac says she looks like a cartoon character of Marilyn Manson.  I don’t disagree.  One of Yigit’s truffles doesn’t set, so he only made three.  He’s totally falling apart under pressure.  Holy cow, these chocolates all look amazing.  Except for Danielle’s pineapple and coconut one.  And her banana one.  OK, Danielle’s suck.

Except that I’m wrong because Danielle and Morgan are the top two.  And admittedly, Danielle is growing on me with her impressions of Morgan.  Her hatred is palpable.

Now, meet Ben.  He tells us that he and his wife are celebrating their 61st wedding anniversary.  Our chefs will make an anniversary cake for them.  No idea who Ben is or how much he had to pay Bravo to get these cakes.  He is a cute old man, though.  So he’s got that going for him.  Turns out that Ben is married to Sylvia Weinstock, who the p-chefs met in the third week, and is an incredibly famous cake maker.  Aha.  This makes sense.  Make a cake for the famous cake lady.

Sylvia Weinstock and her cakes

I’m so over Morgan’s ‘everyone is out to get me’ attitude.

Zac’s cake is something awful.  It looks like a craft project.  Totally lacking elegance.  Danielle’s cake is getting rave reviews so far.  Yigit’s is crumbling as he tries to take it out of the pan.

The judges aren’t wild about how Danielle made her cake gray.  I agree.  Kinda weird.  Yigit’s cake was too ambitious and complicated, but it was elegant for sure.  Morgan’s decorating skills were subpar, and his chocolate cake was a little dry.

During judges’ table, Zac suggests that Morgan doesn’t care about all money he’s made.  It’s a biting accusation, but Morgan’s response is none too dignified either.

Danielle is the winner of the cake challenge.  I have to admit, I’m starting to respect her talent and her knack for impressions more.  Zac’s crazy cake gets him sent home.

So, our final three are Morgan, Yigit, and Danielle.  Zac fully admits he made a cake-wreck.  Perhaps the animosity will be reduced now that he’s gone.  Although I’m not optimistic.

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Tea Time: Just Desserts (S1: E8)

Posted by CJ Cregg on November 3, 2010

Dana Cowan is having a tea party!

Man, I hate Danielle.  She’s, sadly, our last woman standing.

For the quickfire, our p-chefs have to make an edible bouquet.  How weird.  Morgan assures us that this is “not his first edible bouquet.”  Yawn.  Danielle isn’t going to use sugar to make flowers, she’s using orange peels.  HASN’T SHE LEARNED HER LESSON?  The judges want them to make desserts, not salads.  Yigit was pulling sugar vases for his bouquet, which Morgan ‘accidentally’ breaks.  No camera seems to have been able to confirm whether it was or was not actually an accident.  But I think Yigit is right to be suspicious.  There is some serious ugly going on here.  I say booooo to a quickfire where the judges aren’t eating anything.  Morgan and Yigit are in the top, and everyone else pretty much failed.  Morgan wins another 5k.

For the elimination challenge, the p-chefs have to cater a tea party for the editor of Food and Wine magazine.  They have to create a dessert based on a celebrity couple.  (Celebri-tea, get it?)  The chefs are being way too obscure.  This isn’t really that interesting.  They’re going to have to write novels to explain their reasoning.  Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian?  Madonna and Guy Ritchie?  Oprah and whoever that guy Oprah is with?  Conan and Andy Richter?  Where’s the Brangelina?

When the judges return to the kitchen to do their prep, they discover that there is no chocolate in the pantry.  Chocolate is off the table because you don’t serve chocolate at a tea party.  (I mean, duh.)  Zac and Danielle aren’t making anything chocolate, so they’re all good.  But everyone else is pretty screwed.  This seems like a stupid twist on the part of Bravo.  It’s one thing to screw everyone.  But to screw some people without telling them in advance?  Seems dis-satisfyingly unfair.

Gratuitous shot of Dawn handsoap.

How does a face like this keep winning?

Wouldn’t be Bravo without tons of those.

Yigit is pretty depressed and “his heart isn’t in it” because he couldn’t use chocolate.  Eric’s dishes didn’t come out like he wanted, and his plating looks pretty horrible.  His desserts are also too big and falling apart.  But his flavors, as per usual, are good.  Zac’s getting rave reviews for his Julie Andrews dessert with “Captain Von Trap Crunch.”  (Made with real Cap’n Crunch.)  No one seems to like Danielle’s cake.  Yigit is struggling to get his entire dish on the plate, while Morgan stands by and watches.  What a jerk.  Yigit’s desserts are too bland for the judges.

Seems like our chefs may have embarrassed themselves in front of Gail’s mentor.

Our top desserts are Danielle, Morgan, and Zac.  Zac ultimately wins the challenge.  And his desserts looked phenomenal.

This means, of course, Eric and Yigit are in the bottom two.  What an awkward judges’ table with just the two of them.  Eric’s lack of creativity was what killed him apparently.  The judges are just brutal and RIP into Yigit for falling apart.  I think I would have been in a puddle on the floor if I were him.

Ultimately, though, Eric gets sent home for making two shortbread desserts for the tea party.  He had a good run, and I liked him a lot.

 

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Dessert Wars: Top Chef Just Desserts (S1: E7)

Posted by CJ Cregg on October 27, 2010

Winners of quickfires no longer receive immunity.  Yah.  It’s that point of the season.  For the challenge, our pastry chefs have to participate in a relay race testing their pastry skills.  They have to

Sampling the desserts

whip eggs, stretch strudel dough, make buttercream roses and all sorts of stuff that merry pastry chefs do.  (Absolutely none of which are things that I can actually do.)  Each person on the team is assigned a task.  Team Diva of Heather, Zac, and Yigit end up winning.  But they’re starting to annoy me.  Never thought I’d be rooting for Danielle and Morgan and Eric.

Restaurant, er… dessert, wars time!  Each team will try to create the ultimate dessert shoppe experience.  (Dessert shoppes deserve the old-timey spelling of ‘shoppe.’)  They each have to make 3 desserts and include a bread item.  How will they make their bakeries stand out?  Oh, and how will they ensure that they win the 30,000 dollars?  (Bravo has seriously never heard of the recession have they?)

Danielle and Morgan are already bumping heads.  I have, sadly, very little faith in their team.  But I’m really disliking Heather these days and I’m really sick of “Team Diva”, so I’m not sure whose side I’m on.  Bravo, WHYYYYY?  Why do you conflict me so?  During prep, the Morganmonster comes out in force when he realizes that SOMEONE STOLE HIS LEMONS!  GASP!  He’s keeping that guy whose job it is to bleep out the F-bombs very busy tonight.  (Shout out to the f-bomb bleeper guy!)

This is insane.  Both teams are running around like crazy.  Both teams have realized that Morgan and Heather are not nice people and that they should be in the kitchen and not out on the floor.  Smart move, guys.  Team Diva named their restaurant Pastry Playland.  Barf.  Also, stupid.  Yigit’s desserts have not earned rave reviews.  Heather’s desserts have fingerprints!  Noooo!  The judges also figure out that Team Diva used the same dough for all of their pastries.  Which is not good, and is undercooked.

Apparently not too simple if done well

The judges like the look of Whisk Me Away, the other team’s restaurant, but they aren’t sold on Danielle’s low-energy persona.  Me neither, guys, me neither.  Eric made a chocolate chip cookie for one of his dishes.  Quite simple, eh?  Danielle made her own ginger ale and served it with a sorbet float.  Yum.  Morgan’s pretzel stick looked, well, phallic.  But his fried lemon pie was a winner.

After seeing the judges initial reaction, it seems like Whisk Me Away might have the upper hand.  Might Team Diva finally get broken up?  (PLEEEEEEASE?)

I know, I know.  I’m never satisfied.  And I can’t figure out who I like and who I don’t like.

The winning pastry shoppe is WHISK ME AWAY!  Team Diva has lost.  Long live the underdog!

Heather just didn’t measure up tonight.  She is packing her tools and going home.  She’s not sure that she really deserves to go home.  Of course she’s not.  But hey.  ONE OF MY LEAST FAVE PEEPS IS GONE!  But sadly, Danielle-sourpuss-face and Morganmonster are still at large.  Which means that we should not sleep soundly tonight.

Or something.

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OMG Shoes: Top Chef Just Desserts (S1: E5)

Posted by CJ Cregg on October 13, 2010

Souffle me

Uh oh, the Top Chef house is getting cliquey!  As if it would be any other way with these divas.

For their quickfire, the cheftestants have to make a souffle, the hardest of the desserts.  They’re notoriously delicate and require perfect timing.  (The souffles, not the pastry chefs.  Although…)  Morgan thinks he’s gonna win.  Erika, Zac, and Heather H. made less than winning dishes.  Morgan was in the top, as was Yigit and Danielle (boooooo).  Yigit wins giving both Morgan and Danielle epic sourpuss faces.  I’ve never had a souffle.  But they don’t look that good.

Gail tells the pastry chefs that Bravo is throwing its own fashion week event.  They have to make edible fashion.  Gail then rolls in a table of shoes.  (Morgan admits to having a women’s shoe fetish.)  They get to pick a pair of shoes and then design edible fashion to go along with them.  (Zac makes fun of Danielle for picking a horrible pair of orange pumps.  Turns out, he’s also designed edible clothing before.  Weird.)  In addition to the outfit, they have to make two couture petit-fours.

Zac decides to go “full on S&M” to match his hooker/dominatrix shoes and is doing a whip theme using licorice.  Heh.  Zac claims that making a chocolate dress in 8 hours is “bananas.”  The cameraman zooms in on a bunch of bananas on the table.  Clever, guys.

But oh!  There’s a twist.  The winner gets 20k.  Good twist, Bravo.

Morgan is a huge tool.  As Heather H notes, he degrades women by calling them ‘babe’ and ‘honey’ all the time.  He’s disgusting.

Two elimination wins in a row

Eric is having a really difficult time trying to fit cookies onto a dress.  It looks really horrible.

Heather C’s dress looks like a salad.  I guess they didn’t say it had to be a dessert, but I thought that was kind of implied.

Most of the chefs made petit-fours that look like accessories.  Except for Zac, who made passion fruit pasties to go with his burlesque warrior.  Morgan’s “red hot” desserts were a hit with the judges.

Yigit, Zac, and Morgan are in the top.  They delivered the hautest couture, apparently.  Pasties notwithstanding.  Morgan wins.  Blech.  Do we have to keep encouraging his chauvinistic tendencies?

Heather C, Eric, and Danielle are in the bottom for making salads and ugly stuff.  The judges noticed, as I suspected they would, that lettuce, beets, and celery are not pastries.  Gail suggests that Eric’s dress looked like something a “cavewoman after the hunt” would wear.

But ultimately, Heather created the biggest fashion disaster, so she is sent packing (again).

Thank you, judges.  Cuz this is a show about DESSERTS.  And vegetables are nowhere close to desserts.  In fact, desserts are good.  And vegetables are not.  They are green and disgusting.

OK.  I’m done.

 

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Showing Off: Top Chef Just Desserts (S1: E4)

Posted by CJ Cregg on October 6, 2010

 

Yes, I googled dessert pictures. So sue me.

 

Aaaaaaaaand, Seth’s still here and Malika is back to waffling about whether she wants to be on the show.  Same sh…tuff different day.

Quickfire time!  And product placement time!  With the help of Breyers, the chefs have to make the ultimate ice cream sundae.

Seth has utterly cracked.  He seems not stable.  He’s pissed that the producers took away paper cups that he brought from home, and he thinks that this will break him in the ice cream challenge.  Then, there are sirens.

And then, there’s a commercial.

[Curse you, Bravo!!!!]

Turns out, Seth got super upset, and couldn’t breathe.  He had an anxiety attack and fainted.  Insane.  At the producer’s discretion, Seth isn’t cleared to compete and is kicked out of the competition.  (HOLY CRAP!  THIS IS CRAAAAAZY!)

 

He made a splash during his short time on TCJD

 

OK, the chefs exhale.  And go make ice cream sundaes.

Danielle is on the bottom, so hopefully she’ll go home.  Zac’s deep fried ice cream was a hit, but Morgan’s smoothie and mint chocolate chip sandwiches win.  He’ll have immunity in the next elimination.

Team challenge!  Because Seth left, though, the producers bring back Heather C., who was eliminated last week because of her peanut butter cookie.  Their task is to be inspired by performance art and serve desserts to a fans of the group Lucent Dossier.  They also have to make a show piece to describe their group as well as each making their own desserts.  Also, they’re supposed to use fire.

Heather is utterly incapable of making decisions on her own, though, so she pesters her team, and her insecurity is driving everyone crazy.  For their show piece, Zac’s team molds his face in chocolate.  Um, awesome.  Danielle also demonstrates her incompetence.  And her sourpuss face.

Heather C. is whining about ‘what she’s going through’ and how no one understands.  But hey, she didn’t have to come back.  I have no sympathy.

The teams struggle to put their show pieces together and plate their desserts as the guests start to come in.  There are like naked ladies and baton twirlers and fire swallowers as the chefs finish up.

It’s an impressive spread they put together.

Heather H., Morgan, and Eric are the winning team.  Heather’s chai torte was exotic, but Morgan wins!  His team is pissed, though, because he only worked on one dessert, whereas the rest of them worked on more than one.  Morgan’s right that she offered to do the show piece.  Anger and bitterness doesn’t suit her.

The judges are pissed Yigit’s team because they didn’t actually use fire at their station.

Malika goes in front of judges’ table and asks to be eliminated.  She says she enjoyed the challenge, but she wants to go be with her kids.  My reply?  Phhhbbbbttttttt.  Such divas, these pastry chefs.

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Glee and Pep: Top Chef Just Desserts (S1: E3)

Posted by CJ Cregg on September 29, 2010

Oh no Seth didn't! (The chefs go off on Seth, center)

If you missed it last week, Seth has emerged as the unstable, whiny kid.  And yet, to my chagrin, he snuck by in elimination.  And he continues to whine about being misunderstood.  Can we get rid of him please?

For their quickfire challenge, the judges meet Sylvia Weinstock, who is apparently one of America’s best known cake decorators.  The chefs have to make a wedding cake.  For a quickfire.  That’s kind of insane.  They have an hour and a half to make a wedding cake.

Seth has never made a wedding cake in his life, so he’s making a mini engagement cake dessert.  That isn’t going to go well.  He isn’t even trying.  Erika is making a kahlua buttercream.  Um.  Awesome.  This is intense, our chefs are so stressed out.  Malika’s cake is epicly failing by basically collapsing on her.  She has a crisis of confidence, and claims that she doesn’t love cooking while on the show.

It also seems like quite the shame to have them make a huge cake so that the judges can take two bites.

Sylvia gives it to Seth for not trying.  The best cake belonged to Erika (leaving Heather H. to scour in the background because apparently she’s supposed to be good at making cakes).

For the elimination challenge, the judges will be divided into two teams.  (By drawing cookies from a jar instead of knives.  Oh, Bravo, you’ve thought of everything.)  They’ll be throwing a bake sale to raise money for a cheerleading team and a glee club.  The chefs seem to be focusing on actual bake sale items like brownies and cookies, instead of high-end desserts.

After they prep for the day, Malika continues to mull over leaving the competition.  As they begin to serve to the high schoolers, though, she seems to change her mind.

The results are very close–only 10 bucks separate the glee club from the pep squad.  The pep squad wins, but Bravo continues to shower money on the school by making a donation to the other club and the school.  (It’s really kind of obscene how much money Bravo spends on these shows.  They reward the contestants throughout the season with 10k here or there, and make donations to foundations all the time.)

Eric’s rice krispie treats, Malika’s chocolate toffee brownie, and Erika’s chocolate chip walnut cookie won high praises from the judges.  The winner is Eric.

When it comes time for the losing team to take the stand, Danielle throws Seth under the bus, but Zac steps up to defend him.  The team utterly destructs in front of the judges.  Danielle has quite the sourpuss face when the judges tell her the cupcake she made was dry.  Danielle and Seth scream at each other in the backroom.  They are both heinously immature.  Heather gets sent home for her ordinary peanut butter cookie.  I wish they would have sent Danielle home.  She ruins the flavor of this show for me.

These chefs are way more dramatic and immature than anything from Top Chef.

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Sex or Chocolate?: Just Desserts Premiere Review

Posted by CJ Cregg on September 15, 2010

So, we all know that the chefs on Top Chef choke when they have to cook desserts.  But what happens when you bring pastry chefs together to compete.  Let’s find out, shall we?

Sweet tooth, anyone?

Like Top Chef, the winner here wins a car, a spread in Food and Wine Magazine, a spot at the Food and Wine classic, and 100,000 bucks.  Hubert Keller joins Gail Simmons and some other people whom I’ve never heard of to judge Just Desserts.

I’m not going to go through all of the contestants, but you can read more about them here.  Turns out pastry chefs have far more, um, flamboyant personalities than do our savory chefs.  As the show starts, it’s weird to see Gail greeting our chefs instead of Padma.

This show will follow the format of Top Chef.  For the quickfire, the chefs have to prepare their signature dessert.  The guy that works at the restaurant named “Baked” looks high.  Appropriate.  It’s an interesting dynamic, though, because our chefs are worried about remembering measurements.  You can’t just wing it and see if it tastes good, like you can on Top Chef.  And, if you screw up, you’ve probably wasted all of your time baking something and won’t have time to fix it.  Basically, you can’t taste a cake halfway through baking it.

Gail interrupts their cooking time with a Top Chef-esque twist.  They have to transform their signature dish into a cupcake.  (I LOVE CUPCAKES ZOMG!)  But wow, Gail, way to make them waste a lot of ingredients.  I’m drooling on myself as the chefs present their cupcakes to the judges.  For me, this is way more food porn than Top Chef because I have a huge sweet tooth.  But drooling over TV=no tummy ache later!  YAY!  [Sort of.]

For the elimination challenge, they have to work with CHOCOLATE!  Any kind of chocolate dessert will do, it seems.  I see bottles of booze at the chef’s station. There’s already some shenanigans…who turned my oven up/down?!?!?  Tania’s mousse looks like hummus.  Which is kind of hilarious.  Zac used edible glitter on his cake.  That speaks volumes about his personality.

Zac, Heather, and Seth have the best desserts of the day.  Zac is already a major character on this show in all of his flamboyant glory.  Heather wins the first challenge for really understanding chocolate decadence.  Danielle, Tania, and Morgan round out the bottom three, and Danielle has already started to make a reputation for herself as the show bitch.  Tania’s dessert “just didn’t measure up” so she has to “pack her tools and go.”  Hummus-like mousse is a crime.  But now we get Danielle for another week.  Lucky us.

Man, I was hoping to be done with Bravo for awhile, but I think I may have to watch this regularly this season.  Desserts just take so well to being photographed.  Also, it’ll be interesting to see what they can come up with for challenges.

Grade: A

Bravo does it again.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  And we all know that Top Chef works.

This show is sweet.

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Justice is Served

Posted by CJ Cregg on January 13, 2010

Bring on the sweets

Several blogs are reporting that Gail Simmons, fabulous judge on Top Chef, will be getting her own Top Chef spinoff on Bravo.  The show is called Just Desserts (LOVE that title), and it will be a competition for pastry chefs.  Gail will become this show’s Padma.

According to Simmons on the Food and Wine magazine blog, the show is currently being cast and filming hasn’t started.

Gail also points to the lack of inspiration on Top Chef when the cheftestants are asked to make desserts as a reason for why this show is needed.

My drool glands are ready.  Can’t wait.  Bravo, you’ve done it again.

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