TV Dinner: This Week in Food TV
With so many food-related shows on television, it's hard to keep up -- it's not just the Food Network anymore. I don't know what I'd do without my DVR. This week gave us premieres, finales and Liza Minelli. Here's a roundup of some of the shows this week. Spoiler alert!
The Great Food Truck Race is back for its second season with Host Tyler Florence. The eight food trucks this season can be summed up as tacos, Korean tacos, grilled cheese, vegans, a whole lot of Spanglish and guys in lime-green tennis headbands.
For the first challenge, the trucks are heading to Vegas with $500. On the way, Sky's Gourmet Tacos is stalled by a tire blowout, resulting in loss of time and money. Some of the trucks are teaming up and forming meet-ups, but the headband-wearing guys of The Lime Truck and the tough guy Bostonians of Roxy's Grilled cheese are definitely not getting along.
The new twist to this season are Tyler's "speed bumps," and since they are in Vegas Tyler spins a wheel and it lands on "out of propane." This doesn't throw too much of a wrench -- most of the trucks have some type of backup, including a George Foreman grill. The non-meat eaters of Seabirds Food Truck are actually excited about it as they look at each other and scream, in unison, "Raw!" At the end, Sky's can't overcome the setbacks, and they're sent home. The Lime Truck, with their California Beach Cuisine, becomes the truck to beat.
Man vs. Food Nation visits Dallas -- Et, tu, Brute?
Adam Richman's stops included Kuby's Sausage House and Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse. I could taste the burnt ends...mmmm. Adam is no longer taking on the food challenges himself and in each city is enlisting a viewer. The challenge for Dallas is the five-pound Super Pho Bowl from Sprout's SpringRoll & Pho. Really? This is the challenge they came up with in Dallas? Dallas competitive eater Pete MacGillis takes down the bowl in record time, sweating profusely the whole time. Want to see if you can take down a huge bowl yourself? Here in Houston -- Pho Thai Binh Duong on Bellaire has the giant Pacific Bowl ($11.95).
Rocco's Dinner Party has become one of my can't-miss shows -- it's a premise that hasn't really been done. Also, I hate to admit it but Rocco Dispirtio is kind of hot.
First round has the contestants cook their signature dish, and the two winning contestants go on to cater a themed dinner party. For the season finale, Rocco pulls out the big guns with the challenge of catering Liza Minelli's 65th birthday.
After the first contestant is eliminated for a raw steak, the two remaining are Frank, a private chef, and Lucia, an opera singer/former executive chef. Lucia decides to do a six-course dinner, while Frank opts for beef stew -- you're gonna serve Liza Minelli stew? Frank pulls it off and wins the challenge and $20,000. I learned a few things too -- chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne is not an amuse bouche, never invite Sandra Bernhard to dinner because all she'll do is complain and Liza Minelli likes sweets and beef stew.
And Masterchef season two crowned its winner, Jennifer Behm, a realtor from Delaware. She faced off with Adrien Nieto in the final challenge of cooking a three-course meal in two hours. I was rooting for Adrien this season -- he seems truly talented -- but Jennifer did come a long way and in the end her perfecting cooked stuffed quail won the judges over. Gordon Ramsay announced casting for a third season at the end of the show. I know they're amateurs, but maybe the challenge next season can be plating more than one dish. There's something not right about watching the judges eating off the one plate
Anything interesting on food TV we missed this week?
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.