Tag Archives: “Top Chef”

Simon Baker is “Not Forgotten” by Emmy voters!

I know, I know…more shameless self-promotion. But, hey, having the lead actor from your first movie nab an Best Actor Emmy nomination never hurt anyone, and if Simon Baker’s nomination for “The Mentalist” gets even one more person to buy a “Not Forgotten” DVD when it comes out on October 6th, well, then, thank you very much, Emmy voters!

Simon Baker in NOT FORGOTTEN

The rest of the nominees — with the exception of the animated “Family Guy” scoring a rare nod in the Best Comedy Series category — were pretty much business as usual. I swear to God, if I hear some of those same old names announced again I think I might just stop watching TV altogether. Yikes…

That said, I was glad to see the very deserving “Big Love” finally score a Drama Series nod, and it was cool to see “Flight of the Conchords” nominations all over the place, who woulda guessed that one? And even though we stopped watching “Breaking Bad” out of solidarity with a friend of ours last season, it was very cool to see the show in the top slot for the first time and even cooler to see Aaron Paul score a nomination for Supporting Actor, Drama. Rock on, Mr. Paul!

We have not seen “Grey Gardens” yet, but, I hear it’s very good and was happy for Drew Barrymore and the rest of the cast for their scads of nominations as well. Oh, and speaking of TV movies, Sigourney Weaver rocked in Lifetime’s “Prayers For Bobby”, so was very pleased to see both her and the film score nominations.

Drew Barrymore in GREY GARDENS

Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange in GREY GARDENS

Was mostly pleased with the writing nods as well, especially the nomination for “Lost” scribes Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for their amazing work on the season finale, “The Incident”. And am always happy to see Michael Emerson nominated for playing creepy-ass Ben, but was very disappointed that more of his “Lost” castmates didn’t make the cut. I mean, hello, Elizabeth Mitchell’s “death” scene in “The Incident” episode was some of the finest acting the show has ever seen…seriously, blondie got robbed!

And though I was sad to see “The American Mall” shut out of the Original Music and Lyrics nominations in favor of two songs from award shows (!) I gotta say, the hilarious “Motherlover” song from “SNL” is sure to take home the gold. That shit was hilarious!

And finally, we were very sad to see “ER” almost totally shut out in it’s last season, County General deserved better, yo. And though Christine and I were both seriously bummed that the totally cinematic “Southland” failed to score a single nod for it’s very deserving writers and cast, we’ll take comfort in the Best Actress nomination for Christina Applegate for “Samantha Who?”.

Michael Emerson on LOST

Elizabeth Mitchell on LOST

I know it’s canceled (stupid ABC!) but “Samantha” was one of our favorite shows of late…fantastic writing, hilarious cast, and very sweet to boot! If you haven’t seen this show, you must run out to rent the DVD’s when they come out. Seriously, you will never stop smiling.

Love to hear what shows you guys are rooting for, so, check out the complete list of Emmy nominees here and comment away! Oh yeah, and just for the record, the Chenbot was cruelly snubbed again for Best Reality Show host! Crazy, huh? But Padma Lakshmi did score a nod in the same category for “Top Chef”, so that definitely lessened the blow…

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Padma Lakshmi @ Festival of Books

On Sunday, my friend James and I made the long trek down the 405 to attend this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA. While Christine has worked the festival for the last several years — manning her rocking Library Store booth — neither James nor myself had ever actually been to the Festival of Books.

I guess it’s one of those L.A. things you always say you’ll do and never end up doing — kind of like the L.A. County Fair, which Christine and I did memorably attend two years ago…rock on, deep fried snickers! — so this year, when we learned that the smoking hot “Top Chef” host, Padma Lakshmi was going to be spicing up the festival’s culinary stage, we knew we had to go.

And not only was Ms. Lakshmi going to be signing copies of her best-selling cookbook “Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet: A World of Recipes For Everyday”, but she was also going to be cooking as well…so, wow…how could we lose?

And even though we left the valley way later than we should have — if there had been traffic, we would have been so screwed — James and I ended up arriving just in time to see the fetching Ms. Lakshmi take the stage.

Taller and way funnier — not to mention hotter! — than she is on TV, Lakshmi started with some questions from the crowd. Our favorite was the query posed by an adorable little red-haired girl who asked: “What was your favorite thing you ever ate on the show?”

Smiling, Lakshmi admitted that, hands down, her favorite dish was the Fideos with Clams and Saffron prepared by Season 2’s eventual winner, Ilan Hall on the Santa Barbara episode. Ironically, Lakshmi joked, Ilan was also responsible for creating her least favorite dish of all time, the stomach-turning Fried Chicken Liver with Chocolate Ganache.

Another amusing moment came when a fan asked Lakshmi the name of her favorite place to eat in Los Angeles. Not missing a beat, Lakshmi smiled and answered: “My Mom’s house!” Wow, not only is this woman smart and beautiful, but she loves her Mom too…perfection.

Lakshmi then read some hilarious non-cooking passages from her book before firing up the burners onstage and launching into a cooking demonstration with a delighted fan from the audience.

And though we couldn’t sample the Mushroom and Goat Cheese Flautas or the Fresh Mint and Date Dipping Sauce she paired with them — probably due to some other new ordinance passed by anti-foodie Gloria Molina — they looked and smelled amazing.

Then, while Padma took a couple more questions from the crowd, James and I joined the already daunting line at the book signing tent nearby.

Despite the sweltering heat earlier in the day, things had begun to cool down at this point, so the wait wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. And quicker than you can say: “Please pack your knifes and go” we were having our pictures taken with Ms. Lakshmi while she signed our books.

But the best part came later when we noticed a sweet-faced, Indian-American woman hanging out in the signing tent next to Padma’s. She seemed to know Ms. Lakshmi very well, so, putting two and two together, I asked her if she was Padma Lakshmi’s mother…and guess what? She was.

My inner geek surging to life, I then asked this poor, unsuspecting woman if she’d mind signing her picture in Padma’s book for both James and myself. I know, stalker much? I’m surprised she didn’t call security on our fat asses.

Blushing wildly, Padma’s mother agreed to sign our books. And though she didn’t like the picture of herself I chose for her to sign, she found a better one on the same page and not only signed her name, but also posed for the picture with James below. Whoa…two Lakshmi’s in one day? Awesome!

By the time we were finished, the sun had begun to set on the Festival of Books and it was time to meet Christine and her co-worker “Santa Fe” Sarah at their booth up near Royce Hall.

So, after powering through some of the more interesting booths — many of which were offering incredible “end of the festival” markdowns — and scoring a free Koran from a super friendly young woman at the “Facts about Islam” booth, we headed back to the car for the long drive home.

Books, food, brainy-hot cooking show hosts/cookbook writers and their mothers…hmm, not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

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